One is trying to achieve an improvement in the clarity of speech in differing situations. It is clarity rather than sound volume that is the limiting factor.
Often there is background noise – pubs, restaurants and the like. Some television programs have a lot of background noise. Hearing in cars, particularly on motorways when the wind noise disturbs hearing can be impossible.
Of course children are difficult to understand and hear because they have high pitched voices, they speak quickly and don’t enunciate clearly.
Clarity of speech is dependent on the frequency of the sound. Sadly it is the higher pitches which are lost in the usual age-related deafness. If the hearing loss is very severe it may be that certain frequencies are altogether lost and cannot be heard no matter how loud the amplification. This may be on account of the hair cells in the cochlear at that frequency are not functioning at all.
This is explained more fully in the section on the audiogram. A listening device may then not help. For this reason it is always advisable to try out the device before agreeing to buy it so keep the postal wrappings carefully. When you try it out do so in all the differing situations where you think it could be useful. This can several weeks. Look after it so that if it has to go back it will be in ‘pristine’ condition.
The suppliers below provide internet linked sales. You can request a catalogue is sent. Enquire about detail of any individual product and ask any questions.
Some hearing aid shops can supply individual gadgets. You should enquire. If you prefer face-to-face sales this would be your preferred method. The supplier should be able to answer any questions but in my experience the advice provided is often rather limited. The sales people normally have good hearing and have difficulty relating to the needs of the average hearing loss sufferer.
For a catalogue and for supplies from Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) – go to:- http://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/
Supplies and a catalogue from Connevans (FM Genie) go to:- www.DeafEquipment.co.uk –
Supplies from Gordon Morris – go to:- www.gordonmorrisshop.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=457