If you’re a hearing aid user, you know the benefits that these devices can have in various situations. Depending on your range and type of hearing loss, it can still be challenging to hear people over the phone, while watching a movie/TV show, or with people at a restaurant. If you have normal hearing abilities, you may need help to communicate better with friends and family who have difficulty with hearing.
If you use a captioned phone, that’s great for calls made at home. A caption app is helpful if you’re away from home and use a smartphone.
Here’s a list of some captioning service apps you can check out. Many of them transcribe phone calls and live conversations into text.
Android and Apple iOS Apps
Your smartphone’s microphone for the captioning service picks up speech and transcribes it into text on your phone. A strong wifi connection is necessary for this app to work and pair with Bluetooth® devices. Users may share a QR code with others to add them to the conversation. Ava has text-to-speech features via keyboard. You can save conversations through this app to share or view them later. Ava is also available on the desktop for both Macs and PCs. Ava is accessible with Android and Apple iOS.
CaptionMate is a free app that immediately transcribes the conversation between people speaking on a phone call. Users can add this app to a smartphone, computer, tablet, or landline. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) pays for the real-time captioning service if you have hearing loss. You are required to register and self-certify your hearing loss.
This app transcribes captions in more than 100 languages in real-time. Conversations are saved and can be accessed later. CaptionMate is available for Android and Apple iOS.
ClearCaptions Mobile provides real-time captioning. It is FCC-certified, which allows the service to be available via a federally-funded program for qualified people with hearing loss. They offer a free account with a personal ClearCaptions voice phone number used for captioned calls. ClearCaptions Mobile is only available for Apple iOS.
The InnoCaption app is a free captioning service funded by the FCC. Anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing can receive real-time captioning on their smartphone. The app was developed in partnership with live stenographers so that users can receive quick and accurate captions. Users are required to register and self-certify that they have hearing loss. InnoCaption applies to Android and Apple iOS.
Rogervoice can transcribe live conversations in more than 80 languages. After making a call, the speech instantly displays in the text on the screen. All you need to do is reply by speaking or texting. Captions can show up for incoming calls. Rogervoice is Android and Apple iOS-friendly.
This mobile app is free and made for people who have difficulty hearing over the phone and want to listen to conversations while they read word-for-word captions. In addition to creating an account through Hamilton CapTel, users need a voice, data plan, and a Bluetooth or a wired headset that works with hearing aids. Hamilton CapTel is only available for Apple iOS.
Hearing Helper - Live Captions
Hearing Helper uses Siri through Apple to translate speech to text for anyone who wants/needs to communicate with someone hard of hearing (HOH), Deaf, or uses ESL (English as a Second Language). Users must press and hold the mic to record speech and have the ability to correct any words and make the text larger. Hearing Helper can only be used with Apple iOS.
These apps can be beneficial in certain situations where you have difficulty hearing. It should NOT be a substitute for getting hearing aids if you need them.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, tinnitus, or both, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
We’re a few months into the new year. What new things should you expect when it comes to your hearing health?
1. Rechargeable Hearing Aids
The great thing about rechargeable hearing aid batteries is:
More and more hearing aid manufacturers are making rechargeable options more widely available. Eventually, this will become the norm.
2. Noise-induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)
Young people in their pre-teens to mid-30s are beginning to lose their hearing. This demographic tends to engage in risky activities like turning up music/podcasts/videos too loud on their personal media players or going to loud clubs, bars, sports arenas, and concerts. Noise levels in these areas surpass the safe level of 70-85 decibels (dB) - depending on your personal hearing sensitivities.
The only preventable type of hearing loss is noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). If you need others who are close by to shout for you to hear them, that means your environment is too loud. Here are some easy tips to follow so you can safeguard your hearing:
Keep up with your annual hearing tests. The sooner you notice any hearing loss and get tested, the quicker you can receive appropriate treatment options to preserve the hearing that you still have.
3. Connect Hearing Aids to Other Devices
All modern hearing aids feature Bluetooth®, so connecting your TV, music, phone calls, or podcasts straight to your hearing aids is more convenient. Hearing aids act like Bluetooth® earbuds allowing you to listen to any media wirelessly. You can download compatible apps and control your hearing aids directly from your smartphone or tablet.
4. Artificial Intelligence (A.I.)
When you log onto Netflix or Hulu, there will be a list of suggested movies or TV shows based on your previous viewing preferences. The thermostat in your house can set a comfortable temperature without manual assistance. Your smartphone auto-suggests words when you text someone. A subset of A.I. is machine learning, and it’s become part of everyday life.
A.I. is becoming more useful with hearing aids by making things simple and more convenient. Some hearing aids can track a user’s brain and body health, detect if a user falls, translates other languages, and creates auto-captions in real-time.
If you are experiencing hearing loss and need new hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Google has revealed that they will be working with Top Hearing Researchers from Australia for the latest artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine-Learning Solutions.
Five of the top Australian hearing healthcare organizations are working to improve customized AI technology and make communication, listening, and accessibility better for individuals with hearing loss.
This alliance which is part of the Digital Future Initiative from Google, includes the National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL), Cochlear, Macquarie University Hearing, NextSense, and The Shepherd Center. These organizations will be taking on projects and how AI and machine learning can help lead to more customized hearing healthcare.
This will be a multi-year collaboration. Researchers will study methods like big data, cloud computing, machine learning, neuroscience, and speech enhancement to upgrade hearing technologies and strategies. The intersections of academia, government, hearing, healthcare, information, research, and technology will collaborate to make these improvements.
Australia and the World’s First Hearing Collaboration with Google
Australia has been a long leader in hearing healthcare research. Many hearing devices including the bone-anchored hearing system, modern cochlear implant, and several clinical protocols were developed in Australia. Universal standards to assess hearing problems, developing hearing healthcare innovations, and the most widely used prescription software by hearing aid providers have been made by NAL.
Google has stated that the group will work to personalize the hearing models to take care of the specific needs of each hearing aid user and enhance all listening devices and hearing aids. Using these devices in bustling environments like restaurants or live music venues. Layered noises in these spaces can make it difficult to enjoy hearing music or conversations for people with hearing loss.
New apps with AI will be examined to make it easier to identify, categorize and separate sources of sound. This will make it easier for assistive listening device (ALD) users to hear a conversation or focus on the sounds in front of them instead of background noises.
