If you have a smartphone you’re probably already using a range of handy apps to ease everyday tasks.
If you’re not, one area that can most definitely benefit is your health, particularly your hearing, because there’s a range of apps that make coping with hearing loss easier.
As we age, our ability to hear naturally declines as the tiny hairs that protect the inner ear deteriorate, making distinguishing sounds more difficult.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to be fitted with a hearing aid. Instead, apps can help, whether you’re having trouble hearing the television, have difficulty understanding people talking when there’s lots of background noise around, or are annoyed by tinnitus.
These are the some of the best hearing-help apps out there right now.
One of the first things people with hearing loss notice is difficulty recognising common sounds such as a knock on the door, a honk of a horn, or someone talking behind them. Tap Tap registers the sounds around you and sends an alert to your phone by vibrating or flashing to let you know that someone is trying to reach you.
You can adjust the sensitivity of the app to suit your needs and turn it off and on as needed. This way you won’t miss people trying to get your attention or be forced to ask others to repeat themselves.
Tap Tap is available on iOS for $4.05
Tinnitus – persistent ringing or buzzing in the ear – affects 30 per cent of Australians, and the severity of the condition varies, with some people reporting temporary symptoms that only last 10-15 seconds and others suffering long-term, significant symptoms that affect their quality of life.
Track your Tinnitus allows you to track your symptoms to determine how they align with your daily routine and activities. After finding a pattern, you can adjust your routine if needed to avoid symptoms flaring up at inconvenient moments.
While tinnitus cannot be cured, the symptoms can be relieved and that’s where this app can help. Tinnitus Alleviator, developed by a group of scientists at Neuromonics in the US, is said to help reduce your awareness of your symptoms by 40-50 per cent.
The app uses spectrally modified music that’s designed to retrain your brain to ignore the ringing sounds in your ear and thus stop reacting negatively to them. It’s the first app of its kind to help lower the affects of tinnitus and has been proven to help manage symptoms.
This app was developed specifically for those who have difficulty hearing in areas with lots of background noise. The app processes sound through your smartphone’s microphone and sends a clarified version into your headphones.
It works to regulate ambient noise and strip away interference that could muddle the voices you’re trying to hear. It’s particularly useful if you’re in a loud room, noisy shopping centre, or food court.
BioAid is available on iOS at no cost
This nifty app was designed specifically for Australian Hearing clients to allow users to stay connected with their local Australian Hearing centre.
You can order hearing aid batteries, request an appointment, and find your nearest Australian Hearing location nationwide through the app. It also offers tips on how to look after your hearing and the latest news in hearing aids and amplification devices.
Australian Hearing has also reviewed the top apps for hearing help, you can check out their suggestions here.