You might not think about hearing wellness when pondering apps, but we’re out to change that. Of the estimated 5 million applications available between Apple’s and Google’s app stores alone, those dedicated to hearing wellness and related issues have a small but growing piece of the action.
Here are five apps to know about:
Part of the AGX Hearing family, the AGXR Attune app works with selected hearing aids to let you control everything from your smartphone. Discreetly adjust volume, change your settings, and geotag the settings for your favorite places, or even locate your hearing aids. The best part? The Audigy Assist function in the app lets you request updated settings and fine-tunings from your hearing-care specialist — without an office visit. Now, that’s convenience!
Thrive™ Hearing Control
Artificial intelligence is here and ready to help right at your ears! Starkey Laboratories’ app works with compatible hearing devices such as selected AGX Hearing lines to track data such as physical activity, hearing aid use, social engagement, and active listening. It provides a body score, a brain score, and an overall wellness score so you can make informed decisions about your health and fitness. The app also facilitates remote fine-tuning by your hearing-care specialist — potentially saving you a trip — and, with its translation capabilities, lets you easily converse with people who speak other languages!
This app for children and adults teaches American Sign Language (ASL) with Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin, who is deaf. ASL, common in the U.S. and Canada, offers a way to connect with others regardless of their hearing ability but can be especially useful for those who are or have friends or loved ones who are deaf or have a severe to profound hearing loss. Other ASL-instruction apps are also available, so consider using a few different ones to explore finger-spelling, conversational signing, building vocabulary, helping babies communicate, and more.
NIOSH Sound Level Meter
Though it can’t replace professional instruments or expert opinion, this consumer app uses your compatible phone or tablet’s built-in microphone to measure the sound level in your environment. Each year about 22 million people face “potentially damaging noise” in the workplace, per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Excess noise exposure is one of the most preventable causes of hearing loss, making it important to know the sound levels where you potentially spend a lot of your time — at work. The app can also help approximate the noise in restaurants, at concerts, or anywhere else you might need to protect your hearing.
Hearing Aid TicTacToe
With an estimated 34 million children living with disabling hearing loss, per the World Health Organization, it’s important that those helped with hearing aids get to know their devices. This app by developer Rule the School updates a classic game for a fun way to learn about hearing aids — including the names and functions of the various parts. Two to four players can participate at a time, exploring the world of hearing tech through pictures, labels, cards, and a little friendly competition. A great way to help empower younger users to understand their technology and report any problems!
As with any apps, availability and cost can change. Nearly all of the mobile apps listed above are free as of this writing, but compatibility with iOS- or Android-powered phones or tablets can vary per program, so be sure to read about them in the relevant online app store for more details.
Have a helpful hearing-related app you want to tell us about? Wondering how a particular app might work with your or a loved one’s hearing technology? We’d love to hear from you and are here to help. Contact our caring team today!
- Statista. The Biggest App Stores. https://www.statista.com/chart/12455/number-of-apps-available-in-leading-app-stores/. Accessed Feb. 5, 2019.
- U.S. Department of Labor | Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Occupational Noise Exposure. https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/noisehearingconservation/. Accessed Feb. 4, 2019.
- World Health Organization. Deafness and Hearing Loss. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss. Accessed Feb. 5, 2019.