Today’s hearing aids work far better than devices in the past, but they are still limited in certain situations. Luckily, there is a wide range of hearing aid accessories and Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) available for patients. Hearing aid accessories improve listening in situations where the source of sound is far away, there is excessive background noise or you need to use hard-to-hear equipment like phones, radios or TVs.
Types of Hearing Aid Accessories
There are a lot of accessories and ALDs on the market. Your audiologist will help you assess your hearing needs to determine which would be helpful to your hearing. The most popular types of accessories include:
- Assistive Listening Devices: ALDs work in tandem with your hearing aids to enhance, clarify and amplify sounds. They relay sounds produced far from you to a receiver placed in or near your ear. There are three main types of ALDs: FM systems, infrared systems and inductive looping systems, which connect directly to hearing aids that offer telecoil mode.
- Bluetooth devices: Like many other modern electronic devices, some models of hearing aids today can use wireless technology to connect to televisions, in-car entertainment systems, cell phones, radios, computers, MP3 players and more.
- Cords and adaptors: For those not ready to invest in wireless technology, cords and adaptors still allow you to connect to many important electronic devices for better listening. You can use these cords and adaptors to receive direct input from FM systems, MP3 players, cell phones, computers and TVs.
- Wax guards and filters: Purchasing wax guards or wax filters for your hearing aids is a great way to ensure they stay working their best. While your ear’s natural wax production is great for your hearing health, it can impede the functionality of your hearing devices. Wax guards and filters prevent the buildup of wax, making cleaning and maintenance easier and more effective.