Even with the most up-to-date technology, hearing aids and cochlear implants cannot completely separate important sounds from background noises.
Nor do they pick up all sounds from a distance such as those in a performance hall, a place of worship or even a home TV viewed from across the room. In such difficult listening settings, hearing (induction) loops are often a solution.
What Is A Hearing Loop System?
A hearing loop is a wire connected to an electronic sound source that transmits that sound to the telecoil in a hearing aid or cochlear implant. A hearing loop can discreetly surround a room, a chair in your home, or even be worn around the neck. Hearing loops can be connected to a public address system, a living room TV, a telephone (land line and cellular), or any source that produces sound electronically.
A hearing aid and most cochlear implants equipped with a manually controlled t-switch is needed to hear in a hearing loop. The telecoil, also called t-coil, receives the signal from the loop and turns it back into sound in the hearing aid, often eliminating much of the background noise. The listener then hears only the sounds they desire whether it is speech from a pulpit, a stage, a telephone conversation, or the television.Hearing loops can double hearing aid and cochlear implant functionality. Using the telecoil in conjunction with a hearing loop is a costeffective way to improve the usability of your hearing aid or cochlear implant. The telecoil can also be used in conjunction with a variety of wireless or hand held hearing assistive listening devices.
Major Advantage of a Hearing Loop System
One of the major advantages of a hearing loop is that it is truly universal technology. It does not matter what brand your hearing aid is. If you have a telecoil, you can use a hearing loop. This is why loops are so successful for public areas–because they work universally for all hearing aids with telecoils.
How do you know if a business, church or any other location has a hearing loop system?
This sign is the international symbol that a hearing loop is installed in the area for people with hearing loss. You might see this sign at an airport, a museum, a church, or a movie theater. This sign indicates that information is being broadcast through the loop for people to pick up with their hearing technology on the t-coil setting. A majority of hearing aids sold today have a telecoil installed in them. If you are not sure if your hearing aid has a telecoil, you can ask your provider and find out.