DR. TIA FLYNN: Ask your audiologist — New android cell phone helps and some other developments

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A few manufacturers have now developed hearing aids that are compatible with any Bluetooth phone regardless of the operating system or the brand. The technology has been available for iPhones for a while, but now the android users get to use it too.

A few of the things this technology allows you to do are: 1.) Use the hearing aids like a wireless headset to talk on the phone “hands free.” 2.) Add a TV connector on the back of the TV and hear the TV more clearly at your volume “hands free without wires.” 3.) Use your cell phone as a remote control for volume changes and program changes. 4.) Allows you to use apps on your phone that can help you control your directional microphones in noisy places like restaurants. Unfortunately this new technology is only currently available in the Receiver in the Canal RIC style for now. I usually recommend this style for mild to moderate hearing loss.

For severe hearing loss there are some newer phones that have a screen that allows one to see what is being said (typed out on the screen in fairly large letters) similar to closed captioning on a TV. This can be very helpful for those that do not hear well on the phone with their hearing aids. Younger people with severe hearing loss seem to do just fine texting but some older folks do not feel as connected as when they hear the live voice of a friend or loved one. My mother talks to my aunt every morning for at least an hour. They both claim they could not live without being able to talk to each other like this. I say do whatever it takes to try to keep doing what you love to do.

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Dr. Tia Flynn is a certified audiologist and has been in business for more than 17 years. Every Tuesday morning from 9 a.m. to noon, Dr. Flynn provides free hearing screenings at 1601 Third St. in Coeur d’Alene. (208) 664-2767. Visit our newly updated website www.affordablehearinginc.com for an online hearing test and watch helpful videos.

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