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Hearing aids were never designed to pick up speech signals from a distance.  As a result, hearing assistive technology systems (HATs) were devised to improve speech accessibility in settings that are noisy, have poor sound source visibility, or have poor room acoustics.  HATs can also allow you to see or feel when something happens, while others will provide you with written text.  Read the following scenarios to test your HAT knowledge!  

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"Why do I have difficulty understanding my friends at a restaurant even when I wear my hearing aids?"

Hearing aids amplify environmental sounds to a level where you can hear them.  However, in a noisy environment, such as a restaurant, the speaker's voice will get lost as a result of background noise, room reverberation, and increased distance between you and the speaker.  A clip-on or table top mic will improve the signal-to-noise ratio providing you with a clearer speech signal.  Call Dr. Sosa to learn more and enjoy dining out with friends again!

"I miss out on so much whenever I go to the theater even though I have my hearing devices on. Does this mean I have to give up going to the theater?"

Many large public venues, such as theaters, museums, places of worship, and airports, are equipped with induction loop systems located either under the carpeting or around the ceiling.  Setting your personal hearing aids on the telecoil position will allow it to pick up the signal electromagnetically providing you with a clearer speech signal.  Bring your questions to Dr. Sosa to learn more and enjoy the theater again!

Increasing the volume on the television may not necessarily increase the clarity of the signal.  A streamer will send a clear signal from the TV to your hearing aids while your family listens in comfort.  Speak to Dr. Sosa to learn more and enjoy watching movies with family again!  

"Even though I use my hearing aids all the time, I still struggle somewhat with the clarity on our TV.  I've tried increasing the volume, but my family complained that the volume is a bit too loud.  What else can I do?" 
"Once I remove my hearing aids I can't hear a thing.  Last week I missed an important business meeting because I didn't hear my alarm clock.  I don't want to lose my job.  What options do I have?"

Alert devices allow you to feel or see when something happens.  An alarm clock with a bed-shaker component that is placed under your pillow will vibrate to wake you up in case you do not hear your alarm clock.  These life saving  devices provide peace of mind.  Reach out to Dr. Sosa to learn more and do not miss another business meeting!

"Our grandchildren love to call us and talk about their day at school.  However, my husband struggles on the telephone.  He wears his amplification faithfully, but lately he's been making excuses to not come to the phone.  How can I help him?"

Taking in visual cues helps with speech understanding, but this becomes difficult when the speaker's face is not visible.  Captioned telephones work like the closed captions on a TV.  Your husband will be able to read the captions so that he does not miss a word while still be able to talk on the phone and hear the person's voice.  Captioned telephones are part of a federally funded program and are completely cost-free to the patient.  Contact Dr. Sosa to learn more and stay connected with loved ones! 

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