We have been going over countless communication strategies for those experiencing hearing loss, and one technological advancement we wanted to focus on are Telecoil Hearing Loops. Hearing loops are becoming more and more popular, and for good reason, they work really well! Let’s go into Telecoil specifics, so you can be an expert by the end of this post.
What is a Telecoil Hearing Loop
According to our friends at Widex, “a telecoil is a small coil inside your hearing aids. The coil works as a small receiver which picks up signals from a loop system that acts as an electromagnetic field. Hearing aids with an activated telecoil can convert this electromagnetic field into a sound signal. Only the signal from the loop system’s microphone is amplified, and background noise is shut out. If your hearing aid has a telecoil, you can activate it via a “t-switch” on your hearing aids.”
This is especially effective in public spaces, like a place of worship, conference center, or auditorium. Though not all public spaces have Hearing Loop functionality, that is slowly changing. Organizations like Hearing Loss Association of America have been advocating for its implementation for years now, and they’re making strides. We’re so grateful for their efforts, and are eager to see how many more places adopt this simple yet effective technology to more proactively help those with hearing loss in their communities.
Hearing Loop Specifics
Though some hearing aids are equipped with telecoils, not all of them are. If you have hearing aids without telecoils in them, do not fret! You might still be able to access the benefits of looped venues through a Bluetooth streaming device.
Bluetooth streaming devices have telecoils inside of them that pick up the looped signal and then send that signal into your hearing aids via Bluetooth technology. It might sound complicated, but they are actually very easy to use. If you’re not sure whether your hearing aids have telecoils in them, it’s best to talk to your hearing care provider about the best option for your hearing aids.
If you have telecoil functionality in your hearing aids, it’s easy to turn on! Most hearing aid models have a switch, called a T switch, that you turn on. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to receive signals from the loop system.
Hearing Loop – Practice
As we know, getting used to hearing aids takes practice, and the same goes for accessing and using Hearing Loops. We recommend giving it a try in a few different locations so you can be sure to have the best configuration possible for your needs.
Look for a looped venue in your area. The easiest way to know if a place is looped is to look for the “T” Symbol on the left.
Once you have found a public venue that is equipped with a hearing loop you’ll need to get some details. We recommend going to the front desk or customer service representative and asking them a few questions:
- Is the entire room looped, or just one section?
- Are there particular areas within the loop where the signal is stronger?
- Can I test out different seats in the area to see where the hearing loop signal is best?
Remember, if you don’t have hearing aids you can still access the loop with a Bluetooth device. Most venues will have receiver units with headphones that you can check out at the ticket counter. Don’t be afraid to ask, they’re there for you!
We hope this information helps you enjoy being in public spaces more fully. Technology is being developed all the time to help those of us experiencing hearing loss, so take advantage! Are there other technological advances out there that you’ve used and found helpful? Tell us about it, we want to know what helps you! And of course, should you have any hearing care needs, you know where to find us. Make an appointment and we’ll do everything we can to help you hear your best.