by Cory Schaeffer
Efforts are being made to require audiologists to inform their patients about the availability of hearing aids with a t-coil switch.
In an effort to spread more awareness about assistive listening, groups are working to get bills passed in certain states, or have already gotten bills passed, that require audiologists to inform their patients about the availability of hearing aids with a t-coil switch.
Many people who have hearing aids are unaware of t-coils and the benefits they provide users. Audiologists can help their patients with hearing loss better understand technologies like assistive listening, neck loops, room hearing loops, and how these systems interact with t-coil hearing aids.
A t-coil or telecoil, is a tiny copper wire found inside most hearing aids—70% of hearing aids are equipped with t-coils. When working with other technology, such as a hearing loop or a neck loop, a t-coil inputs select sounds into a user’s hearing aid or device. When the t-coil switch is on, the hearing aid users hears the desired sound directly in his or her ear without the unwanted background, ambient noise. The sound hearing aid users hear when their t-coil switches are in use is transmitted via induction loop—hearing loop or neck loop. Neck loops are used coupled with RF or IR assistive listening devices, because there is not an installed hearing loop.
There are large gaps in awareness among those who need assistive listening. Not only are they unaware of the benefits of t-coils, but they are also unaware of how t-coils interact with assistive listening systems in public spaces and venues. With legislation that requires audiologists to inform their patients about t-coils, awareness will grow, as will positive listening experiences.
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