What is a TV Hearing Aid?

T. Carrier
T. Carrier
Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Millions of individuals use hearing aids to improve their sound recognition capabilities. While a traditional aid can assist in hearing speech, music, and various other sounds, one type of specialty hearing aid can help a hearing-impaired individual to enjoy one of the most common leisure activities: television viewing. A TV hearing aid is a device an individual can wear that amplifies sounds emitted from the set by focusing the sound waves directly into the ear canal. Sounds may be transmitted from roughly 100 feet (about 30 meters) away.

Using a hearing aid can reduce inconvenience and possibly improve health for an individual suffering from hearing loss. Since the traditional solution for not understanding the audio in a television program is to simply turn up the TV volume, tension among viewers can result. If the individual lives with others, the housemates may complain about the television volume. Embarrassment and even arguments may then occur. Worse still, an irritated neighbor may consult law enforcement about the elevated noise levels. A hearing-obstructed individual may not even be able to distinguish an acceptable from an unacceptable amount of noise.

Most types of hearing aids are tested so that they do not cause more hearing damage. If an individual relies on raising the sound level by manual means, further hearing loss could be the consequence. For this reason, specially designed TV hearing aids were developed.

The TV hearing aid is unique because it is specifically designed for television sound response, from music to dialogue to stage movements. Older brands of TV amplifier worked by connecting the device to the television’s sound component with a wire. Newer models, though, operate through wireless technology. Sound signals from the television set travel to a headset worn by the individual via a transmitter, microphone, or some other electronic device.

Most contemporary models will work on various modes of television sets. Even older, less sound-efficient antenna sets can complement a TV hearing aid. Easily rechargeable batteries can ensure that an individual does not have to resort to manual volume control as well.

Many designs of a TV hearing aid also allow the user to adjust the volume of the aid rather than the television. In this manner, fellow television watchers are not disturbed by elevated sounds. Another feature of numerous TV hearing aid devices is the elimination of background noises that may interfere with the sounds emitted from the television, such as conversations and household cleaning.

TV hearing aids are assisted living devices, and they are not meant to replace a traditional hearing aid. If a major hearing loss adversely impacts an individual’s entire lifestyle, medical intervention should be sought. Underlying conditions may be responsible for the hearing impairment.

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