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How do I Choose the Best Alarm Clocks for the Hearing Impaired?

Patrick Wensink
By
Updated Feb 08, 2024
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Standard alarm clocks are often not powerful enough to wake up individuals who are hearing impaired, hard of hearing, or deaf. There are a variety of options for clocks that do more than simply buzz or play the radio or music to bring a person out of slumber. Some clocks are designed to emit high frequency sounds that far outperform standard alarm clock audio. Visual stimulation is another tool to help wake up individuals with hearing problems. Vibration devices are also frequently attached to alarm clocks for the hearing impaired in order to help awaken them in the morning.

One option for alarm clocks for the hearing impaired is a model that operates much like traditional clocks, but with more volume. This variant comes equipped with speakers and an amplification system that produces sound at a much higher decibel level to alert the user to wake up. Other models are able to emit high frequency tones that also awaken the user. These models are useful for individuals that have not completely lost hearing ability and simply need an extra level of volume.

Individuals with little to no hearing are better suited for clocks with visual accompaniment. These alarm clocks for the hearing impaired come in two types. The first has its own light source, commonly an LCD screen, that expands to incredibly bright levels when the alarm is sounding. Another kind of clock has an attachment that connects it to a lamp or light source in the home that will turn on during the alarm's activation. Frequently these alarm clocks for the hearing impaired contain options that allow for lights to pulse on and off in order to wake the user up.

If loud sounds and bright lights do not provide enough force to wake a user up, vibrating alarm clocks for the hearing impaired are also available. These devices are equipped with sensors that rumble the alarm clock when it is sounding, thus producing vibrations on the nightstand or other area the clock is sitting.

For individuals who do not notice subtle vibrations, there are sensors that can be placed in a mattress and pillow, thus providing a stronger vibrating jolt to sleepers. This type of clock simulates another person gently shaking an individual awake. Some clocks combine this feature with light emitting options or sound for a combination approach that covers as many senses as possible to awaken a hard of hearing user.

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Patrick Wensink
By Patrick Wensink
Patrick Wensink, a bestselling novelist and nonfiction writer, captivates readers with his engaging style across various genres and platforms. His work has been featured in major publications, including attention from The New Yorker. With a background in communication management, Wensink brings a unique perspective to his writing, crafting compelling narratives that resonate with audiences.
Discussion Comments
By browncoat — On Jun 29, 2011

I really like the idea of the alarm clock that sets off a whirly flier each morning when it goes off. It can't be turned off until the whirly flier is put back into the clock.

I wonder if this could be adapted somehow to help people who are deaf. Not so much the whirly bird as something else which moves and pats the bed or something like that.

I guess the problem with that, or even the vibration or the light is that you would get used to it and those things aren't as irritating as a loud noise.

I know I find it difficult to wake up until I'm good and ready and an alarm clock doesn't make a difference unless it is really annoying.

By pastanaga — On Jun 29, 2011

My housemate is absolutely terrible at stopping his alarm. He sleeps through it for what seems like twenty minutes every morning, then wakes up just enough to turn it to snooze, then falls asleep again and the cycle continues.

He needs to get one of these alarm clocks for heavy sleepers, like the ones for the hearing impaired, which are particularly loud.

The problem is then that it is annoying enough to hear a muffled alarm go off for long amounts of time. If he gets an incredibly loud alarm clock, that would be even worse and would probably wake up the whole house.

I imagine this is also a concern for the hearing impaired, although I suppose if they have to worry about bothering someone, they can always get the vibrating or light versions of the clock.

By umbra21 — On Jun 29, 2011

I'd imagine that this kind of system would also need to be put in place for fire and smoke alarms. A smoke alarm is incredibly loud, so it would probably do by itself for a person with reduced hearing, but a person who was completely deaf would be very vulnerable to fires and smoke inhalation if they couldn't hear the conventional alarm.

If they had another person in the house, who could warn them, that would be one thing. But, I'm not sure I'd want to rely on lights to wake me up if there was a fire going on.

Even though it doesn't seem reliable in general, the effectiveness of a light could be reduced by big clouds of smoke as well.

I think the vibrating system is the best bet for safety.

It could be linked up to a deaf alarm clock that did the light thing and the vibration thing as you prefer, but did both in the case of a fire.

Patrick Wensink
Patrick Wensink
Patrick Wensink, a bestselling novelist and nonfiction writer, captivates readers with his engaging style across various...
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