Google is invested in creating better accessibility for those with any range of hearing loss. Within the past several years, Google has provided the following accessibility tools through Android: Live Caption, Live Transcribe, Lookout, Sound Amplifier, and TalkBack.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and believe hearing aids can be a solution, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists.
Do you often find yourself in situations where you cannot hear others during a conversation? Do you keep asking others to repeat themselves? Does it make you feel like a pest and get frustrated? If so, don’t stop communicating altogether; communicate more. The following three ways will help you better improve communication when you have hearing loss.
1. Be Honest
With hearing loss, conversations don’t have to be challenging. Be honest about your situation. Let people know you have trouble hearing. Most people will be accommodating. It is better to speak up about hearing loss than to withdraw and not socialize. Being upfront about it will lessen the pressure on you to keep up with the discussion. Mingling more often will reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. The burden to adapt should not be yours alone. People around you need to adjust their communication styles to suit your needs. But they can’t do so if you are not honest with them about your hearing loss. Tell them what’s going on so they can help you by changing how they communicate.
Whether it's finding an area with better lighting so you can see each others facial expressions and gestures, or using a caption app, people are usually willing to make accommodations.
2. Find ways to Control Your Environment
With hearing loss, some environments are better than others for holding conversations. But you have the power to adjust your situation. For example, asking to sit on a particular side of the dinner table or eat at a quieter restaurant because you can hear better from one ear than the other is a proactive stance. Such requests are reasonable, so friends and loved ones should understand.
Choose an optimal setting for social interaction. We know that’s not always a possibility. Try to manage unavoidable, noisy situations. Get next to whoever is speaking. Observe their hand gestures, and read their lips. Pay attention to their body language. If understanding someone is still tricky, be sure to tell the individual so they can attempt to ease the situation. Pretending to understand is not very helpful and can last only so long.
3. Find a Solution instead of Struggling to Hear
Open communication is key in dealing with hearing loss. Don’t just be honest with others but also be honest with yourself. Don’t continue to struggle. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing and make an appointment to discuss your hearing loss and possible solutions.
When you have hearing loss and don’t have hearing aids, the inability to hear clearly can make you feel depressed and isolated from others. When it is hard to hear, it is hard to comfortably participate in one conversation, let alone in group conversations and activities.
Hearing aids ease the stress of struggling to listen. Communicating with others can still be challenging while wearing hearing aids, but not as strenuous as before using hearing aids. You may still need others to face you when they speak, and only one person should speak at a time while making sure you are paying attention to them. Hearing aids feature directional and omnidirectional microphones. Directional microphones pick up sounds from an assigned direction, usually from those facing you. Omnidirectional microphones pick up sounds that occur from any direction.
Programmable Hearing Aids
A hearing instrument specialist can program your hearing aids, and you can select appropriate settings for different situations. For example, let’s say you are talking to some people in a crowded environment. Maybe you only need to focus on a conversation with those people while blocking out background noises. Your hearing instrument specialist can program a setting through an app on your smartphone. All you need to do is open the app to access it.
You can also use speech-to-text apps to help facilitate conversations. If you are driving or biking in a busy area, you can place your hearing aids in an omnidirectional setting, which lets you hear in all directions to be more aware of your surroundings.
For a complimentary hearing test and hearing aid trial, contact us for a consultation with a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing.
Do You Have Trouble Hearing? Check out these 5 Apps to Help with Communication and Hearing Health.
If you have difficulty with hearing, conversing with others, and find yourself feeling left out in certain situations, in addition to using hearing aids, you can try an app.
Here’s a list of five apps to help you communicate with the people around you.
If you, or a loved one, are noticing hearing loss please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If you are new to hearing aids, figuring out how to use them can be a learning curve. Like all technology, once you get the hang of it, will be easy.
Linking up Hearing Aids with Your Smartphone
Just about every modern digital hearing aid can be paired with a smartphone. Audio files from your phone, computer, or tablet can be streamed through your hearing aids. They can basically be used like wireless Bluetooth® headphones. Not every hearing aid that features Bluetooth® is compatible with every smartphone brand. Android and iPhone are the only two smartphone brands that pair with hearing aids. It’s simple to set up because the technology automatically pairs them.
Switch on the Bluetooth® Feature
Through your smartphone, select the Settings app. Search for Bluetooth®, select it and switch it on.
Find Your Hearing Aids Listed in the Settings app
Through the iPhone, go to the Settings app. Find and select the “Accessibility” feature. Then find “Hearing Devices”, and select it. Your hearing aids should be shown. Through the Android phone, after the Bluetooth® is switched on, your phone should have started searching for other Bluetooth®-enabled devices to link up to. It should only take a few seconds for your hearing aids to show up on the list. For either one of these smartphone brands, if your hearing aids do not show up on your phone, the battery doors might need to be opened and closed, or you might need to place them back in the recharger. This switches them off and on again so that your phone can detect them.
When your hearing aids are listed as an option on your phone, select them. They will start their connection, which may take 30 seconds or more.
Pairing Additional Devices to Your Hearing Aids
Smartphone Streaming Systems
Even if your hearing aids are not Made for iPhone or Made for Android, wireless streaming is still available between your smartphone and hearing aids. You’ll just need a small, separate device known as a streamer. It can clip onto your shirt collar, or hang around your neck and be covered by your clothes.
Different circumstances - even those with smartphone-compatible hearing accessories - need a streaming device if you want audio transferred to your hearing aids. TV streamers, mini-microphones, and other devices can help you hear clearly. There are different styles of streamers that are unique to every hearing aid manufacturer. They are just as simple or, in some cases, more simple than connecting hearing aids to your smartphone.
If you or a loved one need hearing aids and/or an assistive streaming device for listening, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary consultation.
You may have experienced hearing a wide range of noises from the softness of a loved one’s voice to the sirens on a fire truck, or a more soothing sound of your favorite music. These sounds are measured using a decibel. This is a ratio between power, sound pressure, and voltage.
Measuring the Intensity of Sound
Sound moves in the form of energy waves. It is measured via frequency and amplitude.
The Increase in Decibels is Exponential
A 10 dB increase indicates that the sound is 10 times louder, and a 20 dB increase indicates that the sound is 100 times louder.
A List of Decibels for Common Sounds
Simply being told a number for a decibel measurement probably doesn’t mean anything, unless you are a hearing healthcare professional or someone who frequently uses a decibel meter app.
