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Low and No Cost Solutions Transcript

[piano music]  

Male narrator: This is the timeless story of hearing loss.  

Kathleen Marin- I started playing piano when I was eight. To me, it's been everything. It’s been the heart and soul   of my life.  

Liliana Marin: I was in college. I came home, and that is when she told me that she was deaf on one side.   Kathleen: Music doesn’t sound musical to me anymore out of my right ear. Once I got used   to the hearing aids, life is so much better. I would recommend going and getting your hearing evaluated, looking into the different technologies. And there are lots of technologies.  

Narrator:   Hearables, or personal sound amplification products, are often confused   with hearing aids, but are actually over-the-counter solutions. Their quality really varies. After all, they are usually once size fits all.  But they are much more affordable, and many people find them helpful.  

Dr. Frank R. Lin: A lot of people--they don’t want a formal-fit hearing aid. They just want a simple device they can use with their phone. Like a simple over-the-counter device called a Pocket Talker, which looks a little bit like a Walkman with a pair of headphones and in which the sound output can be far better than a $4,000 pair of hearing aids.  

narrator: And finally, there are strategies, like getting someone’s attention before speaking, turning off background noises, facing each other  while talking, that improve communication more than any technology and cost nothing at all.  

Liliana: If she doesn’t hear me, I’ll ask if she has her hearing aids in. And if she doesn’t, then I’ll move closer and make sure that I’m looking directly at her.

Dr. Lin: Just basic   communicative strategies can solve 95% of the problems. It’s not a one-size-fits-all   proposition.  

Audiologist Kerry Witherell: The goal is to get them hearing as best as they possibly can for their hearing loss, their situations, and in their lifestyles, where they’re struggling.  

Kathleen: Oh, my God, I can hear it.  

Kerry: Oh, my gosh.  

Kathleen: Had I not been seeking treatment and really thinking things through, I wouldn’t have figured out how to hear music again.  

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