New technology has dramatically improved the quality of hearing aids in the past decade, but some say an old technology could have the most profound impact in the decade to come on millions of people with hearing loss.
Just as WiFi connects people to the Web in wired places, hearing loops — simple wires that circle a room or part of a room — can connect many hearing aids and cochlear implants directly to sound systems. Bypassing ambient noise, this wireless connection lets users clearly hear actors on stage, the person in the subway information booth, their ministers or rabbis, announcements at an airport, even their own television sets.
But as with all things that seem too good to be true, there’s a catch. Actually two catches. First, for hearing loops to work, users’ hearing devices have to be equipped with something called a telecoil — which is common but not universal. Second, public places have to be “looped.”
What exactly is a hearing loop?
A hearing loop is a simple wire that circles a room or part of a room — an auditorium, an information booth, a place of worship, even your den — and connects to the sound system or sound source there. If you have a telecoil — a small metal rod wrapped in wire — in your hearing aids or cochlear implants and switch to the “T” setting, you will hear as if you are connected wirelessly to the sound system. There’s no ambient noise, and the sound doesn’t have to travel all the way from the stage to your third-level seats or be blasted from your TV to your couch.
Where are loops widely used?
In Great Britain and Scandinavia “Scandinavia and the U.K. went one way,” installing hearing loops.” Today, if you travel to London, Myers said, you’ll find hearing loops in Westminster Abbey, the airport and “the back seats of all London taxis,” among many other locations.
Some thing to think about !
Is the best-film Oscar that the silent movie “The Artist” won this year a comment on our increasingly loud world or an accommodation for boomers suffering from age-related hearing loss?
If you have any questions about hearing loss contact Hidden Hearing.