For people in Howard Beach wearing hearing aids, listening just got a lot easier in two neighborhood businesses.
Dr. Carol Letzter, owner of Harmony Hearing & Speech Center in Howard Beach, has provided two new hearing loops — amplification devices that help people with hearing aids — to the Cross Bay Diner and Cross Bay Chemists.
The hearing loop provides a magnetic field which picks up an audio signal and sends it to the t-coil in an individual’s hearing aid or cochlear implant, creating speech that is clear and discrete because background noise is eliminated.
Letzter, a long-time Howard Beach resident, joined the Help Loop America Campaign last year and helped provide St. Helen Church in Howard Beach a hearing loop last December
The Help Loop America Campaign is advocating for the use of hearing loops in all types of businesses and public areas like restaurants, libraries, train stations and houses of worship. The goal is to provide an environment that eliminates the background noise that hearing-impaired people experience even when using a hearing device.
The loop can be installed permanently — like the one that Letzter and her team installed at St. Helen Church last December — or just put on a table top like the ones at Cross Bay Diner, which received them on July 24, or a counter, like the one installed at Cross Bay Chemists on Monday.
Letzter said the diner was a good place to install a loop because the sounds of clanking dishes and glassware from the kitchen often make it hard for people with hearing aids to listen to conversations going on at a table.
Frank Pantina, a pharmacist and owner of Cross Bay Chemists, said the hearing loop will help his clients who use hearing aids because they often have trouble hearing discussion information about their medication.
Letzter and her staff audiologist, Dr. Roseann Spatz, invite neighborhood businesses and residents to contact them to learn more about the loops.
“Hearing aids that have a simple, cost-free t-coil can provide speech that is clear with background noise totally eliminated,” Letzer said.
For more information, contact Harmony Hearing & Speech Center at (718)-641-3817. You may also visit their website, which has information and videos about hearing loops: harmonyhearing-speechcenter.com.