Hearing loss can occur with decibels as low as 70 (that’s after frequent or prolonged exposure).
These noises can lead to immediate and permanent hearing loss after one exposure at close-range:
150-160 dB - A shotgun/firearm
140 dB - A jet engine as it departs a runway/fireworks
120 dB - An emergency vehicle siren/concerts
These noises can lead to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) after regular, prolonged exposure:
110 dB - A rock concert
105-130 dB - Sports events (based on the size and style of the arena/stadium)
105 dB - Playing music through earbuds or headphones at the highest volume
100 dB - A motorcycle
90 dB - Power tools/lawn mower
80-90 dB - Heavy traffic
Anyone with untreated mild-to-moderate hearing loss tends to struggle with hearing these softer sounds:
70 dB - Vacuum cleaner
60 dB - Normal conversation with one other person
50 dB - A conversation among a group of people
20 dB - Rustling leaves
10 dB - Breathing
How are Decibels Measured?
Hearing loss is measured according to the lowest range of decibels that you can hear. A person with normal hearing can hear leaves rustling or water dripping into the sink or on the ground (~10 dB), but someone with mild hearing loss would not be able to hear that sound. Frequency and pitch are other parts of hearing loss. Loss of hearing in higher frequencies is more common than in lower frequencies. There are different combinations of decibel and frequency loss.
Normal hearing ability: 10-20 dB
Mild hearing loss: 25-40 dB
Moderate hearing loss: 40-55 dB
Moderately severe hearing loss: 55-69 dB
Severe hearing loss: 70-89 dB
Profound hearing loss: 90-120 dB
How can You tell if an Environment is too Loud?
If you are in a noisy area and concerned that you could lose your hearing, here are a few things you can do:
Be Cautious, especially if You Have Hearing Loss.
If you wear hearing aids, you need to be aware of the noise levels in your environment. Hearing aids amplify sounds, so you are still at risk of hearing loss just like everyone else. You can ask your hearing instrument specialist to program a special setting for these occasions.
Do not turn off your hearing aids as a way to try and protect your hearing. If they are not snugly fit in your ear canal, they will not be able to block out harmful sounds when switched off. Instead, you won’t be able to hear the sounds that you want/need to hear.
Work with a professional hearing instrument specialist to establish the correct hearing protection for the event that you will attend or the activity that you will be participating in.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
20 Tips for Active Listening
If you have hearing loss, you may feel isolated because you don’t feel comfortable, or have too much difficulty, with communication. Try out some of these active listening techniques to help with how you communicate with others.
It’s also important to emphasize this message if you are someone who regularly communicates with a person who has hearing loss: Please be patient. Remind yourself that the person you are talking to cannot hear the same way you do.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and/or tinnitus, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Hearing loss can be frustrating, isolating, and depressing. In addition to a better diet, routine exercise, and getting help for your hearing loss, scientific studies have proven that listening to sounds of nature can be therapeutic for all living creatures.
Heal Yourself by Hearing Elements
Stress caused by work, living in a bustling city, or everyday life can take its toll on a person. The ability to go outside to breathe in the fresh air, see verdant landscapes, and hear lush waterfalls and animals feeds your mind, body, and soul.
How Nature Sounds Effect Us
In addition to the beautiful countryside, fresh scents of nature - minus the manure, if you live in Lancaster County - one part of nature has a serious effect on humans: sound. Compare the racket from a construction zone or loud music that’s blasting, to the sounds you hear while out on a hike in the forest or by the mountains. Nature sounds are much more soothing and have been proven to impact the way a human brain functions.
Published Study on Nature Sounds Impact the Brain
According to a survey from the Brighton and Sussex Medical School that was published in “Scientific Reports” in 2017, there was evidence of the positive impact of hearing natural sounds. Dr. Cassandra Gould and her team used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on a test group. While the participants were presented with artificial and natural sounds, their brain activity was measured with an MRI machine. The activity of the automatic nervous system was measured through a person’s shift in heart rate. The results showed that based on the sounds that each participant heard, the activity changed in their Default Mode Network, in other words, the region of the brain that remains active when a person rests.
Nature Sounds Help with Focus and Lowers Stress
When participants heard artificial sounds, the activity in their brain signified that their attention was changing inward. Noises that sound good can be a cause for concern: inward focus is also found in individuals who have clinical depression, anxiety disorders, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The participants in this study actually focused their attention outward while listening to nature sounds, which indicates that they were wide awake and focused. However, at the same time, they relaxed. The sympathetic nervous system, which controls the fight-and-flight response was at rest, whereas the parasympathetic system, which controls metabolism, recovery, and development of the body’s resources, was activated.
Appreciate Ordinary Nature Sounds
Everyone can benefit from listening to nature sounds. You don’t need to go to a secluded part of the world or go hiking outdoors every weekend. It just takes a little bit of time spent around some fresh air. If it’s nice out, your lunch break outdoors. Notice the sounds of animals, breezes, or falling rain. You’ll feel the rewards.
If you can’t go outdoors when you want to, you can listen to sounds of nature through a CD, various streaming services, and apps. The Sea Sounds will let you create your own mix of ocean sounds. Nature Sounds give you a wider selection and offer water, fields, and forest sounds. A Soft Murmur provides noises like fire, rain, wind, and white noise. Even though white noise is not from nature, it can help if you have tinnitus.
Do You Have Hearing Loss? Listen to some Natural Sounds.
People with various types of hearing loss can also find relief with natural sounds. Please be aware that not all sounds are enjoyable for each person. One person’s relaxation sounds can induce stress in others. It’s important to find what works best for you.
If you or a loved one experiences hearing loss and/or tinnitus, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Do You have Hearing Loss? Here are 5 Apps that will Help You Improve with Communication.
Are you frustrated about communicating with the people in your life, or even with short interactions with strangers?
Get use apps as tools for connecting with people in real-time.
1. Live Transcribe
This app, which is used with Android smartphones/smartwatches, transcribes face-to-face conversations in real-time. Gallaudet University - the American school for deaf and hard-of-hearing students - developed a program that translates speech from over 70 languages and dialects to text that you read on your phone in just a few seconds. Bilingual conversations can be facilitated, and you can type your responses or prompts instead of saying them aloud. The app can also alert you if your smoke alarm, or any other alarm system you have set up, goes off.
