Recommended Products

The list below is a list of products I use that help me in my daily life with hearing loss. I either paid for all of these myself or were given them as gifts from family members and friends - none of the companies below gave me free products to advertise. I'm just sharing the good luck I've had with certain products and my thoughts on them:

Hearing Aids
My hearing aids are Oticon Epoqs. I got them in 2009. They are digital aids with Bluetooth capability. The Bluetooth is used both between the aids (they communicate with each other to provide a balanced sound to the wearer's brain) and also to work with the Streamer attachment (see below). I've been very happy with these aids so far.

Accessories
Dry & Store
I bought the Dry & Store Professional from my audiologist and use it nightly. Moisture is deadly for hearing aids and even a little bit can interfere with them working correctly, so it's important to have a good way to dry them out. The Dry & Store products use Dry-Brik dessicant to remove moisture from the aids. The Dry & Store and Dry-Briks are somewhat expensive, but it's worth it to me. (Note: I can see I'm a little behind the times, as they no longer make the Professional model. I'm sure the others work just as well!)

Oticon Streamer
The Streamer is a device that works with some hearing aids to "stream" sound via Bluetooth to the aids. You can pair the Streamer to most cellphones or even bypass the Bluetooth and plug an audio cable into the Streamer and the device you want to use.

My 2009 photo of the Streamer, the accessories it came with, and my phone.
My 2009 photo of the Streamer, the accessories it came with,
and my phone.

My experience with the Streamer has been mostly positive. My only difficulty has been getting in the habit of actually wearing it often. A lot of the time I just don't want an extra accessory. When I do use it, however, I am always impressed by it. The audio quality is great and I hardly miss any sound when it is piped directly to my hearing aid. I can't say for certain but I expect using the Streamer and aids exceeds any headphones or earbuds for the sheer experience of having sound right in your head.

Sonic Alert Alarm Clock
I have had several alarm clocks made by Sonic Alert and have been pretty happy with them all. When I am sleeping without my hearing aids, the only way for me to wake up is for the bed to shake or for someone to wake me up. These alarm clocks come with a bed shaker attachment that can go under the mattress or pillow. I wouldn't be able to wake up without them!

Parenting
Graco Direct Connect Digital Baby Monitor
This baby monitor has a vibration function as well as a flashing light function to alert you when there is loud sound (i.e. the baby crying). You can clip it onto your clothes so that you can feel the vibration and so that you can move around the house while the baby is in another room.

The Graco Direct Connect Digital Baby Monitor
The Graco Direct Connect Digital Baby Monitor

My Dad got this baby monitor for me when I was expecting my son and it has been wonderful. It's not too clunky and the child unit is easy to move from room to room (for example, to the nursery when he is in his crib, and the bedroom when he is in his cradle). The parent unit has great quality audio. I actually use the flashing light more than the vibration. It flashes yellow for moderate sounds and red for loud sounds.

Foscam FI8918W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera
This isn't intended as a baby monitor, but it works really well. It's easy to set up, a nice small size and has a wide range. It has web access so that you can have the monitor feed open on your computer or smartphone, and you can move the camera's angle around remotely. It was not difficult at all for us to find a spot in the nursery where the camera angle can be adjusted to see almost the entire room. Plus I think it's kinda cute!

Web Applications
Amara
Amara makes it easy to create subtitles for videos. You can also submit videos for captions to be translated to hundreds of languages. For more information on how to caption your video using Amara, check out my blog post here.

Genetic Testing
23 and Me
The 23 and Me logo
The 23 and Me logo
I highly recommend 23andme.com if you are curious about your genetic history and your ancestry. 23 and Me includes a test for Connexin-26 related hearing loss, and lots of other genetic diseases, as well as tests for drug response, inherited traits, and even how much Neanderthal you might have in you! It's fascinating and for only $99 it provides so much useful information. Our genetic counselor during my pregnancy even pulled it up and consulted the information which was an immense help!

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