Dealing with hearing loss during the holiday season can be particularly difficult.
While you may honestly prefer to NOT hear some of your family members, the conversations you do want to participate in can be stressful. And because nearly all large holiday events tend to be loud, it can be close to impossible to focus on any one person or conversation.
In order to engage in conversation, you have to contend with background music, people talking simultaneously around the table, and the Thanksgiving football game blasting in the background. This produces an impossible scenario that can make you feel isolated and left out.
Short of forcing everyone to repeat themselves or staying quiet, what are your choices?
Truthfully, 10 years ago you didn’t have many. The older analog hearing aids could amplify speech—the issue 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 much with understanding the person you were speaking to.
But hearing aids have changed, and for the better. Specifically, modern-day hearing aids have two features that can salvage your holiday season: background noise reduction and speech focus.
Background noise suppression
Older analog hearing aid models were essentially very straightforward gadgets. They consisted of a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker. Sound was obtained by the microphone, amplified, and directed through the speaker to the ear.
The issue was, however, that the hearing aid couldn’t differentiate between voices and background noise. The amplifier made all sounds louder, so unless you were in a tranquil setting, you had a difficult time hearing voices.
Because holiday gatherings are anything but quiet, what you necessarily require is a hearing aid that can differentiate between sounds—which is precisely what contemporary digital hearing aids can do.
Digital hearing aids, in addition to containing a microphone, amplifier, and speaker, also feature a digital processor. As a result, sound can be transformed into digital information that the hearing aid can make use of to differentiate between different types of sounds.
By distinguishing and designating different kinds of sounds, today’s hearing aids can be programmed to amplify only sounds with specific qualities, such as all of the frequencies you have trouble hearing. Background sounds, in contrast, can be conveniently identified and silenced.
Along with suppressing background sound, contemporary hearing aids can also identify and concentrate on speech.
Speech has a distinct property in that it is composed chiefly of high-frequency sounds. This makes it simple for the digital processor to differentiate between conversation and background noise, which is mostly 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 aim the microphones in targeted directions, such as 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 reclaim your holiday season?
Call us today and we’ll assist you to choose among the extraordinary digital hearing aid technology on the market. Then, with your new hearing aids—equipped with background noise suppression and speech focus—you’ll have the ability 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.