Did you know that artificial intelligence (AI) can be conveniently accessed through a wristwatch? This smartwatch-based application can alert you when there are sounds around you. This app was specifically created for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. It learns to alert users to types of sounds that can be preselected - a car horn’s honk, a baby’s cry, running water, etc. It is not for emergencies or high-risk situations but provides a general awareness of your surroundings.
3. Sound Level Meter from NIOSH
This app utilizes a compatible smartphone device with a built-in microphone to measure the ranges of sound in your environment. Across the globe, researchers stated that approximately 16 to 24 percent of hearing loss occurs on the job. Excess noise exposure is one of the most preventable causes of hearing loss, so it’s important to be aware of sound levels in the environments that you frequent.
4. Marlee Signs
This app can be used by children and adults to learn basic American Sign Language (ASL). Oscar award-winning actor, Marlee Matlin, who is deaf teaches the language. ASL, which is used in the U.S. and Canada, provides a connection with others no matter what range of hearing they may have. The app can be very helpful for anyone who has hearing loss or if you have friends or family members with hearing loss. There are a number of different kinds of ASL instructional apps, so explore forms of communication with finger-spelling, conversational signing, helping babies communicate, building vocabulary, and more.
This app features a decibel meter that is paired with the ability to upload results to a user community through a searchable database. Users can discover gyms, restaurants, subways, and other areas that are designated as “quiet”, “moderate”, “loud”, or “very loud”.
If you are noticing any changes in your hearing and need a hearing test, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
What Should You Take into Consideration when choosing Apps for Your Hearing Aids?
There are so many useful apps that can be paired with your hearing aids. A remote control for your home security system, washing machine, lights, and various reminders are just a few we can name.
Hearing aids are devices that you wear to hone in on noises and conversations that you want to hear while reducing background noises that you don’t want to hear. Using hearing aids also provides the benefits of changing and managing features and settings based on your specific needs. App selections should be based on:
The Ability to Adjust Your Hearing Aids
Your hearing aid provider should have explained how to adjust your hearing aids when you move from one type of environment to the next. The volume levels may change, noise filtering features may be used, and adjusting the bass, treble, and other sound features to your preference may be implemented.
When pairing an app with your hearing aids, the app’s features and settings are controlled via smartphone or tablet.
Get an App that Streams Your Favorite Sound Files
Since hearing loss is a gradual process, it can lead to problems with comprehending speech sounds, specifically when there’s too much background noise. This is why it's crucial to have sound files that assist you so that you can hear someone speaking, even if you’re in a busy environment.
You can Monitor Your Hearing Aids’ Status
You don’t always need to take your hearing aids to your hearing instrument specialist. You will quickly be able to determine the appropriate situations when they are due for service, when the batteries need to be recharged or replaced, and other important problems.
Maintenances, such as cleanings, replenishing batteries/recharging the hearing aids, or replacing domes and keeping the devices in an overall good condition will lower risks of any glitches, which can negatively impact your hearing. Apps are also useful so that you can get advice from the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Hearing aid apps are a great help to hearing aid users, their family members, and caregivers to keep them organized and up to date. They can access notifications in regards to new features, updates, appointment reminders/rescheduling.
An App for Easy Access to Audio Sources
Apps allow you to directly link to music and other audio files. Stream your favorite music, videos, or podcasts through your hearing aids. While these sounds are streaming through your hearing aids, other people who are with you in your home can listen along on other devices.
Before selecting your apps, take your hearing aid needs into consideration. Think about the style of your hearing aids, and then look for apps that pair best with them. Use your hearing instrument specialist’s recommendations. Learn more about the different hearing aid styles from our article “What are Hearing Aids, and How do they Work?”
Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
If You have Hearing Loss, here are Tips if You Need to Prepare for a Hospital Stay
Do have hearing loss and experienced the frustrations of communicating with people at a hospital? Here are some tips for managing your hearing loss during a hospital visit.
Hearing loss can be equally as important to address as the healthcare emergency that landed you in the hospital. Not being able to completely understand the medical professionals who are taking care of you can be just as scary as your health emergency.
Hospitals can be busy and noisy. People rush in, there are loud machines or announcements over the intercoms, and all sorts of people - from personnel to other patients and their loved ones - are around you and talking all at once. From masked staff members to healthcare workers with unfamiliar accents, it can be overwhelming.
It’s important not to guess or tell people who are helping you that you understand what they are saying when you don’t. An incorrect response could put your entire health at risk.
A lot of people, particularly the older population, go to the hospital without hearing aids. Many people with hearing loss don’t even have hearing aids due to financial reasons, or denial about their hearing loss.
When you are in a noisy and busy environment, like a hospital, your hearing loss can lead to more problems.
People who have Hearing Loss are More Prone to Hospitalizations
Approximately 40 million adults in the U.S. have some range of hearing loss and are more likely to require hospital care. According to research from Johns Hopkins, of these 40 million adults, untreated hearing loss has a 17 percent higher risk of visits to the emergency room. They are also more likely to stay in the hospital, spend more days in the hospital, and have a 44 percent risk of being readmitted within 30 days.
Practices the Hospitals can Implement
Hospitals can help patients with hearing loss by:
Make sure to Advocate for Yourself, or Get Help from a Loved One
Let staff, personnel, and other medical professionals know that you have hearing loss. If necessary, caregivers may need to take on this role.
It is very important that you speak up about your hearing loss, and ask for accommodations. Hearing loss is an invisible disability. On rare occasions, patients have been sent to the “behavioral health” unit where individuals with mental health issues go after misunderstanding or mishearing a question, or even misspeaking.
Wearing Hearing Aids in the Hospital
Even though it is recommended to wear hearing aids from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep, some people leave them at home because they are afraid of losing them.
If you decided to do this, alert the hospital staff about your hearing loss. Ask for a hearing amplifier. Plan ahead of time and practice using captioning apps. Otter is a great choice. With this app, conversations can be transcribed in real-time on your smartphone. For legal reasons, hospitals cannot provide this for you, but you may use it yourself.
If you choose to bring your hearing aids, and they need to be recharged, bring your charger along. The hospital that you go to might be able to track down a charger for you. Remember to carry extra batteries. You can always ask staff members if they have hearing aid batteries available for you.
