Saturday, June 09, 2007

My, What Big Ears You Have

The better to hear you with, my dear....

My ears got longer-about a good inch longer.

Sometimes I call my hearing aids “ears” because without them, my real ears are just there for “decoration.” Of course, the hearing aid itself could be called “decoration” but I digress.

I had an appointment with the audie (audiologist) about my new FM system-my newest toy(compliments of vocational rehabilitiation).
An FM system is an ALD (assistive listening device).
It's my new toy.

I had all kinds of questions about this new gadget.

Because the audie I was seeing will be on maternity leave soon, I was introduced to another audie, who had more experience with FM systems in the schools for children who are deaf/hard-of-hearing. I was also going to be working with her until the other audie comes back from maternity leave.
Why did my “ears” grow? Well, I got a boot (or shoe) placed on each end of the hearing aid and a receiver plugged into the end of that boot. The receiver is wireless (a bonus for me-I used an FM system from the campus and it had wires. It’s such a pain. It reminded me of my old hearing aids-see previous post.)

Then I had a transmitter (it shows the front and back of the Zoomlink) that I can either point it at the speaker or have the speaker wear it around the neck. It has three settings: omni (sounds in all directions), zoom (zeros in on what’s in front of it, and blocks out some background noise, and superzoom (blocks out a lot of background noise while focusing on what’s directly in front of it).

I can put it on the dinner table (and pray for no spills), point it at the TV or place it next to the speakers, point it at the pastor/teacher or have him wear the transmitter around his neck, or I could just have my husband wear it around the house, too.

I have to wear my hearing aid in the T-coil mode for this to work with the FM system. As long as the FM system is on, I can hear things, but if I had either of the zoom modes on, I won’t hear what’s around me, but I could switch my hearing aid to the microphone switch to listen/talk with an impatient child or something that needed my immediate attention and switch it off.
I couldn't find a link to show you the boots that go between the end of the hearing aid and the receiver. The boot slides down the back of my hearing aid's battery door. Then the receiver is tacked to the end of that.

Cool. I am off to do some more sound-testing.

Hope my hearing aid doesn’t up and start walking now that it’s got it’s boots…



At Sun Jun 10, 06:49:00 AM , Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

Wow. So much to consider about hearing aids. I'm happy you have so many options.

At Sun Jun 10, 11:27:00 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Shari, this is Toni / Ditto! I just found out about your blog.

I used an FM system in college when my hearing loss became "severe" but I didn't have a hearing aid (took 2 years for Rehab to get me one!) The one I used had a box with a wire going to an earpiece and the other person had to wear a lapel microphone.

I just love your new FM sysyem! New technology is SO cool!

P.S. I also used to call my hearing aid "my ear"!

At Mon Jun 11, 03:09:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's facinating to read about these new types of hearing aids.

You crack me up about the boots...although it makes me wonder if my car keys have boots and I just don't know it...

At Mon Jun 11, 07:06:00 AM , Blogger Shari said...

Michele-Isn't technology wonderful. It's amazing when things improve so much. I love my wireless FM system.

Hey Ditto- I used a Comtex (sp?) FM system from the campus and I had to take out my hearing aid to use it. (The FM system you used sound just like the one I used.) And all I could hear was the teacher. I couldn't hear the students ask questions. I had to ask the teacher to please repeat the question the student asked before answering. They always forgot to do that. So then I just got an interpreter instead.

HI Susan- Thanks for stopping by. Some things just keep getting better and better. I love this FM system because it's so compact. All I have to carry is the transmitter and I could just wear it around my neck on the way to church or something. Anything that hands-free is fine by me.

At Tue Jun 12, 03:47:00 PM , Blogger Breazy said...

Great! Let us know they are working for you after you have tried them out for a while!

At Wed Jun 13, 07:07:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Molly here!!!!! I had no problem saying hearing aids. But when I got my cochlear implant. The term "speech processor" had too many "S's." So I called them "My Ears." LOL We are lucky to have so many options helping us to hear. We have come a long long way. And it is getting better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At Tue Jun 19, 06:24:00 PM , Blogger Hello from Julia said...

Don't they say that ears and nose never stop growing? (Is is because it's absorbent cartilage?) Perhaps we'll all catch up in old age :)

Sounds promising. :) Best of luck with it.



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