Alex O'Brien


Safety tips for the hearing impaired

Safety tips for the hearing impaired

If you or a family member suffers from hearing loss, one issue you may not have thought to address is that of safety.

For instance, for those people who generally wear hearing aids and remove them before bed, one of the biggest issues is that they may not wake up in the night if a fire alarm sounds.

You may think an alarm would be loud enough to hear without the hearing aid, but in fact most use a sound with a frequency between 3,000 to 4,000 Hertz, which is often not heard by those with hearing loss.

You can buy some safety products that are made for the hearing impaired, such as a special smoke detector. This will send out a low frequency (520 Hz) square wave tone, which can be heard by most people with hearing problems.

There are also alarms that include flashing lights or vibrations that can be felt in your mattress, which are ideal for people who are completely deaf or can’t hear at all without a hearing aid.

But what about other sounds, like someone breaking in or a person knocking on your door in the night? Some people overcome this by

installing induction loops in their house. This helps improve the performance of hearing aids by raising the volume of sound heard.

Even modern telephones tend to be compatible with hearing aids and cochlear implants. Other phones offer a speakerphone with very loud volumes for the hearing impaired, voice activation, and accessories such as vibrating wristbands to inform you of an incoming call.

Have you ever found yourself in a vulnerable situation due to hearing loss? We would love to hear your story in the comments.

Related links:

How to enjoy going to the movies with hearing loss

Understanding long-term hearing damage

The dangers of single sided deafness