Public settings, such as busy offices, airports or restaurants can be problematic for people with hearing aids. Background noise can interfere with your hearing and make it very frustrating to communicate in a busy environment.
A technology called loop systems has been introduced to some public settings, which is changing all of this for wearers of hearing aids. A loop of insulated copper wire is installed around a space which generates a magnetic field. Sound can then be wirelessly transmitted to cochlear implants or hearing aids, eliminating the need for headphones.
Wearers of cochlear implants or hearing aids with T-coils inside of the processor are able to take advantage of this technology. The user can just push a button and the sound system of the venue is instantly connected wirelessly.
This technology is truly life-changing for people with hearing aids in public environments. They are now able to seamlessly integrate their hearing devices into the venue’s audio system for an easier and more convenient listening experience.
There are so many advantages to loop systems:
- Awkward and bulky headsets or ear phones are no longer needed
- Users are able to move around easily
- People can use the hearing devices that they own and have already been customized to their own hearing needs
- Signal noise is improved and background noise interference is reduced
- Wirelessly taps into smartphones, tablets, PA systems, TVs, or radio signals
- No other devices needed for clear, direct sound
- Users can independently manage their own hearing needs
- Discreet: users can join group settings without standing out
- Offered at no cost to the users
Loop technology has been available in Europe for over 70 years, and there are really no downsides other than the initial cost to set it up. Hearing aid technology had not caught up to the loop system technology in America until recently, which is why many venues have not taken the time to install the systems—until now.
Since more than 67% of cochlear implants and hearing devices are now well-suited to loop systems, availability has become more common in public settings.
Advocacy is also increasing to install more loop systems in public venues across the country, and as more of these systems are installed it is making a difference. Both public and private venues, such as sporting arenas, churches, movie theaters and concert halls across the US now have loop systems available, especially in Michigan and New York.
Watch for loop technology in the spaces you frequent and educate yourself with how this technology works so you can take advantage of it. You can also make your voice heard and suggest loop technology be implemented in your area by contacting the owners of the spaces you frequent. Since older model hearing aids may not be compatible, be sure to upgrade to the devices that allow you to take advantage of this amazing, free service.
The first step to halting hearing loss and preventing further damage is to recognize your situation. Come in today for a hearing screening and formulate a strategy to train your brain to listen actively and effectively.