Although we did not receive any relevant mail to last week’s blog on binaural fittings we have received some great mail over the past weeks. Of course much of the mail we receive at Hearing International is spam, but often there are some great comments by our readers that bring some very good points to bring into our forum. We welcome comments at the Blogs @ Hearing Health and Technology Matters and please respond if you have comments to the blogs at any time. Although we do not publish contact information for those who comment, if you would like to contact a commentator, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will put in touch with them. Here are some highlights in response to:
David – Michigan, USA
Very nice historical article. Two reflections, from Michigan, where we now have several hundred installations. 1) Interference has generally not been a problem, and where it has the problem has been solved. 2) The BIG advantage to hearing loops is that they make assistive listening directly hearing aid compatible–no need, when having trouble hearing to get up, locate, check out, and wear a conspicuous headset (that delivers generic sound). Rather, just push a button and your own hearing instrument becomes a customized, wireless, in-the-ear loudspeaker. That’s the difference that makes hearing loops a technology that real people with hearing loss will, in much greater numbers, actually use.
Dana – USA
Before installing an audio loop system, there should be a survey of any electromagnetic interference (EMI) in the immediate vicinity. People with telecoils can do this informally by turning on the telecoil and walking around the entire vicinity. If the EMI is significant in one part of the room but not another, it may still be possible to use a loop in the part of the room where the EMI is not strong. It may also be possible to troubleshoot what is causing the EMI and to resolve it. (Dimmer switches, cathode ray tube monitors, and poor wiring can cause EMI.)
2 A above should be corrected to:
“Activated telecoils will pick up ambient electromagnetic interference from the environment.” (Properly functioning loops do not cause EMI, but simple perimeter loops will have spillover. Generally, large loops should not be placed right next to places where HAC telephones, neckloops or silhouette inductors will be used. For example, spillover from large perimeter loops hugging the walls is why they should not be used next to a workshop room where hard-of-hearing people will need to use neckloops or silhouette inductors to use IR or FM systems. It is possible to configure a loop installation to minimize such spillover, however.)
Dispensing professionals interested in optimizing the use of induction technology should look into installing a loop system in their offices that meets the international standard for loop systems. They will then be able to check whether the telecoils in their customers’ hearing aids are working well with certified loop systems. Because the default telecoil program generally does not provide the full frequency response possible (it’s typically designed for the narrow frequency response of landline telephones beginning at 300 Hz), dispensing professionals should ensure they know how to optimize the telecoil program for use with assistive listening technology (which would require the widest frequency response possible and which would allow the telecoil user to enjoy hearing frequencies below 300 Hz). In some cases, it may be desirable to provide two different telecoil programs—one for the telephone and another for assistive listening technology.
Rich, Au.D -USA
This has been one of the more interesting articles and perspectives that I’ve read lately, especially discussing the relationship between coffee and tinnitus. Well done! I have been assessing and treating tinnitus in our practice and found the study from The University of Bristol quite good! Thank you!
A big thank you from Hearing International to David, Dana and Rich for their comments. We welcome yours as the Blogs continue. Additionally, watch for our presentation on the Blogs @ Hearing Health Matters at Audiology Now!, we have a Learning Module session in Boston on Friday March 30, 2012 at 2:00-3:00 PM. Our room is still to be assigned, but make plans to be there to meet the Bloggers!