Just like the right tie or handbag can bring your outfit together, so can the right accessory for your hearing aid. There are numerous hearing aid accessories available in the Houston, Texas area that work with your device to bring your hearing to another level.
Assistive Listening Devices
The most popular hearing aid accessories are assistive listening devices (ALDs). These devices enable you to hear and understand voices better than you could with just your hearing aids. The key to ALDs is a telecoil (also know as t-coil). A telecoil is a small copper coil that acts as a wireless receiver.
A hearing loop (or induction loop) uses electromagnetic energy to transmit sound. The hearing loop consists of four parts: a sound source, an amplifier, a thin wire loop and a receiver. Sound is amplified and converted into an electromagnetic signal. It then travels through the loop and is picked up by the receiver; in most cases this is a telecoil-enabled hearing aid. Since the sound is picked up directly by the telecoil-enabled hearing aid, the sound is clearer and contains much less background noise. Hearing loops can be found in places such as popular Houston theaters and conference centers.
An FM system uses radio signals to transmit sound. This system is typically used in a classroom setting. The speaker (usually a teacher or lecturer) will wear a small microphone connected to a transmitter. The hearing impaired individual wears the receiver tuned to a specific channel. Those with telecoil-enabled devices do not need a separate receiver; they simply need to wear a wire around their neck to convert the radio signal into an electromagnetic signal that can be picked up by the telecoil.
An infrared system uses infrared light to transmit sound. A transmitter converts sound into light and sends that light to the receiver worn by the hearing impaired individual. As with the FM system, a telecoil-enabled hearing aid can become a receiver with the help of a wire, worn around the neck. Unlike the FM and hearing loop systems, infrared cannot pass through walls, making this method of transmission ideal for locations where confidential information is being discussed, such as a courtroom.
Bluetooth enabled hearing aids enable the user to wirelessly connect with all Bluetooth devices, such as cell phones and televisions. The user is able to hear the sound with no distracting background noise. The list of Bluetooth enabled devices is always growing; this means each day you could potentially connect with a different device.
Additional devices such as remote controls and personal microphones are also available. Remote controls wirelessly connect to your hearing aid and enable the user to control their hearing aid without having to fiddle with the small buttons or dials. Personal microphones can be worn around the neck of someone to improve one-on-one conversations. The microphones can also be used to amplify conversation with more than one person if they are placed in the middle (such as on a table). The microphone wirelessly connects to your hearing aid, thus directly broadcasting the other person(s) voice without the distracting background noise getting in the way.
Your local Houston audiologist will be able to work with you to decide which accessories are right for your lifestyle.