Hearing is Important to make Proper Medical Decisions
Making medical decisions can happen at any stage during your hospital visit, especially if you arrived for an emergency. Whether you can hear or have trouble with hearing, it can be difficult to understand complicated or unfamiliar medical terms/procedures.
Whenever possible, have a friend or family member with good hearing and concentration involved in your decision. You may also use a transcriber on your phone. Make sure it’s accurate, and get help from the medical staff to verify its accuracy. If you find it too distracting to listen and watch at the same time, record the conversation and read the transcript at a later time.
Remind doctors, nurses, and other staff members that you are hard of hearing and ask them to speak up or repeat themselves when necessary.
What if Your loved one won’t Admit They Have Hearing Loss?
You cannot assume medical staff members will notice that your loved one has hearing loss. On average, only about half of the staff employees will be able to recognize this. Make sure that you inform staff members during the initial admittance and when seeing new medical staff members that your loved one has difficulty with hearing. This is especially important in hospice care and nursing homes.
If you or a loved one, experiences hearing loss and want an easier experience interacting with medical staff, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing. We offer assistive listening devices that can help make your emergency visits pan out better, or we can show you how to use transcription apps.
Today’s doorbells, sound systems, refrigerators, and even washing machines can be connected to your smartphone through an app. It’s obvious that today’s hearing aids, most of which feature Bluetooth® technology, can also be connected to your smartphone through an app.
Apps can help new hearing aid users adjust to their hearing devices, by combining something familiar with something new. Hearing aid apps can help novice hearing aid users personalize their devices and smoothly transition into experienced hearing aid users.
Everyone who wears a hearing aid is different, and they have unique listening needs. Apps let each person customize the devices to their particular needs.
Hearing aid apps
There are so many different apps that can be paired with your hearing aids to improve how you experience listening in different environments. Decibel meter apps can show you how loud an area is. There are other apps that record how often and how long you use your hearing aids, while providing brain exercises that are related to hearing. Brain health is important to monitor. The ability to hear is crucial, to reduce risks of cognitive decline or brain atrophy due to lack of stimulation.
Apps for Bluetooth®-connected hearing aids are available on Apple and Android phones.
4 Features on apps
Features that are available on hearing aid apps include:
Learning how to use Your Hearing Aids
The best guidance on how to use your hearing aids will be through your hearing instrument specialist. You can review the manual instructions, or learn about the features of your hearing aids through our Pure Sound Hearing website. On our homepage, hover the cursor over the “Products” tab, and select the brand and style of your hearing aids to learn more about them. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
Keep a Hearing Journal
When you have another visit with your hearing aid provider, bring along any important notes that you made if there were any problems with the device or while using the apps.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. Our providers will discuss your results and hearing aid solutions for your specific listening needs.
Hearing aids have come a long way, in regards to their technology. Just about every modern hearing aid is Bluetooth®-connected to your smartphone. Here is our compilation of articles for recommended apps that can be used to have an optimal experience with your hearing aids.
If you, or a loved one, would like a free hearing test and consultation with one of our hearing instrument specialists, please contact us to schedule an appointment. Our providers will patiently work with you to ensure the best possible listening experience.
When you are trying to enjoy a movie or TV show, engage in conversations, or participate in a class, you are probably expecting, or hoping, that the caption service you use is accurate.
Captions are very convenient, but only if they are accurate and in sync with the person who is speaking. Inaccurate captions can be ineffective and lead to confusion. This is why standard captioning is necessary.
Everyone Reaps the Benefit of Quality Captions
Whether you have hearing loss or not, everyone can be helpful for everyone. Studies have demonstrated that captions make comprehending videos easier. There have been more instances of remembering facts, the ability to draw conclusions, defining words, and summing up main topics. More time is spent focusing on captioned videos. Captions allow videos to be shown while muted, which is how many people view videos on social media.
This is only useful if the captions are accurate and of good quality. The interpretation of quality is different for everyone, so there should be a universal standard.
The Need for Standard Captioning
Every form of media should have a standard quality captioning service. Whether it’s on social media or during a video conference or a live stream.
In the U.S., according to Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act, telephone services that have captions are free for anyone with hearing loss.
Again, this service is only useful if it’s accurate. So far, there are no quality standards from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - the body of government that oversees captioned telephone service.
What can You do?
Be an advocate. Request captioning before meetings, classes, on websites, and anywhere else that you need them. Exercise your rights by educating others on providing captioning and other accommodations for anyone with hearing loss.
Check out these caption apps for your smartphone.
If you or a loved one needs hearing aids or learning how to use captioning apps on your smartphone, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
It should be no surprise that whether you are listening to music or media, a long length of time spent listening plus a high volume level can eventually lead to hearing loss.
This can happen to anyone, at any age and at any time.
Across the globe, children, teens, and young adults spend time listening to music for several hours each day. The volumes often surpass the recommended limits for each person. Awareness of this issue, and actions taken against it, is the best way to practice self-care.
The previous threshold for listening was 85 decibels (dB), but that has currently been lowered to 70 dB by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 50 percent of people between the ages of 12 to 35 are susceptible to hearing loss after long and disproportionate exposure to powerful sounds from music playing through earbuds or headphones.
It’s important to remind readers that serious levels of hearing loss are not signs of normal aging. It’s a result of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
It’s similar to how many falsely believe that large wrinkles and dark spots of skin are signs of normal aging. They are the result of harmful exposure to solar and UV rays.
Important Hearing Statistics
Anyone who frequently uses a personal listening device, along with earbuds or headphones, is damaging their hearing health.
The younger population tends to have listening devices that come with earbuds or headphones. While others can’t hear their chosen media, they are doing serious harm to their hearing.
Many of these young people will begin to notice difficulty with their hearing by the time they reach their mid-40s. They will struggle with hearing just as much as their grandparents, who are at least in their 70s.
Hearing loss not only impacts your ability to hear and communicate but as frequently mentioned in this blog, cognitive decline and risks of dementia become more serious.
In a study from 2011, people with hearing loss had a higher chance of having dementia symptoms if:
Research indicates that anyone who does not receive treatment for their hearing loss promptly is at higher risk of dementia.
There have been studies that showed hearing loss that was treated with hearing aids reduced risks of cognitive decline and dementia.
Even though this information is important, the key to healthy hearing is preventative care. General health habits like diet and exercise help your overall health, which can impact your hearing health.
