Do you know about Telecoils & Hearing Loops in Public Spaces?

Posted by pegbell @pegbell, May 20, 2019

Hoping to get some honest feedback from folks on whether or not they have been told about how to use the telecoil (T-Coil) in their hearing aid or CI. Ideally, the information is shared freely and helps people take advantage of the wireless solution to hearing clearly in noisy public spaces. Like a ramp for a wheelchair, a hearing loop system delivers audio directly to personal hearing devices without the need for any other equipment at places like hospitals, theaters, courtrooms, classrooms, meeting spaces, museums, etc.
So, the questions is this: when you first got your hearing device, were you told about the telecoil and using hearing loops? Simple yes or no is fine. If you'd like to share more please feel free. THANK YOU!

How_a_HearingLoop_Works

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@pegbell

There are a few listed in the Harris Catalog and you could purchase one, and carry it with you…but your best bet may be to contact a local hearing loop designer/installer because it is typically a B2B (business-to-business) transaction. (The general public doesn't pay for wheelchair ramps – and should not have to pay for hearing loop installs.) See this site for some ideas or let me know where you are located. http://www.hearingloop.org/vendors.htm This site is published by Dr. Myers, a super-champion of looping in the US.

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Well, it will take me a while to digest this info, but it looks really helpful. I still have only a very limited understanding of how hearing loops are used. It's interesting that organizations can be funded to install them. Where I live in Western Massachusetts I think the only hearing loop is in the movie theater.

Liked by pegbell

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@asklar02492

Well, it will take me a while to digest this info, but it looks really helpful. I still have only a very limited understanding of how hearing loops are used. It's interesting that organizations can be funded to install them. Where I live in Western Massachusetts I think the only hearing loop is in the movie theater.

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First step is absolutely to see your audiologist and make adjustments to see which will help the most. It may take more than one visit but is worth it. 🙂 IF and when you want to share information on looping, visit the new "tool kit" of resources from HLAA: https://www.hearingloss.org/hearing-loop-toolkit/ — for a sample letter, note cards, info. sheet, etc.

Shared files

GITHL_Ask_Hearing_Loops_smallcard (GITHL_Ask_Hearing_Loops_smallcard.pdf)

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@imallears

@asklar02492
Hi,

I have Phonak aids with 2 speech in noise programs , one is directional and the other is omnidirectional. I asked my Audi if she could up the speech volume without touching the noise suppression setting in both these programs and she did. The way she raises the volume is different from the way we do it which just makes everything louder.
So it can be done. Now the voices are louder and the background is not. I am not losing any speech sounds and I have not adjusted the volume in any environment since she made the adjustment. I have the omnidirectional voice setting just a tad louder….it sounds a little loud in a quiet setting but out in the real world it works.
If your Audi is unsure how to do this, have her call Phonak while you are in the office and they will instruct her. Don’t let the Audi tell you it can’t be done.

Regards from FL Mary

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FL Mary: Which Phonak aids do you have? I have two year old Audeo 70's. I will also need to follow up with my audi to see if adjustments can be made on these. Thanks for the info!

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@asklar02492

Thanks for the information. I'm not sure which hearing in noise program I have, but I will definitely make an appointment with my audiologist to adjust. I'm really excited – I hope it works!

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@asklar02492
Hi,
Forgot to mention that , in a separate adjustment appointment, I had her fine tune the noise suppression programs . I was hearing way too much environmental garbage that wasn’t necessary. Now the world sounds “normal”.
I would ask the Audi for 2 speech in noise programs. One that would be directional which means you focus on one speaker at a time and surrounding noise is suppressed. The other is omnidirectional which lets you hear around you but also focuses on the person who is speaking. I use that one a lot…supermarkets, malls etc. sometimes switch to the directional if I am at the register.
Also had her put in a mute program…example would be if I am vacuuming. Use my Pilot 2 remote a lot.

Show her my posts if you like if it will help in explaining what you need. Phonaks are powerful aids…I have Nadia UP using 675 battery.

