“I have trouble hearing on the phone, will hearing aids help me?”
YES! Certain hearing aid styles, such as the completely in the ear style have the microphone down in the ear canal which requires no special features for using the phone. Telecoils can also be put into the hearing aid which uses the electromagnetic energy from the phone to couple to the hearing aid to pick up the signal directly. This feature can be used without the microphone on the hearing aid thereby eliminating feedback that can sometimes be heard on the phone.
Some hearing aids are now equipped with Bluetooth technology which is a huge leap for hearing aid users and cell phones. Cell phones can sometimes cause interference with hearing aids causing buzzing or crackling sounds, however each cell phone manufacturer is required by law to provide hearing aid compatible phones.
Telus is providing a new service called Visual Voice mail. They describe it as:
“Don’t worry about missing important messages when you are unable to answer your phone. With TELUS Visual Voice Mail, there’s no need to dial in to pick up your messages, you just read them on screen.
Read it instead of listening to it. Visual Voice Mail converts your voice mail messages to text and delivers them straight to you as SMS or email within minutes. The converted message will include the phone number of the caller embedded in the text. Keep record of your voice mail.You can view all of your messages in one convenient inbox and have a visual record of who called and what they said. ”Telus provides this service for a monthly fee of $7.50. However it is currently being offered for a free 30 day trial.”
There are also captioning telephones which display text with the incoming call. The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association is working hard to bring this technology to Canada. See http://www.captel.com
There are also a variety of amplified telephone solutions for people who have difficulty hearing on the telephone. If you have difficulties hearing on the telephone, however, chances are you’re having difficulty in other areas as well and an amplified telephone may not serve all your hearing needs.