Telecoils in hearing aids. How do you use yours? What can they do?

Posted by Julie, Volunteer Mentor @julieo4, Apr 12 11:47am

Do your hearing aids have telecoils? Do you use them? Did your provider demonstrate what they can do?

@tonyinmi @nurseheadakes @barbb Let's get some conversation going on this!

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Telecoils can double the value of hearing aids! Do you know how?

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Telecoils: my first three hearing aids didn't have them in them because they were the old fashion type of aids. I was allergic to the aids and the audiologist was trying to find something that I could wear without having ear aches all of the time. We jumped into the newer kind – digital kind with the programing and unbeknownst to me, they had the coils in them but I was not aware…until I attended a conference that informed us about them. I went back to the audi and asked her about the tcoil. She said yes – they were there and she would set up a program just for the coil. From there on- each of my remaining hearing aids have a specific program that is dedicated to the T-coil and it is used for those settings that require the link. I would never go without it since I have streaming hearing aids now for 5 years and use assistive listening devices and apps to get my way around. I teach my audi lots as they teach me…and we both have about the same amount of education but in different fields of school. Hummm….

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@julieo4

Telecoils can double the value of hearing aids! Do you know how?

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Indeed – t-coils allows for you to hear on your telephones, in places where there are audio loop systems and when paired with your Bluetooth, they allow you to hear with your assistive listening devices. Technology wasn't this way 5 or even 10 years ago. I wasn't given hearing aids when my parents knew that I was born HOH. They tried their best to teach me to hear and learn without any accommodations back in the 50's. I wasn't aware until I was 50 years old that I was mod to severe hearing loss that by then it was too late to do much. That is why whatever you can use to enhance your hearing loss – the better. Because you only have two ears and a brain that does you hearing for life. Mine is nearly gone and not much can be done since I have organic brain syndrome as a consequence to the 50 years of lack of brain stimulation. Don't do that to your brain. Get on the ball and find what you need to stimulate your brain cells- your cochlear hearing cells – be it hearing aids, cochlear implants with all of devices that go with hearing well. You brain will need the elasticity to keep it alive. Research is growing leaps and bounds right now to our benefit. They have medicines, devices, futuristic ideas about where we can go with this. Way beyond what we know right now. But you have to contribute to the story by being involved. The few of us can't be the only ones. We have been waiting for so long but there is hope on the horizon. T-coils let me hear like I have real hearing. Almost like I never lost my hearing at all. It is an ah ha moment when you first hear in the loop. Try it sometime.. It is worth every cent and more.

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Gotta LOVE Telecoils! Thank you for sharing. Do you use a neckloop and telecoils with your computer?

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@julieo4

Gotta LOVE Telecoils! Thank you for sharing. Do you use a neckloop and telecoils with your computer?

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Yes, I sure do. I have Oticon hearing aids but I plug my computer into a Phonak Roger Select mic which connects wirelessly to my Roger MyLink neck loop which uses Induction loop to connect to my hearing aids in t-coil mode. That produces the best sound my computer is capable if delivering to my ears. I've used it a lot lately with all the Zoom meetings. Besides the good audio I can also get up and walk away from the computer to fill my coffee cup and still hear the audio.

I have two t-coil modes. One activates the t-coils only and the other activates the t-coils and the hearing aid microphones. I use both modes. I use the t-coil only in our hearing loop equipped church so I hear the service but not the coughing and sneezing noises other people make. Afterward I switch to the t-coil + mic and I can then talk to the people around me and hear the

Lastly I have a portable loop driver (LA90) which when connected to a "source" (mic, computer, TV, Stereo) will deliver sound via induction loop directly to my hearing aids. It is designed to be used as a counter top device for use across a service counter. But when oonnected to an omnidirectional mic it can be used at a small meeting. Another feature most folks don't know about is that it can be used in two directions so that hearing aid users on both sides of the counter can use the loop system. That does however require an additional external microphone to be on the front side of the counter.

