Not long ago assistive listening devices were relegated to unattractive components that only worked well in specific circumstances and for certain types of hearing loss. Over the last decade, the industry has made significant strides toward greater flexibility and improved aesthetic design. The field of assistive listening is far more accessible to people of all ages, and in all areas of daily life, than ever before.
Hearing Equipment for All Ages
Historically problems associated with hearing deficits were only the concern of the elderly. Children, young adults, and those hovering between youth and an elderly designation were assumed to have hearing that fell within acceptable parameters. Recent statistical evidence shows these assumptions to be unfounded. Nearly 1.5 million children under the age of 18 suffer from hearing problems. About 7 percent of adults between the ages of 29 and 40 have some level of hearing loss. Between the ages of 41 and 59 the rate doubles to slightly more than 14 percent. The rate then doubles again to about 30 percent for people over the age of 60. This tells us that while there are more individuals over the age of 60 who suffer from some level of hearing deficit.
Benefits of Assistive Listening Devices
Assistive listening devices such as digital hearing aids can make a profound difference in the ability of the wearer to hear what is going on around them. Without an assistive listening device, it can be difficult for individuals with hearing loss to follow the rhythm of conversation around them. This is especially true if the environment is noisy or if more than one person is speaking at a time. With assistance, however, for those wearing the devices to follow and maintain a conversation.
Additionally, it allows those wearing a hearing aid to enjoy other auditory pleasures such as a concert, play, movie, or lecture. When one struggles to hear the words of others it negatively impacts their ability to fully enjoy the auditory content they wished to listen to. Frequently, people with gradual hearing loss are completely unaware of the extent to which they have been missing information until they begin using their new assistive listening device.
If you, or a family member, frequently find it necessary to ask people to repeat themselves it may be time to visit a hearing specialist and find out if there has been any hearing loss. If so, there are more options than ever for addressing the loss with assistive listening devices.
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