From using your mobile to using public transport, how is life different with hearing aids?
Listening to music with headphones
Depending on your hearing aid type, certain headphones may still be possible to wear alongside your hearing aid. Discuss these options with your clinician.
Another option to consider is that many modern hearing aids can be paired directly with devices
, so instead of requiring headphones, your hearing aid becomes the headphone.
Talking on a mobile phone
As a hearing aid wearer, ensure you have a mobile phone that is hearing aid compatible. This will unlock lots of handy features that offer convenience and avoid buzzing/humming sounds caused by interference.
When you start looking into your options, you’ll notice that mobile phones have an ‘M’ and ‘T’ rating system, referring to the Microphone and Telecoil technology. The higher the number that follows the letter, the better the quality.
M means that the mobile phone utilises your hearing aid’s microphone, and does so with minimal interference/static while in use.
The Telecoil refers to a magnetic signal that your phone transfers directly to the telecoil in your hearing aid, bypassing the microphone. The sound of the call is played directly into your ear.
This form of technology is utilised in lots of other ways as well like PA systems and televisions. Not all hearing aids have this function, so ask your clinician what they recommend for you.
Travelling on a plane
Travel for work? There’s no need to feel limited by your hearing aid. Airlines provide plenty of information for first-time flyers with a hearing aid, so don’t hesitate to let staff know when you’re booking if there’s any special information you require.
Many airports have hearing loops established so you can hear announcements/updates related to flights directly to your hearing aid, cutting out any background noise. Signage is visible to show where this feature is available.
When it comes to the plane, there may also be the option to connect your hearing aid directly to an airline’s in-flight entertainment system via bluetooth
, so that you can receive sound straight to your hearing aid.
There’s no need to remove hearing aids during the flight, except if you’d like to for your own comfort. Don’t forget to store them safely if you do, and check you haven’t left anything behind before disembarking. Spare batteries are always a good thing to pop in your carry-on.
And if you’re headed somewhere hot and humid, don’t forget to be extra vigilant with your hearing aid cleaning and drying routine while you’re away to avoid moisture damage.
Eating with friends
When socialising with friends for the first time, keep the following tips in mind
to make your experience more comfortable;
Choose a quiet venue, avoid one with harsh finishes like concrete floors and cavernous rooms where the sound bounces around. Plush finishes like carpet and drapes help absorb sounds and create a more comfortable environment for listening.
Request to be seated in a light, bright part of the venue so you can see the faces of your dining companions. Booths can be a good option as they contain the conversation and if possible, sit with your back to the action. Avoid sitting near the noisiest parts of the venue like the kitchen and bar areas.
Let your wait staff know so they’ll know to speak clearly and directly, so you can keep up with everything that’s being said.
Using public transport
As with plane travel, public transport needn’t be a daunting or difficult undertaking with a hearing aid. If anything, being able to better hear announcements and information during your journey should make your journey less of a source of anxiety.
With trams, trains and buses often arriving jam-packed with passengers, something to be aware of is the increase in background noise. While hearing aids have evolved to better handle noisy background sounds, they’re not perfect to have realistic expectations and don’t be surprised if you find your first experience a lot to absorb.
When boarding trains in particular, choose to board at the front of the train closer to the driver if you require a little more time.