What is Telecoil and Can it Help Me?

Even with hearing aids there are situations where hearing can still be difficult. Many people with hearing aids still struggle to hear in busy, public places with a lot of background noise. It can be hard to distinguish sounds or focus on the precise noise you want to hear.

This is where telecoil technology is helpful. Many hearing aids come equipped with a telecoil which can help cancel out background noise and amplify a specific sound or voice.

Telecoils and Loop SystemsMan getting a hearing exam from a doctor.

Telecoils are part of hearing loop systems. Hearing loop systems utilize electromagnetic energy to transmit sound directly to your hearing aid. They consist of a sound source, an amplifier, a loop of wire and a telecoil which acts as a tiny wireless receiver that amplifies the sound from the source into your hearing aids.

Hearing aids that have a telecoil have a “T switch” that lets you receive signals either from the hearing aid microphone or a loop system. Switching on the T-setting turns off the microphone so only signals transmitted from the loop system are audible. Next time you’re in a public place and are struggling to hear, look to see if that place has a telecoil sign.

Some places to look include:

  • Airports
  • Public transit
  • Lecture halls
  • Churches
  • Movie theaters
  • Concert venues like White Concert Hall

Does My Hearing Aid Have a Telecoil?

While many hearing aids do have a telecoil, not all do. Smaller hearing aids that fit completely inside the ear canal do not have telecoils because of their size.

Telecoil Improves the Listening Experience

In an interview for All Things Considered, psychology professor David Myers tells the story of how he learned of telecoil technology when he went on vacation to Scotland. He was visiting the 800-year-old Iona Abbey. Initially he was struggling to hear during service. His wife noticed a hearing assistance sign in the abbey with a “T” on it. Myers activated the feature and as he said, “Suddenly, crystal clear sound was coming from the center of my head as if the person were three feet in front of my face.”

To learn more about telecoils or to schedule an appointment with a hearing aid expert, call Topeka ENT today.

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