Hearing aids are designed for enhancing speech communication from person to person; however, there are some environments and situations where even with good hearing devices patients might continue to struggle based on their hearing loss. These situations can include non-face-to-face communication like in a car, communication at a long distance or in a large group, as well as while watching television or talking on the telephone. These patients need to use other assistive listening devices in conjunction with hearing aids to enhance communication in these areas.
The development of using Bluetooth technology to wirelessly connect the patient to their TV, cellphone, landline phone, and long-distance microphones has increased the patient’s ability to hear and understand clearly in difficult listening situations. The Bluetooth device, the Streamer, allows the patient secure connections with up to eight devices.
As patients age, keeping in contact with their loved ones who might live far from them becomes increasingly important. These relationships can depend solely on telephone communication. Sometimes with physical limitations and mobility difficulties patients have a hard time getting to their telephone in a timely manner to answer the call. With the inclusion of the ConnectLine, the individual can answer their landline or cellular phone wirelessly by a simple click of a button without the need to pick up the handset! This allows the patient hands-free communication of their telephone that sends the signal into both of their hearing aids at the same time. We know that hearing equally well through both ears helps enhance the overall quality of speech and the ConnectLine allows us that capability.
If watching television is of great importance to a patient, the ConnectLine allows the patient to hear television in both hearing instruments simultaneously while allowing their friends and family to listen to their television at a normal listening level. While listening to TV, the patient can also communicate with everyone else in the room while feeling engaged in conversation. This increases the patient’s ease of understanding of their television programs.
With the newest addition to the ConnectLine family, the ConnectLine Microphone, users can improve their understanding of speech at a distance. Likely uses include communication in a meeting or a religious service, or when a companion is not facing them, like in the car. This discreet microphone aids the patient in difficult or noisy listening environments by simply pushing a button.
Training the patient and their loved ones on how to use the new accessories is essential to its success. It is imperative that that patient be comfortable using the assistive listening devices in their everyday life, and training with a doctor of audiology will increase comfort and success with these devices. As an AudigyCertified™ professional, providing unsurpassed patient care is always my standard. These user friendly devices allow the audiologist to address patients’ concerns in all aspects of their everyday life and aid in overall success and satisfaction with their hearing instruments. As part of my consultation process, I demonstrate better listening through the ConnectLine family of products in the office so patients experience the positive impact it might have firsthand before making the decision to purchase.