Even with hearing aids, public events can be a tricky listening environment for people with hearing loss. The good news is that if your hearing aids have a telecoil, you can use hearing loop systems to experience high-quality hearing in many public venues.
What Are Hearing Loops?
Hearing loops are an assistive listening system that can be found in many public places like museums or concert halls. They work by using electromagnetic energy to transmit sound directly into hearing aids or cochlear implants that have a telecoil.
What Is Telecoil?
Telecoil, also referred to as t-coil, is a small piece of copper that can be found in most hearing aids and all cochlear implants. When you activate the t-coil, it acts as a receiver within the loop system that lets you stream sound that’s coming from the speaker or PA system directly into your device.
Where Are Hearing Loop Systems Found?
Hearing loops are becoming more common in the United States and can be found in places like:
- Public transportation like airports or bus stations
- Theaters like the Santa Fe Playhouse
- Places of worship
- Lecture halls
- Convention centers
How To Find Them
If you’re at a venue and are wondering if they have a hearing loop system, keep an eye out for signs. The standard hearing loop sign is blue with a white ear icon and the letter “T” in the bottom right-hand corner.
If you want to find out beforehand, you can call or email the venue directly, or you can check Google Maps. When you pull up a venue on Google Maps, there will be a box that contains information about the venue, like their address and phone number and a short description of the venue. Click the more arrow “>” to find out about accessibility information, including hearing loops.
Talk With Your Audiologist About Hearing Aids and Telecoil
If your hearing aids have a telecoil, discuss with your audiologist how to use it properly. A 2021 study found that hearing aids users who received the necessary training and information about hearing loop systems experienced greater benefits from using the technology.
Smaller hearing aids that fit completely inside the ear canal often don’t have a telecoil. If your current hearing aids don’t have a telecoil, ask your audiologist about other ways to improve your hearing at public venues or discuss whether changing your hearing aid model is right for you.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Southwestern Hearing & Balance today.