Could the Hearing Loop mean the end of TV Ears?
I don't know if anyone here has ever conducted a survey of the top
ten things that really stress relationships, particularly in a multi-generational home,
but I would guess the volume of the TV makes the top ten. Ok, maybe
the top three.
There's potential solution to the problem making it's way from
public spaces into the home: hearing loops or assistive
The basic technology, called an induction loop, has been around for
decades as a means of relaying signals from a telephone to a tiny
receiver called a telecoil, or t-coil, that can be attached to a
hearing aid. Telecoils are also used to receive signals from
loops connected to microphones in halls, stores, taxicabs and a host
of other places.
A hearing loop, typically installed on the floor around the
periphery of a room, is a thin strand of copper wire radiating
electromagnetic signals that can be picked up by a tiny receiver
already built into hearing aids and cochlear implants. When the
receiver is turned on, the hearing aid receives only the sounds
coming directly from a microphone, not the background cacophony.
Great Britain and most of Northern Europe already lead the way in
having these loops in place. Part of the widespread use is
attributed to the fact that nearly all the hearing aids distributed
by the National Institutes of Health have T-coils in them. In the
U.S. only about 30%.
Click here to listen to an audio
clip of a hearing loop in a NY subway.
"People with hearing loss can dream of a future when
hearing aids might also
serve as wireless loudspeakers, delivering
clear, customized sound from inside their ears. They can dream of
communities where worship places, auditoriums, business windows, and
home TV rooms all broadcast their sound through these in-the-ear
loudspeakers," says David G. Myers, a professor of psychology at
Hope College in Holland, Mich. and founder of
HearingLoop.org has more information about the technology including
places to purchase it and people who can install a loop system in
We may have to coin a new phrase: "The Loop System Sounds Too Good
To be True." We predict that soon a lot of people will be able to
remove at least one level of stress in their relationships because
it really is true.
Aging in Place Specialists | Universal Design |
Accessibility | Minnesota 763.434.1522