Staying up-to-date on all of the latest information is good, but that is not the type of loop we are going to be talking about!
In relation to hearing, a hearing loop is “a special type of sound system for use by people with hearing aids” (hearinglink.org). The hearing loop is ideal for places that have a speaker and you, as an audience member, are listening to one person speak. Examples of these places would be a classroom, a church, a movie theater, or an airport.
The hearing loop works only with hearing aids that have a telecoil. A telecoil is “a small wire coiled around a rod located inside your hearing aids, it works as an antenna to pick up magnetic signals and streams them as sound into your hearing aids” (global.widex.com). This is also known as the “T-setting” on hearing aids. For example, if you had your T-setting on and you went to a movie theater that had a loop system, you would be able to hear the sounds from the speaker without the background noise of people talking, chewing, or moving around.
Most newer models of hearing aids have telecoils, which would function with the hearing loop. The hearing loop is not limited to just hearing aids; it can also be used with assistive listening devices. The completely-in-canal (CIC) and invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aids do not have the ability to have a telecoil due those hearing aids being smaller in size (global.widex.com).
Hearing loops are preferred over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi because they do not require anything but the telecoil. You would not need to wait till you are able to find reliable Wi-Fi. Telecoils are able to work internationally and do not drain the batteries of your devices.
Currently, there are six states that have laws in support of putting up more hearing looped areas. They are New Mexico, Utah, Rhode Island, New York, Delaware, Florida, and Arizona. The United States, compared to European countries, are behind at providing loop hearing systems. For instance, the busiest airport in the world, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, as of 2017 only has a hearing loop installed at the information booth in concourse C (hearingloop.org). However, it becoming more popular in the United States and expected to start being a norm in busy, loud places.
Why Should You Use a Hearing loop?
· Cuts out unwanted background noise
· No need to use a receiver/headset
· Sound goes directly into the hearing aid
· It is inconspicuous
· Cost effective
You can get more out of your hearing aids – there are so many benefits. If you have any more questions about the hearing loop or tele-coils, contact your audiologist Optimal Hearing!