Are you wondering about the best stethoscope for hard of hearing medical professionals?
The truth is it can be extremely difficult for medics who are hard of hearing to find a stethoscope that meets their needs. Hearing loss may increase over time; it can run the spectrum from minor to serious; and hearing aids may or may not be required. There are also many different types of hearing aids available for those who use them.
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What all this means is that finding the best stethoscope for hard of hearing professionals is very complicated. The perfect stethoscope for one user may not be a viable option for another. For this reason, we’re basing our recommendations mostly on the advice of publications and forums devoted to the professional development of hard of hearing health care workers.
Amplified stethoscopes: best bets for professionals not using hearing aids
If your hearing loss is mild and you don’t use a hearing aid, a high-quality amplified stethoscope is your best bet. Additionally, if you use a hearing aid but don’t mind removing it to use a stethoscope, you may also want to consider an amplified stethoscope.
The stethoscopes listed below are designed for use without a hearing aid. It is possible to get specialty eartips which allow use with a hearing aid, but most users describe these as extremely painful and nearly impossible to use. It’s also possible to have your audiologist adapt your hearing aid for stethoscope use. This often results in heavy feedback, though, and usually turns out to be an incomplete solution.
Based on significant research, we can offer the following choices for medical professionals who can use a stethoscope without a hearing aid:
- Littmann Cardiology III
- Littmann Master Cardiology
- Littmann Electronic 3100/3200
- Welch-Allyn Master Elite Electronic
Both the Welch-Allyn Master Elite and the Littmann Electronic 3200 get special notice for their cutting edge technology. Either one can be used to record and analyze sound with the help of a computer and special software.
Specialty scopes: the best stethoscope for hard of hearing professionals using hearing aids
The selection of stethoscopes that can be used with a hearing aid is more limited ‒ and if this is your only option, be prepared to make a sizable investment. These stethoscopes are designed to use with accessories that adapt them to work with your hearing aid, generally via Direct Audio Input and/or headphones. They include the following:
The newest addition to this list is the Audiologists’s Choice Stethoscope, which entered the marketplace in 2012. It deserves special mention because it is the first ever Bluetooth-enabled stethoscope. If you’re currently using this stethoscope, we would love to hear from you!
The Cardionics E-Scope receives the best and most frequent reviews of these three stethoscopes, and it’s our choice as the best stethoscope for hard of hearing medical professionals.
Finding a stethoscope to match your level of hearing loss and your clinical needs can be challenging and frustrating. We’ve discovered a few excellent resources to help you as you make this complex decision. Here are a few links that may be of interest to you:
“How to Cope With Scopes” (2004) – an in-depth look at stethoscopes and hearing loss
Beyond Hearing Aids – an online supplier of products for the hard of hearing
AMPHL – stethoscope information from the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Losses
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