"App" is the abbreviated term for "application." An "app" is simply a software program for a mobile device like a smart phone (iPhone®), tablet (iPad®), or handheld music player (iPod®). Apps perform a variety of functions and allow you to customize a device to your particular hobbies, lifestyle choices, wants, and needs. Hearing aid manufacturers and other companies release applications for a variety of hearing related purposes. Here's a list of several apps:
Apps to Adjust Hearing Aids
Apps that Enable Smartphones to Perform Like Generic Hearing Aids
These apps promote the audibility of sound by amplifying it and directing it to the headphones. Some apps contain programming features that allow the user to alter the sound and filter out unwanted noises.
BioAid by Nicholas Clark
The BioAid app was developed by a team of researchers at the University of Essex. It features 6 fixed programming profiles that are based upon the most common types of hearing loss. The user selects the profile that best reflects their hearing loss and then chooses one of 4 programming options to fine tune the settings. BioAid is currently available for Apple products. It is free of charge and can be found here.
soundAMP R from Ginger Labs
Ginger Labs promotes soundAMP R as the highest selling hearing app in the App Store. Programming options include the ability to adjust the volume level and reduce some background noise. It also has an “Instant Replay” feature that can replay the last 30 seconds of a conversation. SoundAMP R costs $4.99 and can be found here.
hearing help by IND
The hearing help app features a 16 band frequency equalizer, a noise filter, and dynamic compression. While the programming options may take a little bit of time to figure out, hearing help can be used to increase the volume level, reduce surrounding noise, and promote the audibility of higher frequencies. It costs $4.99 and can be found here.
EasyHearingAid by Link Advance&Innovation
The EasyHearingAid app can be used to amplify sound and enable others to experience a specific hearing loss. It features 13 channel sliders that can adjust the volume of select frequencies. The settings of the app can also be changed to help someone with normal hearing experience how hearing loss sounds. EasyHearingAid is $13.99 and can be found here.
Apps that Help with Tinnitus
Developers have created many apps to help with tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Here are a few examples:
Sensimetrics recently introduced a new app to provide relief from the sounds of tinnitus. The Whist app uses sound therapy to help the individual cope with the severity of the noises generated by tinnitus. Whist works by enabling the user to find and create sounds that match the pitch and loudness of the noises. Over time, the goal is to desensitize the individual to the annoyance of tinnitus.
The Whist app costs $1.99 and can be purchased through the App store by clicking here.
The Tinnitus Balance App enables the user to select sounds from a mobile device's music library. It also contains a list of default sounds divided into three categories: soothing, background, and interesting. The user can rate how well each sound provides relief or distraction from the noises generated by tinnitus and share this information with the audiologist or treating physician. The App also contains a timer that can be used when the individual is about to fall asleep.
For more information on Phonak's Tinnitus Balance App, click here.
This App was designed by Neonix to help people match the tonal frequency of their tinnitus. As long as the sound of the tinnitus is tonal in nature, Tinnitus Measurer can match the frequency level and help the individual aid the audiologist in creating a treatment protocol. This App is free of charge and can be found here.
Tinnitus Masker provides a variety of sounds to help the individual "mask" (drown out) the noises generated by tinnitus. Sounds include white noise, pink noise, crickets at night, waves on the beach, and more. It costs $5.99 and is located here.
This App employs a unique strategy to change the perceived level of tinnitus by "mixing" the noises it generates with actual sounds of nature and music. With continued use, the goal of this treatment approach is to gradually diminish the individual's awareness of the noises generated by their particular type of tinnitus. Tinnitus Help costs $15.99 and can be found here.
Relax Melodies OP features 102 different sounds ranging from white noise to nature sounds. It is often used to facilitate relaxation, meditation, and sleep. This app costs $2.99 and can be found here.
An App to Provide Captioning on a Smartphone
The Hamilton CapTel® App is a new app that provides captioning for conversations on a smartphone. For more information on the Hamilton CapTel® App for iPhones, click here. For Android devices, click here.
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