Hearing aids help you hear better in many situations. However, they don’t always perform the best in large public venues. For example, in a big space with soaring ceilings such as a church or theater, you may lose the sound on its way to your ears. In addition, your ability to hear in a large group at the senior center or a community meeting can also be troublesome due to competing background noise. In tricky situations, your hearing aids need added help to overcome listening obstacles. With the help of community assistive listening devices and a telecoil in your aid, you can hear as if the speaker was talking directly to you with no interference.
What Is a Telecoil?
A telecoil or T-Coil is a tiny coiled copper wire encircling a rod that is placed inside your aid. Not all hearing aids come with telecoils. Our audiologists will discuss this choice with you at your hearing aid evaluation. The purpose of a T-Coil is to receive an electromagnetic signal from an audio induction system and then change that signal into sound delivered to your ear. With a telecoil, you can connect with assistive listening systems in your community as well as your landline phone to hear better. T-Coils are compatible with some cellphones, but not all. A wireless phone with a T4 rating shows the greatest compatibility.
3 Types of Assistive Listening Technology
You will find 3 categories of assistive listening systems in public places. They all are designed to improve your hearing ability in difficult listening environments.
1. FM Systems – Frequency modulation is used to send the signal. In order to hear the signal with your hearing aids, you need to wear a neck loop that sends the signal to the T-Coil in your aid.
2. Infrared Systems – By using infrared transmission, the signal is sent to a neck loop that you must wear to send the signal to the T-Coil of your hearing aids.
3. Hearing Loop Systems – A hearing loop system, which uses electromagnetic energy for the signal transmission, doesn’t need a neck loop. The T-Coil in the hearing aid functions as the wireless receiver.
Hearing aid wearers often prefer a hearing loop system because it doesn’t need any additional devices. You simply switch your hearing aid into the T-Coil program, and you’re listening to the speaker.
Telecoil Tips for Use with a Hearing Loop System
• If you would like to converse with those around you while hearing through the loop system, a MT (microphone plus T-Coil) hearing aid program is valuable. Some hearing aids give you the ability to mix the microphone and T-Coil ratio yourself to balance each listening situation.
• A behind-the-ear hearing aid style gives you the best connection to a hearing loop system due to the vertical orientation of the T-Coil inside the device. It’s important that you have your hearing aid fit by an audiologist to assure that the device fits properly on your ear.
• A manual T-Coil program is better than an automatic program when using a loop system to keep a constant connection.
Where Can You Find a Hearing Loop System?
The www.ALDlocator.com website lists some public places that have assistive listening technology in your area and what type of system is available. Additional venues in your area may have a hearing system, but not be listed on the website. Our audiologists can help you discover added public venues. They can also give you information about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines for assistive listening system compliance.
Please Call Us at (314) 227-0571 to Hear Better in Your Community!