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See also: Hearing Assistive Technology for Children
HATS are devices that can help you hear in loud or busy places. Some HATS let you see or read messages. You can use HATS with or without hearing aids or cochlear implants.
There are times when it is hard for any of us to hear. If you have hearing loss, it can be even harder. Some examples of when it might be hard to hear include:
Distance, other noise, and echoes can happen at the same time. This makes it even harder to hear. HATS can help.
FM stands for frequency modulation. An FM system is like a tiny radio station with its own frequency. An FM system has two parts. One part is a microphone that the speaker wears. The microphone sends a signal to a receiver. You wear the receiver on your ears or in your hearing aids. This lets the speaker's voice go directly to you, making it easier to hear.
You can use an FM system almost anywhere. They can be in classrooms, restaurants, meetings, and nursing homes. You can use them in theaters, museums, and other large areas. In larger places, there is a built-in microphone in the sound system. You get an FM receiver that you connect to your hearing aid. You can also get a headset to wear.
Infrared systems use light waves to send sounds across a room. The system changes sounds into light and sends them to a receiver. The receiver turns the light waves back into sound. The receiver can be in your hearing aid or worn alone.
Infrared systems are often used at home with your TV. They are also used in larger places, like theaters. These systems let you hear the TV without turning the volume up too high. Others can watch the TV at a volume that is comfortable for them.
Induction loop systems work with hearing aids. The loop wire goes under the carpet or in the ceiling. The wire connects to a microphone. An electrical current moves through the wire when someone talks into the microphone. This creates an electromagnetic field in the room. You switch your hearing aid to the "T" or telephone setting. Your hearing aid picks up the signal so you can hear the speaker.
Induction loop systems are good for large group areas. You can buy them for your own use at home.
There are times when you want to hear just one person. This can be in a restaurant, in a hospital room, or when riding in the car. Maybe you want to hear when someone asks a question during a meeting. A one-to-one communicator can help. The other person speaks into a microphone. The sound goes into your hearing aid or a headset. This lets you talk to someone without shouting.
There are many other types of HATS, such as:
There are devices that let you see or feel when something happens. For example, when the doorbell rings, you may see a flashing light. Or, your alarm clock may vibrate to wake you. You can use a visual system with your hearing aid or alone.
There are other types of visual systems, including:
To find an audiologist near you, visit ProFind.