Traveling with a hearing loss can be difficult. Of course, there is a list of extra hearing aid items that one must bring with them, but there is also the worry of not being able to communicate on the road. Hearing Loops are making travel communication much easier for people with hearing loss. Also known as induction loops, the system is for those with hearing loss in locations such as shops, offices, churches, and theatres.
What Is A Hearing Loop?
A hearing loop produces a wireless magnetic signal that can be picked up by hearing aids set to the T (Telecoil) setting. T coils are tiny coils of wire in hearing aids that receive the signal from the hearing loop. The hearing loop is a wire that surrounds an area with a connection to a sound source such as a public address system. Turning on the T coil will gain sound access in any looped setting. This loop surrounds an area of a room such as a shop, church, or office. Not all hearing aids use a T setting. When you meet with your hearing healthcare professional, be sure to have the T setting activated.
Pros And Cons Of Hearing Loops
A hearing loop can block environmental noise while improving the signal to noise ratio. Loops are simple to use, and there is no pairing required to tap into a broadcast signal. The risk of acoustic feedback reduces too. The best news is that a hearing loop is available at a low cost.
There are a few negative aspects to hearing loops, however. The induction loops perform poorly with music because distortion often occurs. The orientation of a telecoil is vital for the quality of the signal and the sound. A fixed loop does require installation, and other digital devices may interfere with the signal.
If you have a hearing loss and are traveling, look for the international hearing loop symbol, which is typically blue in the U.S. and maroon or green in other countries. Here are some travel tips for travelers with hearing loss:
- Take a personal sound amplifier with a neck loop on your flight to hear over cabin noise during the trip.
- Download a speech-to-text app to your cell phone, so you can read what others say to you.
- Download a captioned phone app to give yourself captioned phone access during your trip to make and receive calls.
- Take extra hearing aid batteries and additional hearing aid if you have one.
- Are your hearing aids rechargeable? Take the charger and put it in your carry-on bag.
- Keep a pen and a notepad with you to communicate with airport personnel in the event you can’t hear them due to noise.
- Download the SoundPrint app to identify the less noisy restaurants and bars in your area.
- When boarding, alert the flight attendants to your hearing loss so they can meet your communication needs during the flight.
- If you are residing at a hotel, alert the front desk staff to your hearing loss. The team can personally inform you of an emergency.
If you have a T coil setting on your hearing aids, make sure it is active. Look for the hearing loop symbol and follow the travel tips listed in this post. Above all else, relax and enjoy your travel experiences.