Good luck and I hope she or he is patient. Remember, if she raises the voice level in the omnidirectional program, it may sound a little loud in the office. You need to understand how each program works and where you would be using it. Don’t leave until you do. These babies cost way to much not to have them work for you to the highest level you can get.

FL Mary

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@scottk

FL Mary: Which Phonak aids do you have? I have two year old Audeo 70's. I will also need to follow up with my audi to see if adjustments can be made on these. Thanks for the info!

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@scottyk
Hi,

I have Phonak Nadia UP (ultra power) with 675 batteries. They accomodate a wide variety of programs, some of which I had her take out because they were of no help. My loss is profound…one ear better than the other. The Pilot 2 remote is comparable with these.

FL Mary

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@pegbell

What I've heard people (who know much more than me) say: Hearing aids amplify ALL sounds and in some spaces that is counter-productive – causing distortion, reverberation and overall, a lack of clarity for the sounds that you DO really want to hear. Some hearing aid manufacturers offer "apps" that offer options via your phone and these may help – letting you control the "direction" of the hearing aids. The hearing loop solution discussed here isolates the audio signal produced by a PA system, or local microphone, from all background noises and pipes it directly to the telecoil in a hearing aid, implant or loop listening device. The local microphone could be a "boundary mic" or a few of them, placed on a table used by a group such as the book club, that links to the loop system. I hope this helps but if not, please let me know.

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@pegbell
Hi
Hearing aids are not suppose to amply all sounds leading to distortion. They can be programmed to suppress loud noise and amplify speech to replicate as near as possible what the hearing person experiences. If they are too loud and distorting then they were not programmed properly and should be adjusted. There should be no need for apps to do what the audiologist should
have done. These aids today are sophisticated and smart. Apps are useful as assisted devices and as an enhancement or in cases where the aid may be limited to what it can do.

Regards from FL Mary

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Your hearing aids are programmed according to your audiogram and other testings that have been completed. As you all have been describing with your experiences, there is another part that has been missed when thinking about how a human being hears. Hearing is a complex process – as sounds strike the eardrum, the sounds (acoustic signals) begin to undergo a series of transformations through which the acoustic signals are changed into neural signals. These signs pass thru parts of the brain for additional analysis for recognition or processing. This detecting of presence of sound is only part of the ability of hearing that occurs in the auditory system. Some people have trouble have difficulty understanding conversations in noisy environments, following complex directions, difficulty learning new vocabulary words or foreign languages or communicate effectively because of a process called Central Auditory Processing Disorder. A person can appear to hear normally but their attention is not all there or they may have an 'auditory' problem. I was diagnosed with this disorder since I can hear but can't comprehend what I am hearing with or without my hearing aids. The gap of time ranges from 5 to 10 seconds of time – my history reflects this because my brain has to synthesize what is coming into my ears and damaged auditory nerves and then I have to figure out what has been said. Makes for a very confusing world. Eloise

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@nurseheadakes

Your hearing aids are programmed according to your audiogram and other testings that have been completed. As you all have been describing with your experiences, there is another part that has been missed when thinking about how a human being hears. Hearing is a complex process – as sounds strike the eardrum, the sounds (acoustic signals) begin to undergo a series of transformations through which the acoustic signals are changed into neural signals. These signs pass thru parts of the brain for additional analysis for recognition or processing. This detecting of presence of sound is only part of the ability of hearing that occurs in the auditory system. Some people have trouble have difficulty understanding conversations in noisy environments, following complex directions, difficulty learning new vocabulary words or foreign languages or communicate effectively because of a process called Central Auditory Processing Disorder. A person can appear to hear normally but their attention is not all there or they may have an 'auditory' problem. I was diagnosed with this disorder since I can hear but can't comprehend what I am hearing with or without my hearing aids. The gap of time ranges from 5 to 10 seconds of time – my history reflects this because my brain has to synthesize what is coming into my ears and damaged auditory nerves and then I have to figure out what has been said. Makes for a very confusing world. Eloise

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By "the gap of time ranges from 5 to 10 seconds…" do you mean the time between the sound and your comprehending it? I've never quite counted the seconds but I do sometimes feel pretty slow to hear, understand and reply. At 71, I assumed that was because I had to piece together the limited number of sounds I heard into words and sentences. Interesting to think about . . . I can identify with feeling confused a lot of the time. It must have been a very frustrating disorder to have dealt with most your life – an invisible disorder, like hearing loss. Thanks for your comment.

