Hearing Aids and Assistive Devices

Posted on April 12, 2009 in Health Education, Physical Health, Providers | Short Link
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Living your life with a hearing loss can create special challenges.

When a hearing loss is detected, an audiologist may recommend the use of hearing aids. Correctly adjusted hearing aids can help many people. You should be aware that there is an adjustment period which may be a month or two, for the ears and mind to become accustomed to this auditory input. When you purchase a hearing aid, it is important to understand any return policy. Often, return policies for hearing aids include a 30 – 90 day right to return the hearing aids. You should enquire about the return policy when you purchase a hearing aid.

With an accurate hearing assessment and thorough audiological testing, hearing aids can offer people much help. Many health insurance plans in the United States do not cover payment for hearing aids. Veterans’ benefits often do cover payment for hearing aids.

The following are some of the other possible resources for payment assistance of new digital hearing aids:

  1. Hear Now: the U.S. Program of the Hearing Foundation; which provides hearing aids to adults and children who are legally residence of the United States. Their contact information is as follow: 1-800-648-4327, by fax at 952-828-6946 or by mail at 6700 Washington Avenue S, Eden Prairie, MN 55344.
  2. State Vocational Rehabilitation Program

Some other Online Resources includes but not limited to the following:

  1. Sources Of Hearing Aid & Cochlear Implant Funding
  2. Help Kids Hear.org: Funding Sources – Insurance Companies

There are also host of products to assist people who are deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind to function more independently, safely and effectively in their everyday life. Assistive listening devices can be used to amplify sounds and can benefit people who have some residual hearing. Assistive listening devices can be used to amplify sounds and decrease background distortion. They can be used in both interpersonal settings and in large forums as well.
Some assistive listening devices work by using FM radio frequencies and others work through the use of infrared wave frequencies.

Alerting devices can be used to get the attention of a person with hearing loss to notify them of someone’s presence, to assist in daily routines and forewarn of upcoming danger. Some examples of helpful alerting devices include: Alarm clocks, telephone signalers, doorbell signalers.

These devices and many, many more can be found online or for sale in your audiologist’s offices.

In southwestern PA there are three organizations that specialize in selection and purchase of assistive devices and alerting devices. The Center for Hearing & Deaf Services, Inc. (HDS) and Three Rivers Independent Living Center (TRCIL) as well as the University of Pittsburgh IRR and many distributors have such products online as well. See the online catalogue of Harris communications.

In Pennsylvania, the PA Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) which is housed at Temple University can provide these items at low or no cost for qualifying individuals. Applications for the PATF can be found online here.

Many people can benefit greatly from hearing aids, and assistive listening and alerting devices. Visit the website to learn more about hearing wellness and assistive devices.

If you would like to learn more about this topic or if you have resources to offer, please contact us.

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