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How hearing aid accessories bring us closer in times of isolation

How to use hearing aid accessories
The current COVID-19 outbreak that we find ourselves in is very unique. It will most likely be a time we will always remember and tell stories about. It also brings about many challenges for a lot of people, and one of the common challenges is self-isolation or staying-at-home.

The good news is that your hearing aid accessories can support you at a time when staying connected is so important.

Staying at home

In the US, most states are ordering residents to stay at home. Many countries around the world such as France and Italy are giving similar orders to residents.

Whether you live with a few people or by yourself, your social circle or social contacts will have been massively reduced. Particularly for those people living alone, staying connected with other people is of utmost importance.

The World Health Organization’s biggest recommendation for people in isolation is to stay connected to others to avoid feelings of isolation. Increasing evidence from the Nature Neuroscience Journal demonstrates that having supportive social ties is associated with better health outcomes, including better mental health.

How can I keep in touch with loved ones?

These days, there are many methods of staying in touch. This can be done by phone calls, video calls, social media, emailing, or sending a letter. Video chat has the advantage that you can see the person you are talking to and this can break down barriers. Seeing their facial expressions and body language may increase your connection with that person. Also, it might give you the feeling of being in the same room as them.

Read more: A guide to group video calling apps for hearing loss

The extra cues you get from their body language or lip movements should also help you to understand what they are saying. It also enables you to see inside their room, which is perfect for when your friends or family want to show you the latest project they have been working on. Maybe you want to show a friend something you just baked or a new sweater which you just bought online. All of these small interactions feel much more ‘real’ in comparison to emailing or using voice calls.

Even watching television is key to keep you up-to-date with what is happening in the outside world. And although watching the news is important to know the latest updates on the coronavirus crisis, be careful not to overdo it. We recommend turning off the TV at some point, or to tune-into something else that you are interested in.

Many of the forms of connection require you to hear well. That is where your hearing aids and accessories come into play.

Hearing aids and accessories will help you to stay connected

Hearing aids and streaming

For phone calls and video-chatting, newer hearing aids such as Phonak Marvel hearing aids are able to stream directly from devices, including iOS and Android smartphones, or other Bluetooth enabled phones. Streaming means that the audio is sent wirelessly, directly to your hearing aids so that interfering background noise is not a problem.

Have you forgotten how to use the streaming functionality?

It’s as easy as the press of a button. Phonak hearing aids connect to both iOS devices such as an iPhone or iPad and to Android devices. Here is a quick explanation of how you connect Phonak hearing aids to an Apple iPhone and here is how you connect to an Android phone or any other Bluetooth enabled phone. If you have forgotten in general how your hearing aids work, you can find information on your Phonak hearing aid model on Phonak product support pages.

You can stream directly to your hearing aids when you are on a video call. That way can continue to be a part of conversations while you’re in isolation.

Read more: Hearing aids

Hearing aid accessories

In most situations, when the conversation partner is at close distance and when background noise is moderate, hearing aids work really well. This changes when the level of the background noise increases or the conversation partner is far away.

Using a remote microphone such as a Phonak Roger Microphone in these situations can be a huge help. Examples of tricky listening situations while staying at home can include sitting around a dinner table with multiple people talking at the same time (if you live with several people.) Or when a conversation partner walks to a different room or out into the yard.

Listening to TV with hearing aids

Listening to television can also be a challenge, particularly when there is background noise in the room.

This is where accessories are really important. Phonak has an array of different accessories such as the Phonak TV connector that can help you to hear in the most difficult listening situations in your home, such as those mentioned above.

Phonak Roger microphones also have the advantage of being able to connect with hearing aids from almost any manufacturer and also with devices such as cochlear implants and BAHAs.

Read more: Hearing Aid Accessories

Support

Do you have an accessory but you have forgotten how to use it? No problem, you can look at Phonak hearing aid accessory support pages where you should be able to find your Phonak accessory in the list and see how to use it.

Do you see an accessory that you may be able to benefit from? If your hearing care professional is still seeing patients, try contacting them.  Some hearing care professionals are able to offer their services remotely.

Locate an audiologist near you

Staying at home during this outbreak is important, but so is staying connected! Your hearing aids and accessories should help you do just that.

Jennifer Appleton
Author Details
Jennifer Appleton-Huber received her M.Sc. in Audiology from the University of Manchester in 2004. Until 2013, she worked as an Audiological Scientist mainly in the UK and Switzerland, where she worked with adults and pediatrics, in the areas of hearing aids and cochlear implants. Her current role is Scientific Audiologist at Phonak Headquarters.
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Jennifer Appleton
Jennifer Appleton-Huber received her M.Sc. in Audiology from the University of Manchester in 2004. Until 2013, she worked as an Audiological Scientist mainly in the UK and Switzerland, where she worked with adults and pediatrics, in the areas of hearing aids and cochlear implants. Her current role is Scientific Audiologist at Phonak Headquarters.
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