If you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss or know that your hearing isn’t what it once was. You may not be hearing everything as clearly or loudly as you once did. Especially when you head out to bigger public venues and events like concerts, movies, museums and more.
If you’re inclined to accept a less-than-great hearing experience because you don’t want to ask for more or make a fuss, think again. Assistive Listening Systems can make a world of difference in your overall experience and are readily available these days.
What is an assistive listening system?
An assistive listening device or assistive listening system (ALS) is a device that can help amplify sound. They can be especially helpful for hearing with lots of background noise and can be used with hearing aids. While these devices may be used at home, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ALS technology is easier than ever to find when you’re away from home, too. According to the regulations, if a venue has a public address system, a hearing aid-compatible assistive listening system (ALS) must also be available.
What are some assistive listening system options?
There are several options out there that you can either tap into with your hearing aids or borrow from a venue.
- Hearing loops: These devices use a magnetic field and the “T” (telecoil) setting on your hearing aids. An induction loop, a hidden wire in the area that is connected to the PA system, then transmits sound directly to the user’s hearing aid via an electromagnetic signal. The benefit to this system is that it cuts out much of the background noise that often impacts hearing in crowded spaces.
- RF systems: Some venues choose to use this ALS which uses a receiver, earphones and radio waves to transmit sound to users. The receiver and earphones can be borrowed from the venue for use during events. Many locations now offer neck loops as part of this system due to changes in the ADA requirements. When the neck loop is paired with the receiver, it can transmit sound directly to hearing aids similar to a hearing loop.
- IR systems: Similar to the RF system, the IR system uses light beams to transmit sound instead of radio waves.
While each of these Assistive Listening systems can be effective for turning up the volume with hearing loss, research has shown that many prefer to use hearing loops paired with their own hearing aids. Not only does this mean one less step of borrowing and returning devices that others have used, but it also means a more personalized sound experience thanks to one’s hearing aid settings.
Whatever Assistive Listening System you choose, learning more about your options at a venue or borrowing the necessary equipment is as easy as looking for the required ALS signage, asking at the information desk or box office or reaching out to any employee or representative. Remember that many venues not required to have Assistive Listening Systems still choose to offer them, so don’t be afraid to ask.
If you have questions about Assistive Listening devices or would like to schedule a hearing evaluation to see if you have hearing loss, contact our office today.2019-09-24 18:03:33