Voice of America: Hearing Aid Common in Europe Turns Up Volume in US

More than 10 percent of Americans have some form of hearing loss. Even with a hearing aid, deciphering sounds in places like airports, theaters and places of worship can be tough.

However, a not-so-new technology, commonly used in Europe, could help change that.

When psychology professor David Myers went on vacation to Scotland, he was thrilled to visit 800-year-old Iona Abbey. But once the service began, he was lost.

“As the sound reverberated around those ancient stone walls, it was indecipherable by the time it got to my ears,” he remembers.

Then his wife noticed a hearing assistance sign on the wall with a ‘T’ on it. The ‘T’ stands for telecoil. Myers was wearing hearing aids which contain the inexpensive little magnetic sensor, but the sensor wasn’t activated.