Living with hearing loss throughout the holiday season can be especially difficult.
While you may actually prefer to NOT hear some of your relatives, the discussions you do want to engage in can be stressful. And because nearly all large holiday gatherings tend to be loud, it can be nearly impossible to focus on any one person or conversation.
If you wish to engage 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 detached and left out.
Short of making everyone repeat themselves or remaining quiet, what are your options?
It’s true, 10 years ago you didn’t have many. The older analog hearing aids could amplify speech—the trouble was that they also amplified everything else, most notably background noise. Given that all sound was just made to be louder, it didn’t help a great deal with understanding the people you were talking to.
But hearing aids have changed, and for the better. In particular, modern-day hearing aids have two functions that can salvage your holiday season: background noise reduction and speech focus.
Background noise reduction
Earlier analog hearing aid models were essentially very simple gadgets. They contained a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker. Sound was picked up by the microphone, amplified, and sent through the speaker to the ear.
The challenge was, however, that the hearing aid couldn’t differentiate between vocalization and background noise. The amplifier made all sounds louder, so unless you were in a tranquil environment, you had a challenging time hearing voices.
Since holiday parties are anything but quiet, what you necessarily need is a hearing aid that can differentiate between sounds—which is precisely what contemporary digital hearing aids can do.
Digital hearing aids, in combination with containing a microphone, amplifier, and speaker, also feature a digital processor. As a result, sound can be converted into digital information that the hearing aid can make use of to differentiate between various kinds of sounds.
By identifying and labeling different types of sounds, today’s hearing aids can be programmed to amplify only sounds with select qualities, including all of the frequencies you have trouble hearing. Background sounds, in contrast, can be easily identified and suppressed.
In addition to restraining background sound, contemporary hearing aids can also identify and focus on speech.
Speech has a distinct attribute in that it is made up of principally of high-frequency sounds. This makes it easy for the digital processor to distinguish between conversation and background noise, which is principally low frequency.
On top of that, digital hearing aids have what are referred to as directional microphones, which can locate the direction of sound. Some hearing aid models can even aim the microphones in targeted directions, like the direction of the person you’re speaking with.
Book Your Hearing Test and Make the Most Of the Holidays Again
Are you ready to recover your holiday season?
Contact us today and we’ll guide you to choose among the amazing digital hearing aid technology available to you. After that, with your new hearing aids—complete 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.