Follow Healthy Limits to Noise
As frequently mentioned in this blog, hearing loss from noise can occur instantly or gradually over time.
Some people live in bustling cities or work in loud environments, causing recurring exposure to unsafe levels of noise which could impact long-term health.
Here are tips on how to keep your hearing health safe:
Hearing health in children and teens is particularly important. Their bodies are still developing. They need to hear to learn and acquire social skills. Hearing loss impedes that process for social development and education, which can negatively impact work performance and income.
Sound Level Meter App
You may use a free or inexpensive sound level meter app to measure noise levels in any environment and determine whether you should leave the area for a quieter space.
Detect Warning Signs of Hearing Loss
It’s important to know what the warning signs of hearing loss are so that you can immediately seek help. Oftentimes, it’s family members, friends, or co-workers who notice your hearing loss before you do. Here are some common signs:
This rounds up our work of raising awareness for Protect Your Hearing Month.
If you are noticing hearing loss, or if you haven’t had your hearing checked in a long time, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aids and some assistive listening devices for a wide range of hearing loss.
Sound Recognition is a feature on iPhones that lets users who have hearing loss receive visual alerts for sounds such as smoke alarms, sirens, door bells/knocks, and dog barks. Internet connection is not necessary in order to use this feature. It uses onboard intelligence (the use of artificial intelligence, or AI, that is found in the device).
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use it.
On the screen, there will be a list of different sounds. Yours may feature:
After making those changes to your Sound Recognition settings, tap “Back” once, then exit Settings.
You can test out the app’s Sound Recognition feature by searching for “Dog” or “Baby crying” videos on YouTube. When it’s triggered, the Sound Recognition will give you an alert notification at the top of your screen.
If you need help with setting up this feature, our hearing instrument specialists will be happy to help. If you need new hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.
Google’s Live Transcribe app has revived the topic of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). With the many technological advances available, there’s always a new and better version that’s more helpful and convenient than the previous app.
When the app was first launched, it was only available on computers. Now you can use your smartphone and tablet with this app. Speech Recognition Software recognizes spoken language and translates it into a text format. Each of these software and apps functions in a different way. Some can only recognize certain words and phrases, and other more advanced versions can understand and transcribe live speech.
Here are some well-known apps:
Live Transcribe (Google)
The objective of Google’s Live Transcribe app is to make things more accessible for individuals who have difficulty with hearing. Users can remain part of conversations in real-time through the app on their smartphones. Even if words are missed, users can still understand the conversation with surrounding text and other context clues like facial expressions.
Live Transcribe Features:
Texting, WhatsApp and video conferencing apps have changed how people with severe hearing loss communicate, but a human voice is still the predominant form of communication.
Rogervoice provides captions in real-time for voice calls. The person with hearing loss must have the Rogervoice app downloaded on their smartphone.
TextHear is a speech-to-text app that translates conversational texts on your phone, tablet, or computer. This works via computer voice recognition software.
The Ava speech to text app focuses on the ability to maintain group conversations. Everyone who participates in the conversation must download the app onto their devices and choose the conversation group that they want to be a part of. The group’s conversation will appear in text form on their device underneath each participant’s name. Ava can also be used in one on one conversations by placing the phone’s microphone near the speaker.
Live transcription features are still fairly new but can work smoothly in most situations where the transcriptions and usage is automatic without too much effort from the users. The main issue that is frequently encountered is transcription accuracy. It’s difficult to accomplish this with all of the different languages and accents that need to be taken into account to make the app useful anywhere in the world.
At any rate, it’s still a great technological advancement that these apps are available. With more improvements and changes, it will get easier to use these in everyday situations at home, at work, and in everyday situations.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. Our hearing instrument specialists will help you select the right hearing aids for you and help you get comfortable with using speech recognition apps that are compatible with your smartphone.
If You have noticed Difficulty with Hearing, You might also Experience Feelings of Anxiety.
Anxiety is an unrelenting and intense state of alertness. While this is completely normal when you encounter stressful circumstances, for some people it becomes an unmanageable condition that consumes their thoughts.
Hearing loss can provoke or even encourage these anxieties, but there haven’t been comprehensive studies on this matter. These worries aren’t simply about hearing loss, but also missing out on important information, embarrassment from a misunderstanding, thoughts of hearing aid batteries running out of power, or feeling left out of job opportunities/social circles.
Experiencing Physical Anxiety
You may have had strong feelings of anxiety which led to physical symptoms, such as:
If any of these symptoms are becoming so frequent that they are negatively impacting your life, you should seek help from a professional. This might include treatment for hearing loss and anxiety.
What Triggers Your Anxiety?
Anxiety is separated into five categories:
If you were in an automobile accident and suffered a head injury, you might suffer from rapid hearing loss and other symptoms of PTSD. Your specific symptoms and treatment may be different from someone who is gradually losing their hearing and constantly pays attention to signs of dementia (but it’s only their hearing that’s been impacted).
People with hearing loss might have tinnitus or Ménière's disease, which can also be distressing and lead to anxiety.
The Statistics on Anxiety and Hearing Loss
Constantly struggling in everyday circumstances that aren’t a problem for most people can lead to stress. Anxiety is one reaction to this stress. Over a 12-year study, about 4,000 French citizens who were at least 65-years-old, and had hearing loss at the beginning of the study had a higher risk of developing symptoms of anxiety over time.
People who had vision loss were not more likely to show symptoms of anxiety. This may be due to the reduced stigma in wearing eyeglasses over wearing hearing aids.
Hearing Loss and Tinnitus Severity Raise the Risk of Experiencing Anxiety
The link to hearing loss and tinnitus severity was found in adults of every age group. The study found in 17,000 adult participants, there was a higher risk of anxiety if your hearing loss was more severe or you had tinnitus.
This does not automatically conclude that you will be anxious due to hearing loss. In five studies that examined symptoms in hard-of-hearing individuals, between 15 to 31 percent of participants had significant symptoms of anxiety. So overall, most people did not have these symptoms.
Among the general population, anxiety is common. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, approximately 18 percent of American adults have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
Are You Anxious in Social Situations or Simply Frustrated due to Problems with Hearing?
As frequently mentioned in this blog, age-related hearing loss (presbycusis), slowly happens over time. Many people don’t notice it, until much later in life.
You can be slowly overcome with feelings of loneliness, which contribute to your mental health - i.e. anxiety.
