Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants and Assistive Listening Devices – CAPTIONED

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,379
    Barbara Kelley, Deputy Executive Director of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) talks about hearing aids, implants, and assistive listening devices.

    Barbara Kelley: I am Barbara Kelley from the Hearing Loss Association of America. Unlike the situation years ago nowadays just about everyone with any type or degree of hearing loss can be helped with some kind of hearing assistive device. If you're told that there is nothing you can do and you should just learn to live with it, seek a second opinion. Dr. John Niparko: It is a mistake to ignore a hearing loss and to simply live with it.

    Barbara Kelley: The most common devices are hearing aids. Stephen P Bowdltch: A person is going to benefit from hearing aid. When their hearing loss is to the point that they're starting to miss out on some conversational elements. Reed Doughty: When I first got with the Redskins. I was not wearing hearing aids and I talked to my coach and he said, "You know, I think we need to get your hearing checked and I told him. "I don't think we do I know I have a hearing loss. So I actually got hearing aids shortly thereafter and it really improved my ability in the classroom, to be able to pay attention to be able to hear everything. To be able to interact with my teammates in the locker room, to be able to engage in relationships that previously would have been very difficult.

    Stephen P Bowdltch: The first thing that we talk about when we talk about hearing aids is the difference shapes or sizes. These can be anything that's being worn behind your ear or to little tiny hearing aids that are worn in your ear. The larger the hearing aid. The more powerful that hearing aid may be. Barbara Kelley: All modern hearing aids are digital and permit many types of operations not possible with the previous generation of analog aids. These not only allow precise correction to the unique pattern of specific hearing losses. But also include a number of other possibly helpful features. Stephen P Bowdltch: Hearing aids can help with background noise either through the use of just straight amplification by giving you the access to the speech that you need. But they also have different options available like directional microphones which can sometimes help filter out the background noise. Barbara Kelley: A major factor in all modern hearing aid fittings is to decide just what special features should be included in the hearing aids. Stephen P Bowdltch: Every person is going to be subjectively different from the other person and even though two people might have the exact same hearing loss. Their needs and their communication styles are going to impact which choice they make on hearing aid.

    Barbara Kelley: Be sure to ask the hearing professional to include a telecoil in your hearing aid. This will enable you to use hearing aid compatible phones and assistive devices. Stephen P Bowdltch: The telecoil is a way of hearing the electromagnetic output of the telephone through you hearing aid. Barbara Kelley: While hearing aids can be helpful with most people with hearing loss there are some for whom hearing aids either do not help or help insufficiently. In such case cochlear implants can be helpful and are being used by more people with severe and profound hearing loss. Dr. John Niparko: Cochlear implantation surgery involves the placement of the device behind the ear. Then threading a small array of contacts into the inner ear where we thread the contacts to wrap around the hearing nerve, thereby providing us with the ability to stimulate that hearing nerve using the sounds of the environment, sounds of speech as trigger for those electrical stimulations. Barbara Kelley: The external component which looks somewhat like a behind-the-ear hearing aid is connected to the internal one through the skin via an external magnetic disc. Often a hearing aid or an implant is not enough in certain situations. In these case there are also many other types of hearing assistive devices that are designed to help people with hearing loss. Stephen P Bowdltch: Some classic examples of assistive listening devices are amplified telephones, which provide a louder output from the telephone for people to hear. They also include things like lights that light up when your phone rings or when your doorbell rings or different assistive devices help you to hear the television from a greater distance.

    Barbara Kelley: Finally, the best kind of hearing assistance can often be from simply sharing experience and solutions with other people with hearing loss. The Hearing Loss Association of America has chapters across the country who meets to share and to learn and where it's okay not to hear well. The Hearing Loss magazine covering all topics related to hearing. They also hold annual conventions. Produce the nationwide walk for hearing and advocate for laws and public policy for people with hearing loss. For more information, go to www.

    hearingloss.

    org. We've gone over some thing you can do if you have a hearing loss, but remember you don't have to hide your hearing loss. Hearing loss is a public health concern and with the right help it is a daily challenge that you can overcome.