Although matters have reportedly improved, hearing aid users can still experience audio interference when they use a cell phone, says a statement from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Rockville, Md.
The problem can be far-reaching, says ASHA: According to the Hearing Industries Association, 6 million people wear hearing aids, and statistics from the National Health Survey show that approximately 36 million people could benefit from wearing a hearing aid. In addition, 55 million people have some form of hearing loss, according to doctors from Johns Hopkins University.
Featuring Brenda Battat, executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America, and Tim Creagan, senior accessibility specialist with the US Access Board, ASHA’s new podcast has information for consumers to help ensure that they don’t encounter problems in the area of hearing aid–cell phone compatibility.
Among Battat and Creagan’s consumer tips:
- Look on the box of the cell phone for the highest ratings of "M" (microphone) and "T" (telephone switch). The higher the rating the better—"at least a three or four," says Battat.
- "Try before you buy." The FCC requires company owned stores to allow people with hearing loss to try out a phone before it’s purchased.
- A flip phone moves interference further away from the hearing aid and thus may be a better choice for hearing aid users.
- Read the transcript and listen to the podcast at http://podcast.asha.org. Find a local audiologist and speech language pathologist at www.asha.org/findpro/.