People who have social anxiety fear any circumstance where they may be negatively judged, whether it’s with people that they work with, or engaging in small talk.
Hearing loss can lead to situations that can frustrate others. When you are unable to hear clearly, you may not notice when someone is about to talk or has not finished speaking, and interrupt that person. You might pretend that you can hear, or make a guess as to what was said, and give an inappropriate response. Maybe you didn’t hear a joke - so you’re the only person who didn’t laugh. Hearing loss can make you feel isolated and create awkward social situations.
If you still enjoy being social with others, you probably have mild social anxiety. If the simple act of sitting with others makes you anxious, you probably have extreme social anxiety.
Those with GAD might have a lot of worries and struggle with physical symptoms for days prior to a date or a job interview.
Tips for Communication
Can Having an Anxiety Disorder Negatively Impact Your Hearing?
A French study conducted on 10,500 Taiwanese adults concluded that there was a higher risk of anxiety among those who experienced sudden hearing loss (SHL). Participants in the study who were diagnosed with GAD, but not hearing loss at the beginning of the research were more likely to develop hearing loss than individuals who did not have GAD. The adults with GAD were not more likely to experience worsening vision.
Additional studies are needed to determine why hearing might be impacted by anxiety.
Treatment for Anxiety is Available
Most people who have anxiety are not treated. It often gets overlooked.
If you want to get help for anxiety, you will need to reach out to your healthcare provider. Exercise, meditation, or medication may be suggested.
Hearing Aids of Assistive Listening Devices
If hearing loss is causing your anxiety, hearing aids can significantly improve your condition. They cannot restore your hearing back to normal, but they can help you manage the anxiety that you feel with communication and listening. Phone apps that provide captions and decibel readers can also be helpful. If the sound of your alarm causes anxiety, you can set one that creates a light that slowly shines like a sunrise, or even a gentle shaking alarm to wake you from your sleep.
If you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety, or any other concerning symptoms, due to hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a hearing test and consultation.
The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) reveals innovation in new products and possible trends that are set for the future. The 2021 trade show focused on inclusive tech, which encourages everyone to actively participate in life.
The significance of this is being able to provide access to others. Healthy hearing paves the way for people to enjoy and fully participate in what matters, and those who matter to them, in their lives. For example:
Forms of inclusive tech presented at the 2021 CES
Modern hearing aid features include:
There have been so many new advancements to improve your life, overall health, and hearing. Contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test, hearing aid trial, and consultation to learn which digital hearing aids would work best for you and your lifestyle.
Check out the latest smartphone app from CaptionCall. This free app lets people who experience hearing loss make phone calls and receive them through the Android smartphone.
This app makes it easier for users to understand others when they speak to them and gives people a more independent life.
Easy Access to CaptionCall
As long as they have decent Wi-Fi service available, the CaptionCall Mobile app can be easily accessible. Features include:
The app is currently available to download at the Google Play store. It can be used with Android smartphones that have an Operating System (OS) 7.0 or newer and the Jitterbug Smart2 smartphones that have the Android 7.0 OS or newer.
The app can be connected to your hearing aids via Bluetooth connectivity. This allows you to enhance your CaptionCall by:
Smartphone Usage with Bluetooth®-compatible Hearing Aids
People of all ages experience hearing loss, but the aging population is more likely to experience it. A 2019 Pew Research Center study found that more and more seniors are using smartphones than ever before. About 46 percent of individuals who are at least 65 years old use smartphones.
The CaptionCall Mobile app (for Android smartphones) is convenient for anyone who relies on smartphones to communicate with others - whether it’s family, friends, colleagues, healthcare providers, or the general public.
If you or a loved one are interested in Bluetooth®-compatible hearing aids, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing to schedule a complimentary hearing test and consultation.
Just about all modern appliances, from your doorbell to your washing machine, can be connected to your smartphone through an app. So it’s obvious that hearing aids can also function with the use of an app.
Nearly everyone uses apps these days. They help make something new become familiar in an effortless manner. For hearing aid users, there are many features within each app to make wearing hearing aids more customized to a person’s unique experiences.
Hearing Aid Apps
There are many hearing apps that can be used with smartphones. For example decibel (dB) meter apps can measure how loud your environment is. Remember, the average hearing threshold is 85 dB. Anything higher than that can lead to hearing loss.
Other apps can perform a basic hearing screening, or can even help train your brain with listening exercises.
For anyone who currently wears hearing aids - or is thinking about getting hearing aids - you should look into apps that were created by your hearing aid manufacturer. For example, there’s the Oticon On app which has a remote control, HearingFitness (hearing training), tinnitus sound support, and other features that connect to an IFTTT network (this is a network that stands for “if this, then that”.) It helps you connect all of your apps and devices when you engage in certain practices. For example, if your coffee maker is connected via Bluetooth®, your Bluetooth®-connected hearing aids will also turn on when you switch your coffee maker on to start making your coffee - as long as everything is in its place.
These apps can be linked with the hearing aids that you wear via Bluetooth® by using an Apple or Android phone.
Available App Features
There’s a range of apps for a range of different features. Here’s a list of the most common features on popular hearing aid apps:
Hearing Aid Adjustments
Many hearing aids can automatically adjust their volume and settings based on the environment that you are in. If you prefer controlling the bass, treble, and volume, smartphone apps give you a more discreet option - instead of reaching your hand up to your ear to press a button. It’s like changing the volume or setting on a remote-controlled stereo.
Personalized settings can be saved.
If you frequent a certain area or building that is difficult to hear in, you can make adjustments that provide the best listening experience and save those settings when you go back to that place. Some settings may already be programmed by your hearing instrument specialist.
You can monitor the status of your device.
Apps let you know what the battery life is on your hearing aids - that way, you can check when they need to be recharged or when you need fresh batteries. There’s also a “Find my Hearing Aid” feature in most hearing aid apps if you lose your hearing aid. You can also see how many hours you wear your hearing aids each day/week/month. This is great to monitor your cognitive health. Remember, it’s important to wear your hearing aids each day from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed.
Hearing aids can have a direct connection to audio.
You may use an app and connect straight to sound sources. This lets you stream music, phone calls, and TV through your hearing aids.
Hearing aids have become so advanced with new features that help make your life easier. Contact us at Pure Sound for a hearing aid trial and more information on these incredible pieces of technology.
