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*We offer many other brand options as well. Feel free to ask our staff about products from any manufacturer you do not see listed here.
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We also offer repairs on all makes and models of hearing aids.
Assistive Listening Devices
What will you do differently tonight when you can hear and speak more clearly?
If you’re not familiar with assistive listening devices, we hope this comprehensive overview prepared by the hearing care professionals at American Hearing Center in Temple, TX will answer any questions you may have.
What are assistive listening devices?
With the development of digital and wireless technologies, more and more devices are becoming available to help people with voice, speech, listening and language disorders communicate more meaningfully and participate more fully in their daily lives.
What types of assistive listening devices are available?
Health professionals use a variety of names to describe assistive devices, determined by the key intended function of the device:
• Assistive listening devices (ALDs) help amplify the sounds you want to hear, especially where there’s a lot of background noise. ALDs can be used with a hearing aid or cochlear implant to help a wearer hear certain sounds better.
• Augmentative and alternative communication devices (AAC) help people with communication disorders to express themselves. These devices can range from a simple picture board to a computer program that synthesizes speech from text.
• Alerting devices connect to a doorbell, telephone, or alarm that emits a loud sound or blinking light to let someone with hearing loss know that an event is taking place.
• Caption telephones enable the user to have speech from the other caller transcribed to text that can be read on a screen.
Several types of ALDs are available to improve sound transmission in public places for people with hearing loss. Some are designed for large facilities such as classrooms, theaters, places of worship, and airports. ALD systems for large facilities include frequency-modulated (FM) systems, infrared systems, and hearing loop systems.
What Is a Hearing Loop?
Hearing loop (or induction loop) systems use electromagnetic energy to transmit sound. A hearing loop system involves four parts:
• A sound source, such as a public address system, microphone, or home TV or telephone
• An amplifier
• A thin loop of wire that encircles a room or branches out beneath carpeting and transmits the amplified sound
Some assistive loop systems, such as a receiver worn in the ears or as a headset, are portable. This makes it possible for people with hearing loss to improve their listening environments, as needed, as they proceed with their daily activities.
How Does a Hearing Loop System Work?
Amplified sound travels through the loop and creates an electromagnetic field that is picked up directly by a hearing loop receiver or a telecoil, a miniature wireless receiver that is built into many hearing aids and cochlear implants. For those who don’t have hearing aids with embedded telecoils, portable loop receivers may be used.
To pick up the signal, a listener must be wearing the receiver and be within or near the loop. Because the sound is picked up directly by the receiver, the sound is much clearer, without as much of the competing background noise associated with many listening environments.
How do FM System Work for People with Hearing Loss?
FM systems use radio signals to transmit amplified sounds up to 300 feet. That makes them useful in many public places such as classrooms, where the instructor wears a small microphone connected to a transmitter and the student listens via a worn receiver, which is tuned to a specific frequency, or channel.
People who have a telecoil inside their hearing aid or cochlear implant may also wear a wire around the neck (called a neckloop) or behind their aid or implant (called a silhouette inductor) to convert the FM signal into magnetic signals that can be picked up directly by the telecoil.
Personal FM systems operate in the same way as larger scale systems and can be used to help people with hearing loss to follow one-on-one conversations.