newly hearing impaired

Newly Hearing Impaired? Technology and Tips to Make Life Easier

In the world of hearing impairment, there are positive signs. A deaf model won the “America’s Next Top Model” reality show, Uber allows hearing-impaired drivers to give rides, which facilitates their success. The “Toy Like Me” campaign went viral and brought attention to children with hearing loss.

That said, take a listen to 14-year-old Harrison, who has mild-to-moderate hearing loss both ears: “My life as the only student who is hard of hearing in my school can sometimes feel like a bottomless pit of confusion.”

Hearing impairment has a tremendous impact on those effected by it. Fortunately, technology and research are gaining steam. Here’s a look at the latest tech, devices, and tips for the hearing impaired.

On the Brink of a Cure?

We’re born with about 15,000 hair cells in each ear. Once they’re damaged, they’re gone forever. And those born without these hair cells are unable to hear for life. Until now. Researchers from MIT and other leading medical institutions had success with hair cell regeneration in the intestine and decided to take the same approach to the the cochlea, the spiral cavity of the inner ear. Their procedure generated hair cells that were 60 times more mature than any previous one had provided.

The procedure, which is currently awaiting FDA approval, will be similar to an ear infection treatment. Right now, a group of researchers founded Frequency Therapeutics with the hopes of speeding up the process. They are hoping to begin human tests within 18 months.

Hearing Aid Technology

Hearing aids have seen drastic improvements over the past decade in effectiveness and design. The days of grandpa’s bulky hearing aid that needs to be charged and adjusted are gone. Here are some of the most compelling products on the market:

  • Eargo: Eargo’s unique design is inspired by fly fishing lures. The device has “flexi fibers” that insert into your ear for better function. Eargo is practically invisible and comes with a portable charger/case combo.
  • MotionSavvy: MotionSavvy converts sign language to grammatically correct speech. It’s also customizable, so you can program your own signs into the system.
  • Olive: Olive prioritizes social perception and affordability. The product looks similar to an earbud for music and is available for per-order now.

Lifestyle Tips

For the newly hearing impaired, having peace of mind and a comfortable lifestyle is crucial. To keep your home safe and secure, consider investing in a home security system with surveillance cameras so you can monitor activity at your home, whether you’re there or away. Also make sure yoursmoke and carbon monoxide detectors are able to alert you of emergencies with vibration, light, or spoken words.

Prepare for natural disasters. Those with hearing loss may face greater danger at the onset of a hurricane or fire. FEMA has a special resource page and disability coordination offices that can assist during the time of need.

The Hearing Loss Association of America gives tips on how to communicate with hearing people. They include:

  • Anticipate difficult situations and come up with a plan on how to handle them.
  • Pay attention and concentrate on the speaker.
  • Watch for visual clues and ask for written cues if needed.
  • Stay positive and relaxed.

Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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