“New technology has dramatically improved the quality of hearing aids in the past decade,” said Stephanie Weiss in a recent Washington Post article. “But some say an old technology could have the most profound impact in the decade to come on millions of people with hearing loss.”
One possible solution to this problem: The Loop. Weiss interviewed APS Fellow, and loop advocate, David G. Myers.
“Just as WiFi connects people to the Web in wired places, hearing loops — simple wires that circle a room or part of a room — can connect many hearing aids and cochlear implants directly to sound systems,” Myers told Weiss.
“I visited Scotland shortly after getting new hearing aids back in 1999. I was totally lost, and sound was reverberating around 800-year-old walls. My wife saw a sign [saying the site had a hearing loop], so I turned on my telecoil for the first time. It was emotionally powerful. Suddenly, I heard a clear human voice, instead of this verbal fog. I was on the verge of tears. I didn’t know sound like this was possible.”
To read more on the psychological science of hearing and communication research, see Research on Hearing Communication and Health Gets Center Stage at NIDCD, which has contributions from William Yost, David G. Myers, and Caroline M. Kobek Pezzarossi.
APS Fellow and Hope College social psychologist David G. Myers is the author of A Quiet World: Living with Hearing Loss (Yale University Press) and the creator of www.hearingloop.org. In recognition of his collaborative efforts to transform American assistive listening, he received a 2011 Presidential Award from the American Academy of Audiology.