There are different types of hearing loss and several potential causes. The hearing loss can be conductive, sensorineural or mixed and the causes may be congenital or acquired. A conductive hearing loss is often treatable and rarely results in a permanent hearing damage. It occurs when the sound is not transmitted properly through the outer ear canal to the eardrum and the middle ear, thus the sound levels are lowered and faint sounds cannot be heard. The causes for this condition are various but the most common ones include fluid in the middle ear, ear and ear canal infections, perforation of the eardrum, earwax build-up, foreign bodies and some physical malformations which may result in a more permanent conductive loss. Sensorineural hearing loss is a permanent hearing loss and affects the inner ear (cochlea) or its nerve pathways to the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the tiny hairs in the cochlea are damaged and thus cannot effectively turn the vibrations they receive into electric signals and send them to the brain. This condition hinders the understanding of speech and hearing of sounds, whose severity depends on the level of the hearing loss. The causes for the sensorineural hearing loss are varied; they can include a birth condition/physical malformation, head injuries, ototoxic medicines, diseases, long-term exposure to loud noises, tumours and ageing. Recent research also shows evidence that hearing loss may be the result of smoking and obesity.
Regardless of cause, however, hearing impairment need not stop anyone from enjoying pastimes such as, for example, watching TV. In the past, watching TV may have been difficult for those with a hearing problem and for those without if they want to spend that time together. That is not the case anymore. There are a number of hard of hearing TV hearing aids that solve this problem.
Wireless TV hearing aids available allow you to adjust the volume in your headphones without changing the volume of the TV, thus it does not disturb in any way the others watching with you. They have a rechargeable receiver and depending on the exact model cover different areas, usually around 900 square feet. The TV hearing aids offered on hearingdirect.com amplify sound up to 120-125 dB. Most hard of hearing TV hearing aids also let you listen to the radio, CD or MP3 players, PC/Laptops. Some models, such as the Amplicom TV 2500 and Geemarc CL7400 let you adjust the volume and the tone.
Also, many TV hearing aid headphones reduce the external noise and automatically adjust TV volume changes. If you are looking for a T-coil compatible device that will send the signal directly into your hearing aid (if it has a "T" setting), you can take advantage of room loop amplifiers such as the Geemarc LH600 Loop System. Once you set it to the desired level, you need just to switch the TV on and you will not need to wear any additional devices when you are in the room. It works via a tiny wire that goes around the room you want to listen in. Your hearing aid will then pick up the signal from the magnetic field that has been created by the current in the loop and deliver it directly to the ear.