Layperson's Guide Site Index
Over the Counter Hearing Devices
Since the passage of the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been working to create regulations regarding this new category of hearing device. OTC devices specifically for people with hearing loss are not yet on the market. If you are considering purchasing a device that claims to be in this new category, buyer beware. The next step will be a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) issued by the FDA, followed by an open comment period and then the final rules. After the final rules are in place, you still need to be an educated consumer: learn all you can about the device before you make that purchase. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Over The Counter Hearing Devices
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Organizations
Many organizations serve the needs of deaf and hard of hearing people, families with deaf and hard of hearing members, and hearing people working in deaf-related fields. New organizations are also forming all the time. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Deaf And Hard Of Hearing Organizations
Second Equipment Compliance Deadline for Movie Captioning and Audio Description Rule has Arrived!
June 2 marked the arrival of the second of four deadlines under the ADA Title III Movie Captioning and Audio Description Rule, which went into effect on January 17, 2017—45 days after its publication in the Federal Register. The time for compliance with the Rule’s provisions varies depending on the specific requirement or event that triggers compliance. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Second Equipment Compliance Deadline
Does Hearing Loss Affect Balance?
Hearing loss by itself does not cause balance disorders but problems with the inner ear responsible for the hearing and vestibular system may. This means that hearing loss can occur together with balance impairment symptoms and indicate an underlying condition. Common such symptoms, besides vertigo and dizziness, are nausea, diarrhea, fluctuating heart rate and blood pressure, depression or anxiety. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: Does Hearing Loss Affect Balance?
70+ Best Hearing Loss and Tinnitus Apps For Your Ears
We have broken down some of the top apps for the ears, including anything from a hearing loss simulator app, to an app that can protect your ears by ensuring that you’re not listening to your music too loud. Please CLICK on the following link for details: 70+ Best Hearing Loss And Tinnitus Apps
T-Coils: Getting The Most Out Of Your Hearing Aid
Hearing aid microphones can cause difficulties while listening on the telephone. Feedback - the annoying whistling sound that hearing aids emit when a phone is located too close to the hearing aid - often occurs when people try to use the telephone while wearing hearing aids. Fortunately, there is an inexpensive, useful, and often underused hearing aid component which overcomes these microphone problems. This option is the Telecoil (T-coil). T-coils allow different sound sources to be directly connected to the hearing aid, improving sound quality and allowing the hearing aid wearer to easily perceive the signal of interest in almost any environment, and regardless of background noise. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: T-Coils
What's New With Hearing Aid Technology?
Just as digital imaging has now replaced the phonograph record, audiotape, and the movie camera for duplication of sound and pictures, digital processing of sound has revolutionized improvements in sound clarityand improved word recognition with hearing aids. Currently, hearing aid sound processors (computer chips), programmed by audiologists with probe-mic technology, continually adjust the output of the hearing aid to the needs of the hearing aid user and to the environment. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: What's New?
