Do you or a loved one suffer from a hearing impairment and are simply tired of asking everyone around you to speak up? Or maybe you've noticed that in some places you can hear things clearly but while at home sounds are muffled. You may have heard of assisted listening devices, but you don't really understand what the term means and what options are available. Assistive listening devices are devices that are designed to amplify sound, and can be used with or without hearing aids or cochlear implants. But what are the main types of assistive listening devices?
Hearing Loop Systems
There are two main types of hearing loop systems: those that are used in commercial settings and those that are for personal use. Hearing loop systems can be used with or without a cochlear implant or other hearing aid. The hearing loop system uses electromagnetic energy to amplify sound and made up of four separate pieces:
- The sound source
- The amplifier
- Thin wires that are throughout the room
- The receiver that is worn by the individual
FM and Infrared Systems
You may have noticed FM and infrared systems if you are a student or someone who attends conferences and lectures. An FM system is a microphone that is worn by the person giving the speech while the listeners wear a receiver that is tuned to a specific channel. These systems can work for up to 300 feet in a public setting and are also available for personal use.
Infrared systems involve the use of a transmitter that converts sounds into light signals. These signals are then transmitted to a receiver using the infrared signal. However, infrared systems can only be used in certain environments, as other light sources can interfere with signals.
Personal amplifiers are often used in settings where other types of assistive listening devices are not available. An example of this would be a small device that is used in a home setting for someone with a hearing impairment. It can be used to amplify the sound of a television, radio or even personal conversation. A personal amplifier is a small device that works with a listening device that is similar to a hearing aid or earbuds.
If you think that you are in need of assisted listening devices, don't be afraid to speak up. You never know what you may be missing out on hearing, both in your personal or professional life. You may qualify for accommodations under the Americans with Disability Acts, or your insurance coverage may provide payment for a number of options. If you have other questions about hearing aids, contact a business such as Suburban Hearing Services.