Hearing loss is a serious problem, but you can still entertain yourself while exercising your ears. Practice activities to keep your sense of hearing in tip-top shape. Here’s a list of apps and activities that hearing aid users and non-hearing aid users of all ages can do each day.
Children’s Hearing Exercise Apps
This app was developed for 4 to 12-year-olds who have auditory comprehension and processing disorders. It was created by a certified speech and language pathologist. The app features over 1,000 listening exercises that concentrate on correcting auditory attention and memory. Directions to exercise a person's comprehension are given verbally. In the game, a virtual basketball coach rewards users with a basketball for every correct answer.
AB Listening Adventures (iPad only)
Adults who care for children (ages 4 to 10) with hearing loss will love this app! The program guides and develops listening and language skills that use six different story-based games which concentrate on listening for various elements, plurals, pronouns, or minimal pairs.
VocAB Scenes (iPad only)
Children between the ages of 4 and 10, who experience hearing loss, can expand their vocabulary with fun and different scenes. These include outdoor fun in the water, beach scenery, a pet store, a swimming pool, camping, and a wintery setting. A caregiver or therapist can assist the child during listening exercises utilizing three different games for each scene to encourage language development and listening skills.
Hearing Exercise Apps for Adults and Children
Hear Coach (Android or iOS - iPad and iPhone)
Starkey Hearing Technologies developed this app. It features listening games that teach the auditory system how to listen in numerous situations. The games are helpful for anyone with hearing loss, especially those who have difficulty hearing when there’s too much background noise.
LACE Auditory Training programs (Computer/laptop, iPad, or Android device)
LACE can be used by children and adults to practice listening and communication skills. It features a daily training program that develops methods on how to communicate in busy settings. The training sessions last about 20 minutes.
Forbrain® uses a person’s voice to increase their attention span, sharpen concentration, memory, and pronunciation. This bone-conduction headphone (for children and adults), has a filtered microphone that is used while talking out loud or to a person. The architects of this headset advise using the program for a few minutes every day for a minimum of six weeks.
Auditory Training - Use a Wide Range of Sounds
Enhance your auditory memory by recognizing environmental sounds. Practice listening to voices with activities that incorporate 209 varieties of animal, musical instruments, transportation sounds, and more.
Do you enjoy word searches? Then you will like Hearing Hunt. This game lets users listen to word-clues and try to beat the clock to figure out the words to search. The game has three levels of difficulty and can be used with Bluetooth®-enabled hearing aids.
Games 4 Hearoes (iPad)
This interactive auditory training program can help new hearing aid users recognize and remember sounds from their environment and vocabulary. There are 30 activities that concentrate on five main areas to help new users familiarize themselves with the sounds to gain confidence.
This app can teach your brain to detect noise by playing sounds that are just below detectable levels for you. After the training session, you can create a personalized “sound therapy” to listen to while engaging in other activities. The app’s developers claim that this will lead to an improvement in your hearing health.
Hearing Exercise Offline
Online brain games can be fun, but some day-to-day exercises for your brain can be done at home.
Solo Hearing Activities
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid styles and brands for a wide range of hearing loss.
Communicating with others in your workplace can be tough when you experience hearing loss. There are some things that you can do to make your day go smoother.
1. Understand Your Own Hearing Loss - Each person experiences hearing loss differently. It’s good to examine different situations that require you to listen. It’s also a good idea to discover which environments you find challenging and what changes you can make to ease your listening fatigue. Ask for help and request certain accommodations if necessary.
2. Get an Adequate Amount of Rest - Some people can hear better after getting some much needed R&R. If you have important discussions or meetings, it’s best to schedule them early. You’ll be well-rested and your brain and hearing should be functioning at their best. If this is impossible, schedule some time to rest before your important meeting to recharge your mind and body. You can simply walk around outside or even listen to a short meditation to clear your mind.
3. Advocate for Your Needs - Letting coworkers know about your hearing loss is a personal decision, but in many cases, it’s best to be open and honest about it. This makes things less awkward if you need help from others and explaining why you need help.
4. Tell Your Coworkers about the Best Ways to Communicate with You - Communication requires you and other people to interact with one another. You will need help from coworkers to help you efficiently perform your job. You can begin with a simple rule like, only allowing one person to speak at a time. This will make conversations easier to follow if you also rely on lip-reading and/or facial cues to understand what is being discussed. Make sure other people have your attention before talking to you and ask that they face you while clearly speaking. These tips will be helpful if you have a Zoom meeting or another form of video-conferencing call.
5. Use the Latest Technology - There are so many speech-to-text apps available. Currently, the most popular, and accurate, app for Android smartphones is LiveTranscribe. Nothing that is spoken into this app is recorded or saved. Otter, another speech-to-text app, can be used on multiple platforms. Users can save the conversation and create a transcript. Ask your boss if these apps can be used at your company before using them.
6. Be Precise About Your Suggestions - hearing loss is not an easily discernible disability, so most people won’t know that you need help if you don’t ask for help. Be up-front about it and be specific with your needs. Some people might yell because they think it helps you hear them or lean close to your ears, but this will cancel out the ability to lip-read and read facial cues. Describe or show them what you need if they do not understand.
7. Visual Cues - Rather than immediately asking someone to repeat themselves if you miss what was said, listen for a little longer to try and piece together what was stated by using the context you are in. You may also cup your hand behind your ear to indicate that you are having trouble hearing whoever is speaking. The speaker can talk louder without interfering with the flow of the discussion.
8. Diet, Exercise, and Keep Learning - Make sure that you get enough rest, have a healthy diet, and exercise. When you feel better and well-rested, you have more energy to listen. Listening fatigue is real! Knowing the context of a conversation is important, so keep up with current events so that it’s easier to follow along.
9. Accept Your Hearing Loss - This is difficult for many people. If you appear to be at ease about your hearing loss, the people who you interact with will also feel comfortable. Don’t be so hard on yourself if you miss what was said. If you begin to experience listening fatigue, pace yourself so that you have the energy to continue with other conversations. Sometimes what you mishear can be funny. Just go with the flow and laugh at yourself. This will make you, and others feel more relaxed, and maybe open up a dialogue about your personal experiences with hearing loss.
If you are struggling to hear at work, due to your hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing solutions for your individual hearing needs.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to your car to get them. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.