Better Hearing with Tools and Technology

klingensmiths drug stores - better hearing with tools and technology

Every May, we celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month – a time dedicated to raising awareness about communication disorders and advocating for those they affect.

Among these disorders, hearing loss or impairment poses significant challenges for millions of U.S. individuals. Research shows that 2 to 3 in 1,000 children are born with hearing loss in one or both ears, and 15% of adults over 18 have some level of hearing trouble.

For these people, effective communication strategies are key – and they need access to the tools and technologies that can profoundly impact their lives. Whether it’s a hearing aid or an ear implant, the latest innovations are changing the lives of those impacted by hearing difficulties.

In this article, we’re exploring the common causes of hearing impairments, delving into some tools and technologies that break down communication barriers, and discussing how pharmacies like ours help people access these resources.

What Causes Common Hearing Issues?

Hearing health problems can stem from a variety of factors, ranging from genetic predispositions to environmental influences.

Most commonly, conditions such as age-related hearing loss (presbycusis), noise-induced hearing loss, ototoxic medications, and diseases like otosclerosis and Meniere’s disease contribute to the prevalence of hearing impairments.

The impact of hearing loss extends beyond simply the inability to hear sounds; it affects speech perception, leading to challenges in understanding conversations and conveying messages effectively.

Research indicates that hearing loss is on the rise in the U.S. In fact, it’s expected to nearly double by the year 2060 as the population’s distribution shifts toward older adults.

Fortunately, hearing loss interventions are also becoming more accessible and affordable, which will help many with hearing issues continue to communicate effectively in the coming decades.

Innovative Tools & Technologies for Better Hearing

There are many different tools and technologies designed to support better hearing in children, adults, and the elderly. Here are some of the most common tools used by those with hearing issues today:

Hearing Aids

These are perhaps the most well-known and widely used assistive devices for individuals with hearing issues. Hearing aids amplify sounds, making them clearer and more audible for wearers.

In the United States, it’s estimated that about 28.8 million adults could benefit from hearing aids, but only 16% of people between the ages of 20 and 69 use them.

The average modern hearing aid comes in various styles and features advanced technologies like noise reduction and directional microphones, catering to diverse hearing needs.

Thanks to the “Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017,” hearing aids are no longer limited to prescription-only, which has disabled many financial barriers preventing people from getting hearing help.

Klingensmith’s Drug Stores offers prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, accessible to individuals aged 18 or older with mild to moderate hearing loss. We’re committed to making hearing solutions more affordable and accessible to many through the best brands at all of Klingensmith’s locations.

Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)

These are specialized devices designed to offer better hearing in specific situations. They can include personal amplifiers, FM systems, loop systems, and infrared systems. Assistive listening devices work by capturing sound signals and delivering them directly to the user, bypassing background noise and enhancing clarity.

Cochlear Implants

Unlike a removable hearing aid, cochlear implants are surgically implanted devices that provide direct stimulation to the auditory nerve, bypassing damaged parts of the inner ear. These implants are suitable for individuals with severe to profound hearing impairments who do not benefit significantly from hearing aids alone.

As of July 2022, more than 1 million cochlear implants are being used worldwide. It’s estimated that they can allow implantees to achieve 70% to 80% correct sentence recognition in quiet, making communication possible for people with significant hearing challenges.

Smartphone Apps & Accessories

Nowadays, smartphones offer a plethora of apps and accessories aimed at improving communication for those with hearing impairments.

From speech-to-text apps for real-time captioning to Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids and sound amplification apps, smartphone technology has revolutionized accessibility for individuals with hearing issues.

Pharmacies like ours recognize the importance of providing access to these tools and resources. That’s why our knowledgeable staff is trained to guide individuals through the selection process, ensuring they find the right hearing solution for their unique needs.

Not sure what level of hearing assistance you need? We also offer in-store hearing tests and professional hearing aid assessments.

Modern Communication Tools for Hearing Issues

The latest hearing technology isn’t just designed to promote better hearing – it’s created to make our world more inclusive, accessible, and comfortable for those with hearing and speaking challenges.

For example, consider the following technologies often used in modern healthcare settings:

Telehealth Services for Remote Consultations

Telehealth services offer remote consultations with healthcare professionals, allowing individuals with hearing issues to access care from the comfort of their homes. Through video conferencing platforms, hard-of-hearing patients can effectively communicate with doctors, audiologists, and other specialists, facilitating timely interventions and follow-ups.

Video Relay Services

Video relay services enable sign language users to communicate effectively over the phone. By connecting users with sign language interpreters via video calls, these services bridge the communication gap for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, ensuring they have equal access to telephone services.

Closed Captioning

Closed captioning in healthcare settings enhances accessibility for patients with hearing impairments. Whether it’s during medical appointments, educational videos, or informational presentations, closed captioning ensures that individuals can follow along and understand the content accurately.

Want Better Hearing? Visit Your Local Klingensmith’s for Help

At Klingensmith’s, we are committed to supporting individuals on their journey toward better hearing. We don’t just provide access to innovative tools and technologies – we’re also happy to perform in-store hearing tests and offer guidance to our customers.

Think you might need a hearing aid? You may be a strong candidate if you…

  • Have trouble hearing speech in noisy places
  • Find it difficult to follow conversations in groups
  • Have trouble hearing on the phone
  • Feel like listening tires you out
  • Need to turn up the TV or radio volume more than most people

Whether you have questions about getting a new over-the-counter hearing aid or want to explore telehealth services for hearing issues, we’re here to help. Visit one of our locations today.




Klingensmith's Drug Stores

Providing Pharmaceutical care in the Armstrong County area for over 80 years.