Hearing is one of the senses that can decline with age. About 15 percent of American adults over 18 report some trouble hearing, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), with age being the strongest predictor — particularly among adults aged 20-69. The good news for women is that men are almost twice as likely to have hearing loss.
Whether you’re experiencing hearing loss now or might later, here’s a list of suggested apps and resources to make your life easier:
Ava — If you’re having trouble following conversations, try this app, which provides real-time captioning. The service is free up to five hours a month, otherwise there are unlimited plans for a fee.
InnoCaption — If you can’t use your smartphone as an actual phone because understanding speech is difficult, InnoCaption is the answer. The service uses live stenographers to caption phone calls whether you’re making or receiving them. It will even caption your voice mail.
SoundAlert – This app converts environmental sounds into visual and sensory notifications and alerts that you can customize.
Soundhound — Not only can this app identify the music that’s playing, but it’ll show the lyrics in real-time. A search function is also included.
Speech Banana — provides auditory training for adults learning to hear with a cochlear implant or digital hearing aid.
Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing — AG Bell is a non-profit organization dedicated to listening and spoken language. If your child is diagnosed with a hearing loss, this is where to start.
Association of Late-Deafened Adults — As ALDA’s mission states, “late-deafened adults are people who have lost the ability to understand speech with or without hearing aids after acquiring spoken language.” ALDA provides a support network with regions and chapters.
American Cochlear Implant Alliance — ACIA is a non-profit organization that supports cochlear implants. Since there are several manufacturers, this is a good place to start if you want to learn more.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association — ASHA provides a good overview of hearing aids, along with links to find an ASHA-certified audiologist.
CaptionCall — This captioned telephone with an easy-to-read screen is available free to people who qualify. To do so, all that’s required is an Internet connection and a professional certification form from a professional who can verify your hearing loss. Phone features include amplification and customizable audio settings.
CaptionFish — This site is an easy way to look up the captioned movies showing near you. There are even captioned trailers to view.
Harris Communications — Looking for assistive technologies like a flashing fire alarm or vibrating alarm clock? This site has it all.
Hearing Loss Association of America — Organization representing people with hearing loss. Check out HLAA’s resources, chapters, and even its annual convention.