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Indeed – asklar02492 – This particular disability was something I was tested on when I was a grown woman ( instead of as a child when it is suspected that the brain is not understanding what sounds are being picked up by the ears.) I didn't know I was hard of hearing until I was 50 years old…so I had rehab and testing done and was found that my atrophied brain could not understand the spoken word. I had never had any devices to help my brain understand sound/words or parts of the language that my brain evidently did not have or was not aware of when I was growing up. They did not test me either when I was growing up -so I did without. If anyone spoke to me – they would need to speak directly to me in order for me to understand them. I could not hear to the side of me or behind me which still applies today even with hearing aids. I have moderate to severe hearing loss with aids. I use cueing to help me understand what people say to me. I lip read as well. My responses come 5-10 seconds after I hear any response but I still don't always know if I am to response or if it is for someone else. Its an exhaustive undertaking and a cause of my migraines but I usually try to take control of my situations by micromanaging where and what I do. And you are very welcome. Eloise

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@mmyatt01757

Yes, I have a 'good' audiologist and she told me my t-coils – one setting for phone, one for public looping. She makes a good point though. No one uses looping. But that's changing! (I hope I hope) See the latest issue of Hearing Life by the Hearing Loss Association of America – all about looping. And https://www.hearingloss.org/hearing-help/technology/hat/hearing-loop-technology/

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For the article on looping in the latest Hearing Life Magazine See http://www.hearingloss.org/wp-content/uploads/HL_2019_4_Sterkens.pdf

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@asklar02492 I’ve been setting my Roger Pen in the center of the room and have found it very helpful. The room must have no background noise i.e. window air conditioning. It works with my group because only one person speaks at a time. I borrowed a Roger Table Mic that worked great under the same circumstances but it’s NOT useful at all in restaurants. I’m going to try the Roger select next in restaurants to see if it helps.

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Thanks for the information! So far I've only purchased the individual MIC that speakers are supposed to attach to their lapels. I'll ask my audiologist about the Roger Pen! Ann

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@judysmayo

@asklar02492 I’ve been setting my Roger Pen in the center of the room and have found it very helpful. The room must have no background noise i.e. window air conditioning. It works with my group because only one person speaks at a time. I borrowed a Roger Table Mic that worked great under the same circumstances but it’s NOT useful at all in restaurants. I’m going to try the Roger select next in restaurants to see if it helps.

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@judysmayo
Thanks for the info….so great to have information from someone who has used it. The problem with a lot of these ALDS is they fail when the background noise is too loud. This is when we need it most.

Regards from FL Mary

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Just now happened on references to telecoil and hearing loop while web surfing. Now I have to find out if I even have it on my current hearing aids. Let me just say THIS REALLY NEEDS TO BE MORE COMMON KNOWLEDGE. I cannot wait to go to a concert and actually hear the music clearly without being hurt by the sound levels. Hearing loop needs to be in many more places.

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to nightwatchrenband

Yes definitely hearing loops need to be more widely publicized. There are very few in my area in Western Mass. When I think about requesting more (I'm just vaguely considering it at this point) I always get hung up on three things: 1. People need to have the telecoil as part of their hearing aides to use them (I'm not sure many people around here would have the feature since there are few places the telecoils are available and the audiologists aren't pushing them), 2. They're expensive for a venue to install ($10,000 or more) so it's a lot to ask for and 3. They only help out in situations where there is a microphone or other central source of sound. All that aside, however, it's a great idea and I will looking more closely at the HLAA article and the info on Mayo Connect. Ann

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