The New Hearing Aids
Back in the days when Grandpa needed a hearing aid, war, hunting, and loud machinery had taken their toll. Most likely, his hearing aid was a big, beige "plug" in the ear. When he gave you a bear hug, you heard little whistles and buzzes. Today's hearing aids are much smaller than their predecessors and also very much more sophisticated. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: The New Hearing Aids
Tinnitus Treatment Options
There is presently no known cure for tinnitus. However, there are very good, well-established tools and treatments that can significantly reduce the perceived burden of tinnitus. With perseverance and support from trained healthcare professionals, these options can help tinnitus patients — even those with severe cases of the condition. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Tinnitus Treatment Options
A HoH’s Trip List: Hearing Essentials
If you are someone with hearing loss, and the left-behind item when you travel is essential to communication, that’s cause to break out in a sweat, yell OMG, and start tearing through every bag in the hope that you’ve simply put it in the wrong place. In this article Gael Hannan, editor of Hearing Health And Technology Matters, shows the value of having a hearing travel checklist. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Hearing Travel Checklist
Newborn Hearing Screening Information
Left undetected, hearing impairments in infants can negatively impact speech and language acquisition, academic achievement, and social and emotional development. If detected, however, these negative impacts can be diminished and even eliminated through early intervention. Because of this, all infants should be screened for hearing impairment, preferably prior to hospital discharge. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Newborn Hearing Screening
New App Translates Speech into Text for Deaf Individuals
There is a seemingly endless parade of novel audio smartphone-enabled apps, many of them either geared toward audiophiles who want to curate their own individual listening experience, or people with milder hearing loss who want to dabble with amplification. Recently, a new app – one that has the potential to improve the daily living of individuals with severe-profound hearing loss– has been created. Please CLICK on the following link for details: New App
'Invisible' No Longer
Staying current on assistive-listening legislation and hearing-loop installation standards is very important for our own personal knowledge as well as HLAA's role to educate and to advocate. What is done in one state can be done in many states. Let's learn and then advocate for others. Please CLICK on the following link: Invisible No More
'Like The Mic' Video Campaign
Like the Mic is the video campaign launched by Rooted in Rights and the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) to bring awareness that life should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their ability to hear. In the video, Evelyn, Devin, and Jayesh share their experiences with hearing loss and feeling excluded when accessible equipment like microphones are absent. All speaking participants in the video have first-hand experience with hearing loss and encountering non-hearing friendly environments. Learning to Like the Mic is a fantastic first step towards building hearing-friendly, inclusive public events and meetings. The Like the Mic video (4:38 minutes) includes captions and audio description. Please CLICK on the following link: Like The Mic
How Hearing Works
The Hearing Health Foundation has produced an article on “How Hearing Works.” It is a clearly explained introduction and review of hearing loss. It is divided into the following sections: How it works; Types of Hearing Loss; Degrees of Hearing Loss; Causes of Hearing Loss; Recognizing Hearing Loss; Myths and Tips. Please CLICK on the following link: How Hearing Works
Tips To Improve Communication When Talking With Someone With Hearing Loss
Hearing aids alone may not let a person with hearing loss communicate successfully in all listening situations. As a family member or friend of a person with hearing loss, you can help improve communication by following a few simple suggestions. Remember, communication involves at least two individuals: a talker who sends the message and a listener who receives the message. Please CLICK on the following link: Tips To Improve Communication
Service Dogs That Help Their Human Partners
We have all seen service dogs in various venues. Yet, few of us realize that Hearing Dogs can be an Assistive Listening “Device”. At the HLAA National Convention it is amusing to see the hearing dogs in action on the vendor floor. There are all kinds of bells and whistles going off and the dogs are responding to let their masters know. A hearing dog may be in your future! Please CLICK on the following link: More Than A Pet
Do You Dread Getting Your Hearing Tested?
I dread getting my hearing tested. First of all, it is never fun to be shut in a quiet room knowing you are about to fail a test. And it’s not because I didn’t study hard enough! It can also be frightening to see if my hearing loss has progressed since the last test. Knowing my family history, there is a high risk that my hearing loss will continue to worsen over time. But the hardest part is often the tinnitus. How am I supposed to take the test when I already hear so many sounds of my own making? Please CLICK on the following link to read more:Do You Dread Getting Your Hearing Tested?
