Have you ever had the TV volume so loud that the neighbours have come over to tell you to turn it down? That’s when you know you’ve got a hearing loss.
Many people with hearing loss struggle to hear the TV and often resort to turning it up so high that it makes it uncomfortable for other people in the house or next door. However, this doesn’t necessarily improve your speech understanding.
If you live with someone who is constantly complaining about the noise level coming from the TV, this article is just for you as it’ll explain the different ways you can watch TV with hearing aids.
Many people with hearing loss who have hearing aids find that watching TV with hearing aids alone is not enough. Sometimes they need the extra help of an assistive listening device such as Bluetooth headphones.
Bluetooth headphone systems have a transmitter that is plugged into your TV. The wireless headphones then connect to the transmitter via Bluetooth, and the TV signal is streamed to the headphones.
The headphones help you to hear better as it removes the barriers of distance and noise. It also allows you to set the volume to your desired level without bothering those around you. In addition, the headphones can be worn over your hearing aids and improve enjoyment while watching TV.
While watching TV with hearing aids, people often still turn the TV volume up. However, this can cause more difficulty hearing, discomfort and can annoy those around you. In addition, turning up the TV volume does not necessarily improve speech understanding and may do the opposite.
There is a clear link between loud noises and hearing damage, so it is possible that having the TV very loud can damage your remaining hearing. Instead, try adjusting the volume on your hearing aids.
Many modern hearing aids have programs created explicitly for TV use to help you hear better. Ask your audiologist if this program is available on your hearing aids. If not, they can create one manually for you with adjustments to allow you to hear the TV more clearly.
You will need to access this program by pressing a button on your hearing aid, remote control or app, so ask your audiologist to show you how.
Sometimes this program is enough to help speech understanding when watching TV with your hearing aids.
Some TVs do not have great built-in speakers, which can affect your ability to hear and follow the dialogue on the TV.
It may be worth investing in good speakers or a soundbar for your TV. They are specifically designed with quality in mind and can improve clarity and understanding when watching TV with hearing aids.
Modern hearing aids come equipped with Bluetooth technology which can improve your experience while watching TV.
You may be able to connect your hearing aids to your TV via the use of a TV streamer. The TV streamer plugs into your TV, and your hearing aids connect via Bluetooth to the streamer.
The audio from the TV is then streamed into your hearing aids, allowing you to hear better. You can then adjust the TV volume from your hearing aids, and your family members can set the TV to a level comfortable for them.
Investing in Bluetooth hearing aids is especially good if you and your family members have arguments regarding the TV volume.
If you have hearing aids with older technology, you may be able to purchase an intermediary streaming device that connects your hearing aids to the TV.
The streaming device is often worn around the neck and may double as a remote control for volume adjustments. The signal is then sent from the TV to the streaming device and your hearing aids, allowing you to enjoy TV with volume that suits you.
If your hearing aids have a telecoil in them, you can stream audio from your TV to your hearing aids through a loop system where a small device is plugged into your TV.
This creates a magnetic field that the telecoil taps into. You will need to access the telecoil program on your hearing aid by pressing a button on it, remote control or app. This reduces the barriers of distance and noise and can help improve speech clarity while watching TV.
Many people choose to use closed captions or subtitles while watching TV with hearing aids. This allows the hearing aid wearers to fill in the gaps if they miss something; it also reduces the listening effort and removes the need to increase the TV volume.
If TV was something you used to enjoy watching but now struggle with due to your hearing loss, you can have peace of mind knowing there are many ways to improve your TV experience with hearing aids.