What Else Besides Hearing Aids? Other Sources of Help…

November 28, 2018 • Fall 2018, Newsletter

Hearing aids allow people with hearing loss to attend regular schools, get better jobs, stay socially active and enjoy a better quality of life. However, hearing aids do not “cure” hearing loss. Some challenges always remain, such as trying to hear in movie theaters and noisy restaurants.

Assistive listening devices (ALDs) provide additional help for these challenging settings.  ALDs allow the listener to hear better and more easily because the sound is sent directly from the source to the listener. ALDs virtually eliminate interference from reverberation, room noise and background voices.

ALDs include large room systems installed in churches and auditoriums and personal systems for use in classrooms, conference rooms, restaurants, and cars. There are also devices to assist you in watching television or listening on the telephone. ALDs also include alerting devices such as smoke alarms or telephone and doorbell ring alerts.

For example, FM amplification has been used in school classrooms for years to assist students with hearing loss to hear and understand the teacher better. The teacher wears a wireless FM microphone that transmits a radio signal to the student’s hearing aids (with FM receivers). It’s as if the teacher is always standing right next to the student.

Audio induction loops are often used in large settings such as public meeting rooms. The induction loop creates a magnetic field that sends the signal to any hearing aid user with t-coils in their hearing aids. This allows the person to hear the speaker without amplifying other distracting sounds in the room.

Infrared transmitters are used in many theaters. Personal infrared systems are also available for home use. The signal is transmitted via an invisible infrared light beam to anyone wearing the lightweight infrared receiver. Again, only the main source of sound is amplified. Other conversations or noise in the room are not amplified, so hearing ability is greatly improved.

The term wireless connectivity is often used to describe a technology similar to “bluetooth.” A transmitter is attached to your home phone, television set, or used as a remote microphone. The sound is then transmitted directly to your hearing aids, greatly reducing the effects of background noise or other interferences.

There are many other ALDs such as specialized smoke alarms telephone amplifiers and doorbell alerts. If you have a particular communication need, or would like more information, please contact us.

© 2018 Hearing Healthcare News

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