When You Are Tackled By Tinnitus In The Testing Booth
The hearing aids come out. I startle from the shock of the ringing. My tinnitus is no longer masked by the real sounds around me. The door to the testing booth shuts with a thud that I feel more than hear. Since I wear my hearing aids 24/7, I rarely experience how quiet everything is without them. In some ways the cessation of sound is a relief, but only until the tinnitus arrives. Silence, yet for me, it is not silent. I sit alone with my ringing, waiting for the hearing test to start.Please CLICK on the following link to read more:Tinnitus In The Testing Booth
Assistive Listening For Houses of Worship
Lance Glasser introduces Wi-Fi audio for churches (or any public venue) utilizing an onsite Wi-Fi and individual cell phones. This adds to the concept of the cell phone being a “Swiss Army Knife” of Hearing Assistive Technology. As with all assistive devices, there are issues. However, this may be a low-cost HAT that can benefit some organizations. This may be more of a future product than the here and now. It does require some technical know-how on the part of the transmitter and also in using the cell phone as a receiver. Please CLICK on the following link: Assistive Listening For Houses Of Worship
Your Entitlement To Use And Depend On TV Captions
Many of us use and even depend on TV Captions. Learning about the rules and how to file an FCC complaint is important. More important, we need to understand that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If we don’t let the powers that be know that there is a problem, nothing will change. Please CLICK on the following link for details: Closed Captioning On Television
Nursing Homes And Hearing Aids - What You Need To Know
Having a loved one in a nursing home brings a variety of concerns. Are their needs being tended to? Are they eating well? Are they safe? Certainly you want the best care and quality of life for those you love. Unfortunately, urgent needs such as hygiene and medical care mean that hearing care is not treated as a pressing concern and is often put on the back burner. But being in a nursing home is not an easy transition for anyone; add hearing loss into the mix and you have a recipe for frustration, fear and isolation. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: Nursing Homes And Hearing Aids
The Case For Tackling Hearing Loss In Care Homes
Rachel Calton, from Action On Hearing Loss (a UK based charity founded in 1911 and formerly known as the RNID), explains why they are advising people to check whether care homes they are considering have clear procedures in place to assess, record and manage hearing loss. Please CLICK on the following link: The Case For Tackling Hearing Loss In Care Homes
Hearing Loss Is One Of The Most Common Conditions Affecting Older And Elderly Adults
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing. Please CLICK on the following link: Hearing Loss Affecting Older And Elderly Adults
Hearing Loss In Children
The signs and symptoms of hearing loss are different for each child. This article advises that if you think that your child might have hearing loss, you should ask the child’s doctor for a hearing screening as soon as possible. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: Hearing Loss In Children
Eight Ways To Prevent Hearing Loss
Did you know there are some things you can do to avoid noise-induced hearing loss and keep age-related hearing loss from getting worse? Here are eight tips to help keep your ears as sharp as possible. Please CLICK on the following link: Eight Ways To Prevent Hearing Loss
Smartphones: A Universal Hearing Assistive Technology
This is a presentation of a talk at the HLAA National Convention on cell phones being used as an ALD. Please CLICK on the following link: Smartphones: A Universal Hearing Assistive Technology
Assistive Devices for People with Hearing, Voice, Speech, or Language Disorders
This article provides a basic explanation of the various types of assistive devices that exist for hearing, voice, speech or language disorders . Please CLICK on the following link: Assistive Devices For People With Hearing, Voice, Speech, Or Language Disorders
Making The Choice and Decision About Cochlear Implants
Many individuals who are considering a cochlear implant look for help in comparing the different types of implants. They go to various internet groups to find out which implant is best. Comparing or recommending is not the place of CI users. Sharing experiences with what the implant user knows and experiences is. Please CLICK on the following link: Making The Choice And Decision About Cochlear Implants
Preparing For A Cochlear Implant
Pre CI process hints, from one who successfully got the following accomplished and fully covered by insurance all in a period of eight months:
CI evaluation, CI approval, visits to three CI doctors, four
audiologists, two CI surgeries (same ear, hookups included as part of the
authorization) with the second one including three month post op follow-up all
“out of network, out of area”
Please CLICK on the following link: Preparing For A Cochlear Implant
I Wish I Had Been Wearing Ear Plugs...
In this article, a semi-retired doctor describes how he developed tinnitus and hyperacusis after a one-time exposure to loud music during a New Year’s Eve celebration. If only he had been wearing ear plugs…Please CLICK on the following link to read his story: I Wish I Had Been Wearing Ear Plugs...
Acquired hearing loss is often accompanied by tinnitus. Tinnitus is an auditory perception (such as a whistling or hissing) without an external stimulus. This perception can be very debilitating and nearly 50% of all adult visits to otolaryngologists relate to tinnitus! Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Tinnitus
What Is A Hearing Impairment?
