Ted RehlNow hear this . . . Hearing loss is not just an age issue. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders  “approximately 17 percent (36 million) of American adults report some degree of hearing loss.”    Furthermore, a 2011 report based on audiometric testing of Americans 12 and older in the National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys (NHANES) states that 30 million Americans have at least a 25 db hearing loss in both ears and 48 million in one or both ears.

Pilgrim Hall Now Looped In

Of course, Plymouth Harbor is committed to provide resources and technology that can enhance quality of life for all residents. In fact, in many cases, the generous gifts of donors to the unrestricted fund of the Plymouth Harbor Foundation make improvements in quality of life possible.

Thanks to those donors of unrestricted gifts, the next time you attend a performance or event in Pilgrim Hall, you will be able to flip the T-Coil switch on your hearing aid and the sound will be much improved!

What is a hearing loop and how does it work?

A hearing loop is a wire connected to an electronic sound source that transmits that sound to the telecoil in a hearing aid or cochlear implant. A loop can discreetly surround a room, a chair in your home, or even be worn around the neck. Hearing loops can be connected to a public address system, a living room TV, a telephone (land line and cellular), or any source that produces sound electronically.

A hearing aid and most cochlear implants equipped with a manually controlled T-Switch is all that is required to hear in a hearing loop. The telecoil or T-coil receives the signal from the loop and turns it back into sound in the hearing aid, eliminating the background noise.

For the listener, they simply switch their T-coil on and the sound is heard directly into their hearing device, clear as a bell. No background noise or interference. If the listener prefers to hear surrounding sounds, they only need to switch their hearing device to M/T. It’s that simple!

loopWhy are hearing loops needed? Don’t hearing aids enable hearing?

Today’s digital hearing aids enhance hearing in conversational settings.  Yet for many people with hearing loss the sound becomes unclear when auditorium or TV loudspeakers are at a distance, when the context is noisy, or when room acoustics reverberate sound.  A hearing loop magnetically transfers the microphone or TV sound signal to hearing aids and cochlear implants that have a tiny, inexpensive “telecoil” receiver.  This transforms the instruments into in-the-ear loudspeakers that deliver sound customized for one’s own hearing loss.

How many hearing aids have the telecoil (t-coil) receptor for receiving hearing loop input?

In surveys of hearing professionals, the Hearing Journal (April, 2009) reported that 58% of hearing aid fittings included a telecoil, an increase from 37% in 2001.  In its 2009/2010 reviews of hearing aid models, the Hearing Review Products reported that 126 (69%) of 183 hearing aid models—including all 38 in-the-ear models and 29 of 30 conventional behind-the-ear models—come with telecoils.  In 2014, the Consumer’s Guide to Hearing Aids reported that 323 of 415 hearing aid models (71.5%) were now coming with telecoils, as were 81% of models larger than the miniaturized completely-in-the-canal aid.  Moreover, the greater people’s need for hearing assistance, the more likely they are to have hearing aids with telecoils—as did 84 percent of Hearing Loss Association of America members in one survey.  New model cochlear implants also offer telecoils.