Assistive listening devices improve your hearing by transmitting sounds directly to your ear or your hearing aid. Whether you need help coping with mild or severe hearing loss, Kevin Sharim, and his team at Sharp Hearing Care Professionals offer comprehensive and compassionate care for all patients. They not only perform hearing evaluations, but they work closely with you to find the device that best suits your needs. To learn more about assistive listening devices, request an appointment online, or call one of the four offices located in Oxnard, Santa Barbara, West Hills, and Santa Monica, California.
An ALD is any device, except a hearing aid, that improves your hearing. These devices capture the sounds you want to hear, filter out background noise, and override poor acoustics. ALDs also help you hear better when there’s a distance between you and the speaker.
If your hearing loss is mild, you can use an ALD alone, or the ALD can transmit sound directly to your hearing aid.
ALDs are available for personal use and are used in assistive listening systems in public places such as airports and theaters. All ALDs currently use one of three types of technology:
In an FM system, a microphone transmits sound to a receiver using a specific frequency, much like tuning in to a radio station. The receiver may be your hearing aid or a standalone device attached to your ear.
An infrared ALD sends sounds across a room using light waves. The system changes the sounds you’re listening to into light waves and transmits them to your receiver. Then your receiver turns the light waves back into sound.
An induction loop ALD works with hearing aids that are equipped with a telecoil (T-coil). The system uses a microphone that converts sound into an electrical signal. The electrical signal is transmitted to a specialized wire that circles around the perimeter of a room.
As the electrical signal travels through the wire, it creates a magnetic field. Your T-coil-fitted hearing aid picks up the magnetic energy and turns it back into electrical energy. Then your hearing aid converts electrical energy back into sound and transmits it to your ear.
While induction loop systems are commonly used in public areas, you can get a portable system for your personal use.
The team at Sharp Hearing Care Professionals offers hearing-amplified phones that are compatible with your hearing aid. They also provide captioned phones, which translate your caller’s speech into text that scrolls down the screen on your phone. These assistive devices are available through a state program or CaptionCall®.
You can also get assisted devices that connect your TV or cellphone directly to your hearing aid. Or you may want to consider a companion microphone device. These small devices clip onto your clothing, and then the microphone wirelessly streams the speaker’s voice directly to your hearing aid.
To learn more about your options for ALDs, call Sharp Hearing Care Professionals, or request an appointment online.