HEARING LOSS AND THE LOOP (Part 1 of a three-part series)
by Helen L. Vukasin
from Medford Leas Life, November 2013
Medford Leas has applied for a grant in order to install magnetic induction loop technology to increase the clarity of hearing of residents with hearing loss. Did you know that there are approximately 36 million American adults with hearing loss? Only 8.4 million, or one in four, have hearing aids.
Cost is one critical reason. Hearing aids are not covered by Medicare, and good hearing aids can be expensive. Another important reason that people with hearing loss do not invest in hearing aids is that the sound with most hearing aids is fine in a small conversational setting, but unclear, even annoying, when the surrounding area is noisy or the room acoustics reverberate sound.
A hearing loop can be installed in an auditorium or other venue with a difficult sound context. This will magnetically transfer the microphone, TV sound signal, or other sound transmitter to the hearing aids and cochlear implants that have a telecoil receptor. With this direct connection of the source of the sound to the individual’s customized hearing aids, the sound is clear and free of extraneous noise. The technology is currently installed as a trial in the Linden Room so that residents can experience the difference in sound.
Portable loop receivers and headsets, something like those used in the Theater, will be available for use at Medford Leas by those with hearing loss who do not have a telecoil or hearing aids once the loop is installed.