Assistive listening devices (ALDs) can also be called “assistive technology.” ALDs are any sort of instrument that aids someone who is losing his or her hearing. ALDs can also help those who have a speech disorder or who otherwise have trouble communicating. An assistive listening device works by helping the user understand words being said or hear the spoken words with more clarity. In turn, an ALD can help someone with a hearing or speech deficit communicate more effectively with the general public. 

In today’s world, we have access to a wide range of technology. This technology has helped develop ALDs (better than the days gone by). Technological advances have allowed some devices to go wireless through software, such as Bluetooth, while others have gone digital.  

What are ALDs?

There are numerous ALDs on the market today. If you’re currently suffering from a hearing problem or hearing loss, you may need an ALD. Consult your audiologist and you can start by first taking a hearing test. Once your hearing is tested, your doctor can suggest the best type of ALD for you. 

Types of ALDs

Types of assistive listening devices include general ALDs that increase or amplify the noises in your environment. These devices can also be adjusted to filter out noise in the background and focus on the things you want to hear. These devices can also be used in conjunction with other hearing aids or even implants. An ALD will help you fine tune what you hear and help you hear the things you want while getting rid of those you don’t. 

  • Alternative communication devices: Another type of assistive device is one that augments sounds. These are usually referred to as alternative communication devices. These devices are made for those who are handicapped or who are unable to communicate due to a disability. Some alternative communication devices can resemble computers or have keyboards with pictures on them. 
  • Alarming devices: Another form of an assistive device is what we call an “alerting” device. These usually help a person know when the phone is ringing, if someone is at the door or when a fire alarm is going off. 

These are just a few of the assistive listening devices available on the market today. As you can see, all of them have different features and functions depending on the need of the user. 

Selecting the right ALD

Now that you have an understanding of what ALDs do and what type are available, you’ll want to learn more in order to find the best assistive listening device for your needs. It may be best to talk to your doctor about your concerns or questions. Your doctor can discuss the functions of an ALD and tell you which ones are the most beneficial for your type of hearing loss or disability as well. Once you decide on an ALD, do your research into the specifics. If you know more about the model you’ll be one step closer to picking out the perfect ALD for your needs. 

Once you’ve found an ALD you think might be suitable for you, consult with your audiologist to determine if this technology will pair with your hearing aid or will be beneficial to your hearing loss.