If you have trouble following what is being said on television, you are not alone.
According to TILDA – The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, less than one third of Irish adults with hearing loss, who need hearing aids, actually have them.
On average, Irish adults aged 50+ spend 4 hours 28 minutes per day watching television, according to Television Audience Measurement Ireland. That’s a large proportion of the day potentially not being able to follow what is being said.
In fact, having trouble hearing and understanding the TV is one of the first indicators of a hearing loss. Audiologists will hear from clients: “My family complains I have the volume too high; it is like the actors are all mumbling; watching the news is OK but films can be difficult.”
So, how can someone with hearing loss improve their TV experience?
Use Closed Captions
Closed captioning refers to text which includes both the dialogue and a written description of what you are not hearing if you have hearing loss. For example, ‘footsteps approaching’, ‘telephone ringing’, etc.
If your hearing loss is making it difficult for you to follow the dialogue and plot of what you are watching, you may benefit from using closed captions.
If, after using captions to watch TV, you realise you were missing a lot of dialogue and background noise, it may be time to consider extra help.
Use Hearing Aids
For many people with hearing loss, hearing aids will improve their understanding of dialogue on TV. Most modern hearing aids have programming options to provide multiple settings.
Speak to your hearing care professional about the best setting/programme for your personal hearing needs with regard to watching TV.
Many hearing aids also have a volume control button, or the capacity to have the volume adjusted by use of a remote control, which means you can change the level of volume to suit your needs, without disturbing other people watching TV with you.
Use a Hearing Accessory
There are accessories to help users hear the TV better. Sometimes known as assistive technology, these accessories work together with your hearing aids.
Some newer hearing aids, also allow for connectivity to a TV or stereo system through a compact multimedia hub called Phonak TV Connector. This plug and play solution turns hearing aids into wireless headphones, allowing individuals to enjoy their favourite TV programmes and movies in excellent stereo sound quality.
Always consult your audiologist for professional advice. Audiology Medical Services have state-of-the-art clinics nationwide, so book in today by calling 1800 501 501, or see www.audiologymedicalservices.ie