The evenings are getting longer and that can only mean one thing – time for a date night! There are a number of options for dates in Portland. You could see a show, take a stroll or even go to the movies. But if you are one of the nearly 48 million people in Portland and throughout the country suffering from hearing loss, the movie option may be a little daunting.
For most of us, going to the movies sounds like a pretty simple event. We drive (or walk as the case most often is in Portland), buy our ticket, get our treats, sit down and enjoy. That’s it. But for those with a hearing impairment it is not that simple. The combination of surround sound, noisy patrons and background noise can all mix together to make enjoying a movie a seemingly impossible task.
Assistive Listening Devices
This situation is exactly why assistive listening devices exist. There are three distinct types: hearing loop, FM and infrared. These systems are able to broadcast sound directly from the source to your hearing aid, practically eliminating any distracting background noises.
Most movie theaters employ the hearing loop as their preferred system.
How Does a Hearing Loop Work?
A hearing loop consists of three parts:
- A sound source
- An amplifier
- A thin loop of wire that surrounds the room
As long as you are within the loop, sound can be picked up and sent as an electromagnetic signal to your hearing aid.
Will My Hearing Aid Connect?
You are probably thinking to yourself that this is all well and good, but your middle of the road hearing aid could not possibly have the ability to do this. This is where you would be wrong. Practically all modern day hearing aids come telecoil enabled. A telecoil, also called a t-coil, is a wire spring that works as a miniature wireless receiver. The telecoil picks up electromagnetic signals (used in a hearing loop) and turns the signal back into sound within the hearing aid.
Does My Theater Have a Hearing Loop?
Wondering if your small Portland theater will have such a fancy setup? The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act required that all places of public accommodation with fixed seating that either accommodates at least 50 people or has an audio amplification system (or both) must provide an assistive listening system.
While it is a safe bet that they do, there is no harm in double checking.
Don’t let your hearing loss stand in the way of a good time. If you have any questions about how to get the most out of your hearing aid, contact your Portland audiologist today.