If you or a loved one suffers from hearing loss, it is important to find a hearing impaired telephone or other tools that will help make their life (and yours) easier. These digital tools are a great assist and allow them to have phone conversations without constantly having to ask the other person to repeat themselves or speak up. These digital phone tools help prevent misunderstandings which can be caused because someone didn’t hear something quite right.
Blame it on a wild youth or a career spent around loud equipment, but things seem to be a lot quieter these days. It’s not too bad when you’re talking directly to someone, but you find yourself avoiding the phone just so that you don’t have to keep asking the person to repeat themselves, and because you are avoiding the phone, you are losing touch with friends and family. For those who are having problems hearing conversations on the phone, there are digital phone tools that will make life easier.
Hearing Impaired Telephone: Amplifiers
The volume on your phone only goes so high, and you still find that you are having trouble hearing it, so what you need is an amplifier. There are several types you can get for your home phone:
In-line: These connect between the handset and the base and can dramatically increase the volume. Many of these units block feedback and background noise while amplifying certain frequencies to make speech sound crisp and clear and.
Portable: These are smaller units that can be easily attached to almost any home phone headset, without disconnecting anything. They are small and lightweight, which makes them ideal for the traveler.
Dedicated Amplifier Phones: These are special phones for those with hearing difficulties and are available in both corded and cordless varieties. They have special features, which allows the user to dial the volume up or down as required.
One of the main problems people with hearing issues, or severe tinnitus, have is knowing if the phone is ringing. The ringer on many home phones can be rather quiet, and if you are in a different room you may never hear it. There are several ways to ensure that your attention is caught when the phone rings.
One way to ensure that it is heard is to increase the volume of the ringer itself. There are several types of phone ringers including one that connects to the phone base and is basically a standalone speaker, with a volume control. There are also phone ringers that can be directly connected to the phone line and act much as a fire alarm. This device may be placed anywhere in the home and works as an amplifier. The type of phone ringer is useful when there are multiple phones around the home.
Another way to get the attention of someone who may not hear it is with lights. When a call comes through these units display a flashing light. Many of these flashers also have built-in ringer amplifiers, so you not only get the flashing light, but also an amplified ringer.
Of course, nothing is going to improve an individual’s hearing quite as well as a hearing aid. The hearing aid is going to allow you to hear everything throughout the day more clearly, allowing you to know if the phone is ringing and to actually carry on full conversations without constantly having to ask the person to repeat themselves. When looking for a hearing aid, be sure to find one that is compatible with cell phones, so you can have easy conversations on the go and not worry about being tied to a land line.
Amplifiers for cell phones are not easy to come by and many of them don’t work as well as advertised. The frequency from a cell phone will frequently interfere with speakers and hearing aids, causing a buzzing or popping noise. However, many hearing aids have special features designed for cell phone use. They have a telephone coil, also known as a T-switch, which allows the hearing aid to directly receive the phone signal.
In 2005, the FCC required that cell phone companies provide phone models that are compatible with hearing aids. The hearing impaired telephone is rated on a scale of 1 to 4 (1 being the worst) for the amount of interference they can cause with hearing aids, on both microphone (M) and T-switch (T) settings. Phones with a rating of M3, T3, M4, or T4 can be sold as hearing aid compatible.
Talking on the phone is a dreaded occurrence for anyone with hearing loss and as a result many people avoid it. Tools like a hearing impaired telephone make it easier to communicate on land lines and cell phones, helping people connect with friends and family.