Which hearing aids should you buy? It’s a complicated question because there are many types, and everybody’s hearing is different. We cannot recommend particular models, but at our Lipreading classes you’ll find people with considerable experience. We too have hearing loss!
One thing to be mindful of is that the hearing business is unregulated, and there are outlets which are more little more than shopfronts for hearing aids. The prices for hearing aids can vary greatly, and you probably don’t need the most expensive one. We recommend coming to our classes where you can learn from others. Read more on Hearing Aids.
Cochlear Implants and Baha
Some of our BHA members have cochlear implants or BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Aids). As with hearing aid users, they join us for the support, companionship, and information. The thought of surgery is daunting, and our members say it’s a great relief to find others who have been through the same thing.
Assistive Listening Devices
We conduct hearing awareness training for government and business. One thing that always rings a bell when discussing signs of a hearing loss is where the TV is turned up too loud. This can be very disturbing for families. It’s a sure sign that it’s time for a hearing test. That might mean hearing aids, but there are also devices such as FM headphones which allow a you have your own private volume without disturbing others.
There are microphone-pens that can beam sound into your hearing aids. These are particularly good for people in the workplace. You may be eligible for government assistance to purchase one. Contact the DRC (details below).
If your hearing aids do not have Bluetooth, you’ll need a neck loop as well. The pen connects to that via Bluetooth, and the pen creates a mini T-Switch. This image shows a device made by Roger.
Phone Breakout Plug
You can connect your mobile phone to your hearing aids via Bluetooth but if your hearing aids have Bluetooth, you can use the neck loop shown above. Bluetooth works but it can be messy fiddling with various settings.
A cheap alternative is a phone breakout plug which can be bought online for less than $20. It allows you to plug in a headphone/microphone combination into your phone. Another option is a headphone set with a 4-pin jack that plugs straight in.
There are many more assistive listening devices that may help, from ‘shake awake’ alarm clocks to hearing friendly telephones.
Better Hearing in Canberra does not offer assistive listening devices directly. We refer you to the ACT Deafness Resource Centre where you can see the devices and try them out with your hearing aid or in your home before you buy.
There are other providers who also market a range of devices such as ‘Word of Mouth’, ‘Printacall’, ‘Oricom’ and ‘Phoenix Hearing Instruments’.
Visit the Deafness Resource Centre at www.actdrc.org.au or call (02) 6287 4395