Hearing loss is a general term that refers to a reduced auditory acuity. Although there are a few central causes for hearing loss (involving the brain), the large majority of hearing losses are caused by problems in the ear itself. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: What Is A Hearing Impairment?
Accessible Churches and How To Make Sure Everyone Can Hear the 'Word'
People living with hearing loss should not have to give up participating in the things they love, including attending worship services. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more about accessibility: Church Accessibility
Hearing Loops: Their History And The Organizations Promoting Their use
Loop systems are being advocated by a number of organizations as well as people inside of the Hearing Loss Association of America. Two articles by Stephen Frazier helps us to understand what loops are and how they can be implemented. Loops are a fantastic assistive device which have been around since the 1940’s. There are two types. 1. The older perimeter loop and 2. The newer Phase loop. Most of the material in the articles refer to Phase Loops unless otherwise expressed. Please CLICK on the following link: Hearing Loops
Teenagers, Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids
Understanding & Supporting Teen Students with Hearing Loss, Cheryl DeConde Johnson EdD addresses a multitude of issues relating to teenagers with hearing loss. "To keep molehills from becoming mountains", she says, "one must recognize that teenagers and hearing loss are two separate unique and complex issues". Please CLICK on the following link: Teenagers, Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids
An Introduction To Hearing Loss
This article is designed to hit the high points for people who are new to hearing loss. It is a consumer-focused presentation that might be of interest to people with hearing loss, or to people with family or friends who have hearing loss. Please CLICK on the following link: Introduction To Hearing Loss
Using Your Cell Phone As An Assistive Listening Device (ALD)
Cell phones are smarter than ever before! They have every requirement of an Assitive Listening Device (ALD). It is the intent of this article to take a commonly owned tool, a smart phone, and show the reader how it can be converted to an ALD. Please CLICK on the following link: Cell Phone As An ALD
Finding A Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) Cell Phone
If you have hearing aids (HA)or a cochlear implant (CI), hearing on cell phones and wireless phones is a challenge. Now is the time to learn about Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) which is a reference to the connection between the handheld set and the HA/CI. Please CLICK on the following link: HAC
What You Need To Know About ALDs, ALSs and HAT
You have your hearing aids or you may even have a cochlear implant, yet you still have difficulties hearing when in different environments. This article explains the roles of Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs), Assistive Listening Systems (ALSs) and Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) to deal with this issue. Please CLICK on the following link: ALDs, ALSs and HAT
Your Audiogram Described
After you complete an initial interview describing your hearing problems, the Hearing Professional may check your ears to see if you have a wax buildup or some other obstruction. Then, you may be given a test to produce an audiogram. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Audiogram Details
Hearing Aid Styles
Hearing Aids come in many varieties and styles nowadays, each having it's own unique set of benefits and drawbacks. The purpose of this article is to assist you to become an 'educated' consumer, and to enhance your communication and understanding with your Audiologist or Hearing Instrument Specialist (HIS). Please CLICK on the following link: Hearing Aid Styles
Making the Best of a Visit to an Audiologist or Hearing Instrument Specialist
If people around you are commenting about your hearing (the TV is too loud, you talk too loudly, you are missing things) then take note because it is probably time for you to have your hearing checked! This article by HLAA KY Home Chapter member Ed Schickel provides a layperson’s guide to how to make the most of your first time visit to an audiologist or hearing instrument specialist. Please CLICK on the following link: First Visit Guide
Dealing With the Cost of Financing Hearing Aids
Handling the cost of obtaining the proper hearing aid solution is often a major concern for people suffering hearing loss. The following article provides a listing of helpful starting points and ideas to help people deal with this in a more informed and manageable way. Please CLICK on the following link: Financing Hearing Aids
Locations Locally That Have Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)
To assist you with your hearing loss difficulties, please CLICK on the following link to find a list of local locations, such as churches and theaters, that have Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) available, including Captions, FM, IR/Headsets and Neckloops: Locations With ALDs
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