Digital hearing aids: What additional forms of communication support are there?
Jan 08, 2013 in Hearing Tests
Digital hearing aids will often go a long way to sorting out most of our patients’ hearing loss issues.
However, sometimes during free hearing tests we inform patients of the various tactics that many people opt to use as well as their devices to ensure they can hear and communicate well.
It’s by no means a set formula as to what works and what doesn’t but it’s worth knowing the facts so that you can make an informed decision, alongside our audiologists, as to what works best for you.
According to Action on Hearing Loss (AOHL), British Sign Language (BSL) is the most widely used form of signed communication in the UK.
It’s estimated that as many as 70,000 people use it in this country and it has evolved naturally to incorporate all manner of facial expressions, hand movements and signals to denote essentially anything one may wish to say.
While it’s not an easy thing to learn, it can provide a real support line for many people who are hard of hearing in the UK.
BSL can also be found under the banner of communication support, as can a wide range of other things such as video interpreting and communicator guides.
These are all available, usually with the help of government money, to help you go about your business as you would normally and can have a major benefit when it comes to peoples' lives.
One users of such services, Mike Panayides, told AOHL: "Access to professional communication support at work has enabled me to continue my career despite not being able to hear during larger meetings."
Finally, there is lipreading, something which has come on leaps and bounds over recent times to become a popular way for people with hearing loss to communicate.
This involves watching lip shapes, facial movements and gestures to figure out clearly what people are saying.
Laura Hignett, who uses lipreading, told the charity: "It’s probably the best thing I can do; without it, I wouldn’t be the confident person I am today."