All About Hearing Aid Compatible Assistive Listening Devices

All About Hearing Aid Compatible Assistive Listening Devices

Hearing loss is a serious condition, worldwide, which is all too often underestimated and undertreated. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) “Currently more than 1.5 billion people (nearly 20% of the global population) live with hearing loss. 430 million of them have disabling hearing loss. It is expected that by 2050, there could be over 700 million people with disabling hearing loss.” Part of reducing this number is education around hearing loss which includes understanding ways to reduce the risk of getting hearing loss in the first place and encouraging people to act around treatment early. Untreated hearing loss can progress into symptoms with far reaching consequences, such as strains on relationships, chronic depression, loneliness, social isolation, cognitive decline, and an increase risk of accidents which lead to hospitalization.

Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss. These tiny electronic devices fit in or around the ear and are programed to amplify only the sounds you struggle with. Today there are a multitude of options for treatment delivering clearer sound and more powerful amplification. While hearing aids are amazing and increasingly versatile in their enhancement of listening experience, many people can benefit from a wide range of Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) to enhance their listening experience. 

What Are ALDs?

ALDs, also called hearing assistance technologies (HATs), are accessories, or  extra tools to help people with hearing impairments of all types. Even for those who already use hearing aids or cochlear implants, ALDs may be used to enhance your ability to hear in a wide range of settings. Here are just a few common types of ALDs:

Bluetooth Connectivity

Do you find that even with hearing aids, you still fight over the volume of the TV with your family. You may need it a little louder to hear than others. Bluetooth technology connects to your devices wirelessly using radio waves. This feature is often available in many hearing aids to help you connect to your smartphone, television, or stereo wirelessly, providing clear sound without distracting interference from the outside world. With enhanced sound quality, enjoy the media you want without inconveniencing others over an increased volume.

FM-systems or line-in options

If your hearing aids don’t have Bluetooth technology, there is no need to run out for a new pair just yet. Using FM-systems you can connect to televisions, stereos, computers, or radios often via a headphone jack. This enables your media devices to send the audio wirelessly to your hearing aids. 

T-Coil and Loop Systems

For those who are active and enjoy heading out into group settings such as performances, churches, or public transit stations, you may benefit from using T-coil and loop systems. These systems are typically installed in public and commercial conference or meeting rooms, assembly halls, places of worship, and theaters and send an amplified signal to T-coil enabled hearing aids. All you have to do is turn of the T-coil setting on your hearing aids to enjoy the benefits of amplified sound sent directly to your ears. These systems work best for large spaces as they rely on a copper wire which surrounds a large public area. The benefit of T-coil systems is they can provide access to a wide range of hearing aid users, delivering sound and allowing each users hearing aids to amplify sound according to their programing.

If you are planning on attending a show, game or performance and you want to use T-coil, call ahead to make sure it’s available. It’s becoming a standard in accessibility across the country to make listening a more enjoyable experience for all.

Reasons People Choose ALDs

Hearing aids are amazing devices but often by opting in for ADLs they can be included in your hearing aid features and enhance your listening experience. Think of heairng aids as a foundational component, which can be even that much more exceptional when paired with additional equipment. ADLs are an essential part of a hearing care package, which is customizable to your unique needs and lifestyle. 

Schedule a Hearing Consultation

If you are curious about the world of assistive listening devices, we are here to help. We can help you discover the diverse world of ALDs and help you understand what options might be best for you to give you the best listening experience possible.