Updated: Friday, 17 Apr 2009, 2:56 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 13 Oct 2008, 12:34 PM EDT
You may have seen the recent articles in the press about the
induction loop hearing system. You might be wondering why all the
focus on this system and what exactly is this loop hearing system.
Kaczmarski Hearing Services is here to help you get back into the
Even with the best hearing aid, many hearing aid users can still have a hard time hearing in various listening environments. In Europe they are using one of the oldest assistive listening devices to help hearing impaired individuals hear better, it is called the induction loop system or simply the loop. A loop of wire surrounds an intended area and hearing impaired individuals with hearing aids featuring a telecoil can stand inside this area and have sound wirelessly broadcast directly to their hearing aid. In many European countries the loop hearing system is being installed in such places as: churches, auditoriums, theaters and cinemas, in the back of taxis, at ticket offices, information desks, post office, and even at the bank teller windows.
To loop an area, two silver thin wires are placed around the perimeter of the area and then concealed beneath the flooring or above in the ceiling. A primary sound source or microphone is then connected to these two thin wires.
Hearing impaired individuals with a hearing aid that features a telecoil or t-coil must stand inside the looped area and turn their hearing aid to the “T” position. By turning their hearing aid to this position, they are turning off the microphone and activating an induction coil built into the hearing aid. This coil picks up the electromagnetic signals produced in this field (either by a telephone or the loop) and converts it into electrical voltage, which is then amplified and delivered to the hearing impaired individual. In other words, an individual’s customized hearing aid can act as a wireless loudspeaker, delivering clear, sharp sound right to their ear without any interference from noises around them. They will feel like the speaker or sound is directly in front of them.
Any size area can be looped, it does not have to be an entire room. The cost of the loop system will vary depending on the size of the area that you want to loop. A room in your home or an office can be outfitted for several hundred dollars. Larger rooms, auditoriums, or more elaborate listening environments will run at least $7,000.
Six months ago Kaczmarski Hearing Services helped many parishioners from the Holy Spirit parish become loop compatible. We checked and repaired hearing aids that already had telecoils and helped retro-fit hearing aids that did not have telecoils. When Holy Spirit parishioner Dudley Watkins first used the church’s new loop, he said the difference it made was “like a miracle.”
As part of the West Michigan community, Kaczmarski Hearing Services would like to continue to help lead the way in allowing hearing impaired individuals to hear better through the use of this remarkable assistive listening device. The cost for repair or retro-fitting a hearing aid with a telecoil will depend on the age of the hearing aid and the extent of work that needs to be done, but can typically be accomplished for $50 -$250.
Call (616) 538-8220 today to schedule an appointment to see what we can do to help you get in the “loop”!
Visit www.hearingloop.org for more information and for a list of loop compatible facilities in the Holland-Zeeland and Grand Rapids area.