Wearable electronic devices that amplify sounds for anyone that has difficulty hearing.
What kinds of personal hearing devices are there?
Personal Amplification Systems
These devices can be handheld, worn on a belt loop, or placed on a desk. The built-in microphone amplifies sounds closest to the listener while reducing background noise. You can listen through headphones or can connect your compatible hearing aids. Examples of personal amplification systems include the PocketTalker from Williams Sound and the SuperEar from SonicTechnology. These devices are ideal for one-on-one conversation, small-group and television listening, or conversing in the car.
Hearing aids come in many styles, such as in-ear, behind the ear, and in the canal. They each fit differently in your ear and one may be better than another for your particular type of hearing loss. All hearing aids use the same basic parts to carry sounds from the environment into your ear and make them louder. Most hearing aids are digital. They are powered with either a replaceable or rechargeable battery.
Hearing aids are prescribed by a doctor. Your family doctor can check for correctable causes of hearing loss, such as earwax or an infection. Then they will refer you to a hearing specialist (audiologist). An audiologist will assess your hearing, help you choose the most appropriate hearing aid, and adjust the device to meet your needs. Ask if you can have a trial to get used to the device and decide if it’s right for you.
New personal amplification options are becoming available. Some of them are marketed as “digital hearing aid alternatives.” Companies that make these products include Tweak and SoundWorld Solutions. Their devices look like hearing aids, but are not customized to fit you. Talk to your audiologist about whether this would meet your needs.
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