Tools that can make day-to-day life easier for people with hearing loss
Every day comes with its struggles for people who are deaf and live with hearing loss. There are actually side effects of dealing with a hearing loss, especially if left untreated. Often they deal with listening fatigue and an increased risk of burnout, which can be linked to mental health issues. But there are solutions available and technology is advancing every day to improve the well-being of the deaf and hard of hearing community.
We have laid out various tools and techniques you can start using to limit side effects and start improving your day-to-day life.
Each hearing loss is unique, but the recommended forms of communication are the same and if practiced, can truly make a difference.
Those with hearing loss rely on their vision to take body language cues and listening to fully understand language. Since they’re already good at lip-reading, making sure you have their attention and there is a direct line of sight to the person you are speaking with is essential.
Reducing background noise as much as possible will make it easier to focus on what someone is saying rather than listening to everything at once. You can turn down the volume on the TV or move to a quieter area if necessary.
Tell people you have a hearing loss. People will usually understand and make an effort to accommodate, but you have to communicate your needs whether it’s asking them to speak louder, mumble less or enunciate their words more.
Tell people you have a hearing loss. Often, others will understand and make an effort to accommodate, but you have to communicate your needs to see improvement. Asking someone to speak slower, focus on enunciating consonants and speak towards you are ways to help their voice sound clearer.
Consonants fall into the frequency where hearing loss lives, which is why it’s difficult to hear the sounds such as ‘th’, ‘ch’, ‘f’ or ‘sh’ because you can’t define what the words are. Sometimes if they are speaking a bit louder it can help, but if they start yelling it only becomes more difficult and stressful.
There are tons of apps on the market that are helpful for the deaf and hearing loss community in all kinds of situations where it can be difficult to hear.
Google released an app called Live Transcribe. It uses ASR technology to turn spoken words into text on an android phone screen in real-time. It works for 70 different languages and all it needs is a network connection. The app could be very helpful in situations such as live conferences, meetings or loud spaces when ordering a coffee.
Rogervoice, an essential app for those who are deaf and hard of hearing, produces a live transcription of phone calls and delivers the transcription directly to your phone. Similarly, Voxci transcribes voice mails and sends them to you via email or text.
TapSOS comes in handy during emergency situations and it won the AbilityNet Tech4Good Digital Health Award. By using this highly visual and interactive app, people that are deaf and those with hearing loss can communicate with emergency services without having to listen or speak. Its features include stored medical history and important personal information as well as GPS tracking to pinpoint locations.
Learn more or book an appointment today by visiting nexgenhearing.com.