Dealing with hearing loss throughout the holiday season can be particularly difficult.
While you may honestly prefer to NOT hear some of your family members, the discussions you do want to participate in can be stressful. And because most large holiday events tend to be loud, it can be nearly impossible to concentrate on any one person or dialogue.
In order to participate in conversation, you have to cope with background music, people talking simultaneously around the table, and the Thanksgiving football game blasting in the background. This creates an impossible scenario that can make you feel isolated and excluded.
Short of making everyone repeat themselves or staying silent, what are your choices?
Truthfully, 10 years ago you didn’t have many. The older analog hearing aids could amplify speech—the problem was that they also amplified everything else, including background noise. Since all sound was just made to be louder, it didn’t help much with understanding the people you were talking to.
But hearing aids have changed, and for the better. Specifically, modern-day hearing aids have two functions that can save your holiday season: background noise reduction and speech focus.
Background noise suppression
Earlier analog hearing aid models were in reality very simple gadgets. They consisted of a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker. Sound was collected by the microphone, amplified, and sent through the speaker to the ear.
The issue was, however, that the hearing aid couldn’t differentiate between voices and background sound. The amplifier made all sounds louder, so unless you were in a quiet setting, you had a challenging time hearing voices.
Because holiday parties are anything but quiet, what you really require is a hearing aid that can distinguish between sounds—which is exactly what contemporary digital hearing aids can do.
Digital hearing aids, along with containing a microphone, amplifier, and speaker, also include a digital processor. As a result, sound can be translated into digital information that the hearing aid can make use of to distinguish between different kinds of sounds.
By differentiating and marking different types of sounds, today’s hearing aids can be programmed to amplify only sounds with special attributes, such as all of the frequencies you have difficulty hearing. Background sounds, in contrast, can be easily recognized and silenced.
Along with suppressing background sound, modern hearing aids can also recognize and concentrate on speech.
Speech has a distinctive property in that it is made up of principally of high-frequency sounds. This makes it easy for the digital processor to differentiate between speaking and background noise, which is principally low frequency.
On top of it, digital hearing aids have what are called directional microphones, which can locate the direction of sound. Some hearing aid models can even focus the microphones in specific directions, such as the direction of the person you’re conversing with.
Schedule Your Hearing Test and Make the Most Of the Holidays Again
Are you ready to reclaim your holiday season?
Contact us today and we’ll show you how to select among the extraordinary digital hearing aid technology available to you. Then, with your new hearing aids—equipped with background noise suppression and speech focus—you’ll be able to hear all of the conversations with comfort and clarity.
As for the relatives you don’t want to hear? Not to worry, the hearing aids also come equipped with an off button.