Olivia discusses assistive listening devices which are devices that can be coupled to hearing aids to provide the wearer with additional benefit in challenging listening environments.


Q – What are the benefits of assistive listening devices paired with hearing aids?

A – On top of hearing aids you can also get what we call hearing aid accessories or hearing aids assistive listening devices.

Essentially these are technology devices that are compatible with peoples hearing aids, I think two of my favourite ones and certainly from the feedback that I get from my patients are a phone and a TV connector.

So essentially what they do, is they send the sound directly to the person’s hearing aids so for example you can get a manufacturer that makes a range of phones that are compatible with hearing aids, you answer the phone in the same way you would answer a normal phone, somebody else that doesn’t have hearing loss can also use the phone in exactly the same way that they would use the phone, but if you’re the hearing aid wearer then you actually get to hear the person’s voice being played into both sides.

I would say that with the phone that is very useful because usually when you have a phone you would only be able to listen to it on one side or you can just get a cheaper phone and use a loud speaker function, that I recommend to a lot of people if they’re not wanting to consider an extra accessory but again if you’re using a loud speaker function and there’s somebody else in the room and you don’t want to have that conversation in front of them and want it privately, then you’re not going to be able to do that.

It’s the same with amplifiers a lot of the time on the cordless phones, its speaking out to you and everybody in the room can hear so it just adds something a little bit extra to make it more normal for people.

The TV connector is a very very good one, a lot of m patients use those. Its basically an extra device, that plugs into the television and it splits the sound so that whoever’s listening in the room can hear the TV at the same volume that they want it which is comfortable for them and then the person wearing the hearing aids can actually hear the sounds of the television being streamed to the hearing aids directly and then you can independently alter the volume so you can have it louder to cover your needs without it being uncomfortable for the others that are with you.