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Julie Chitwood (@billchitwood)

Cochlear Implants: How well do they work at an older age?

Hearing Loss | Last Active: Aug 7 10:49am | Replies (143)

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@billchitwood

I don't believe the trial Phonak Paradise Audio has the telecoil and my 5 year old ones couldn't hook up to anything. Not even sure what the telecoils would do for me.

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Replies to "I don't believe the trial Phonak Paradise Audio has the telecoil and my 5 year old..."

A hearing aid or cochlear processor without a telecoil is like a car without air conditioning. You don't need it all the time, but when you do it's invaluable!

The telecoil is what connects your hearing devices to all the technology mandated by the American's with Disabilities Act. That is referred to as 'communication access'. Transmitters should be installed in all performing arts centers, in auditoriums, in meeting rooms, churches, etc. However, the ADA also requires that people ask for access, so it forces us to know what we need in order to be able to ask. Consequently, many places get by without providing access. In regions of the US where HLAA chapters are active, you will find far more places with this technology because people have requested it, educated about it, and advocated for it. It's a vicious circle, but the reality is, we who have hearing loss deserve to be able to participate in society just as those who need curb cuts for mobility access do.

It's a terrible shame that the people who sell hearing aids do not educate their 'customers' about the options a hearing aid can provide. There has been a huge push to sell BlueTooth features that add considerable cost to hearing aids. Telecoils add less than $15. BlueTooth is wonderful at connecting wirelessly to some audio devices, but it doesn't work in venues with public address systems. The reason, in a nutshell, is that in order to connect with a BT hearing device, the speaker/PA system has to have a microphone that interacts with each specific BT device. Imagine a presenter having to wear 50 microphones because there are 50 people in the arena that need to connect. One transmitter, attached to a PA system is all that is needed to connect to all the telecoil equipped 'receivers' in the arena.

Telecoils don't matter until you know what they can do. Ask the audiologist you are working with about them, and insist that they let you try them before you buy hearing aids.

Telecoils can connect you to any audio device that has an input jack. You have to have a product called a neckloop to plug in to those devices unless you're in a place that has installed a room sized hearing loop. In that case, you simply turn on the telecoils and sound comes direct to your hearing aids as it bypasses all the extraneous noise in the room. It's like having binoculars for your ears. Same when using a neckloop (They cost about $50 and well worth it, less on Amazon.) I can sit in an NFL stadium, watch the game and listen to the broadcast on a small portable radio with my telecoils. I use that example because it's obviously a very noisy setting.

It's a travesty that the people who sell hearing aids don't educate their customers on this option. It seems they would much rather promote the bells and whistles that add big time cost to the product. There is virtually zero cost to include a telecoil. The cost comes in the time it takes to educate the person on how to use it. Time is money so they say. Seriously, telecoils are wonderful. Check out http://www.hearingloop.org for info on how this all works, and remember they can be used with those personal devices.

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