I believe that every audiology office should have on of the portable loop drivers at their check in counter. The trouble is that most audiology offices don't agree with me. It would improve communications at the check in and could be used to teach patients how to use the loop. So next time you're at the audiology clinic – ask for one!!!!!

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It has a lot to do with educating clients who purchase hearing aids. Are we patients or clients? Good question. The product we are being fit with has capabilities that are not always explained by the person doing the fitting, nor are they insured in most cases like medical devices are.

Sharing how you use telecoils tells people they are important. It also means they are missing something if they don't know how to use them, or even worse, don't know they exist. We really do WANT to hear. Telecoils add zero cost to hearing aids. Their mortal sin is that they take up a teeny, tiny bit of space. Too many people who need hearing aids are more concerned about them being invisible than they are about how much they can help.

Therein lies another topic for discussion: How much does stigma determine action when it comes to getting hearing help?

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@julieo4

@tonyinmi @nurseheadakes @barbb Let's get some conversation going on this!

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I agree completely with @arrowshooter that every audiologist's office should be equipped with telecoil AND that when ordering new hearing aids, telecoils should be explained, demonstrated and encouraged. Even if there are few loops in one's home town, many airports are now looped, of course many churches are looped, and if one travels throughout Europe EVERYTHING is looped…even the taxis in London. For those of us who cannot hear well, loops and telecoils are like having gas for your car. You may have a gas tank, but if it's empty you won't go anywhere. Hearing aids are a necessity, but without telecoil, we are limited. I use a Williams Sound PLA-90 every single day. It is plugged into my computer so that all computer audio goes through my telecoil enabled hearing aids. I use it when my book group meets, since we have a couple of soft-talkers. I use it when we entertain – for cocktail parties with another couple, or visitors. It allows me to participate in conversations that I would otherwise miss. I don't understand why audiologists don't make a bigger deal out of it. It would give them happier customers for sure. In Eugene, Oregon, we are working hard to increase awareness of the benefits of loops, which has resulted, among other things, in our airport now having 24 looped ticket counters, with future potential for looping the gate areas. Our library is working on a grant to loop information desks and meetings rooms. Looping is now a topic of conversation that wasn't happening before because of our advocacy. The wonderful thing about loops (as opposed to Bluetooth) is that they can be small and portable, or as large as a massive concert hall. I'm obviously a zealot, but that's because once you hear sound through a loop, you realize that even with a severe hearing loss,it is possible to hear clearly. Who wouldn't want that?

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Thank you for sharing your experiences. You are educating and advocating. Too often people just say 'There aren't any loops in our area', and drop the subject. Really? Yes, once you've heard how well sound comes through a loop into telecoil equipped hearing aids it makes you wonder why people who sell hearing aids don't do more to explain this. Happy customers tend return. Just a simple inexpensive device that connects hearing aids to the kinds of audio devices we use every day makes such a difference. Keep up the good work and keep helping us get the word out about the value of telecoils.

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A lot of people tell me "I don't need loops or t-coils – I can hear". My reply to them is "Yes it is POSSIBLE for you to hear – But loops make it EASY to hear". Once a person experiences the difference they are amazed.

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@arrowshooter

A lot of people tell me "I don't need loops or t-coils – I can hear". My reply to them is "Yes it is POSSIBLE for you to hear – But loops make it EASY to hear". Once a person experiences the difference they are amazed.

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I often carry a neckloop with me. When someone tells me they have telecoils they have never tried, I let them use my cell phone for a call. Fun to see the 'ah ha' moment when they can hear so clearly. I remember my own 'ah ha' moment clearly & dearly. It happened in 1984 at the first national convention of HLAA.

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I am quite elderly, getting new hearing aids, and want to know if a telecoil equipped hearing aid would help me. I am not sure I am understanding what I am reading here. No public buildings have telecoil eqiuipped rooms in my area.
Would telecoil equipped hearing aids help in a book club meeting of about 25 comfortably spaced people in a library room? Would I need a loop? A microphone?
On my smart phone,could it replace bluetooth?
Can I connect with a loop to my computer for enhanced sound?
Are there any negative things to consider on getting a telecoil equipped hearing aid?

Thanks.

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