FM systems at school, what do I need to know?
– Most hearing aids maybe equipped with a volume control and program switch. These are usually deactivated unless otherwise indicated by the audiologist.
– Most hearing aids are programmed with and FM+M program automatically incorporated into it. Depending on the FM system at school, a specific program maybe prescribed. The different options include:
– FM+M program: FM indicates that the program can receiver transmission from the FM system. The M stands for microphone and where the hearing aid is switched most of the time. This position indicated the hearing aid wearer is essentially “hearing”.
– T program: stands for telephone. All behind the ear and some in the ear hearing aids come with a telecoil. When the hearing aid is in the “T” position the microphone is shut off and a small coil is turned on within the hearing aid which picks up the magnetic resonance that is generated by the phone. The biggest mistake hearing aid users make is to hold the receiver end of the phone on their ear in this position. The receiver of the phone must touch the hearing aid in order for the telecoil to work properly. Although it may seem awkward at first, hearing aid users benefit most when the T switch is used properly. For very small children this may not even be an option and the T switch may be de-activated or removed. Why? Sometimes the hearing aid may switch to telecoil by accident which may cause a lot of grief for parents especially those parents with hearing impaired infants who are lying on their back most of the time. Programmable and digital hearing aids have telecoils that can be de-activated internally.
– MT program: is both microphone and telephone at the same time. This function, in some models, is absolutely essential in order for the hearing aid to work properly with a loop FM system
– Integrated FM: is directly plugged into the bottom of the hearing aid and streams the speaker’s voice via an FM transmitter directly to the hearing aid wearer.
– Soundfield: is a sound system where speakers amplify the sound of the presenter’s voice. If the patient is wearing a hearing aid, the sound will transmit directly through via the FM system. People not wearing a hearing aid will hear the presenter’s voice amplified through the speaker system.
– Before having any of these FM programs added to the child’s hearing aids, please consult with your audiologist for approval and recommendations first.