Struggling with hearing loss throughout the holiday season can be especially difficult.
While you may actually prefer to NOT hear a few of your family members, the conversations you do want to participate in can be stressful. And because nearly all large holiday gatherings 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 cope with background music, people talking all at once around the table, and the Thanksgiving football game blaring in the background. This creates an impossible situation that can make you feel detached and excluded.
Short of forcing everyone to repeat themselves or staying silent, what are your options?
Truthfully, 10 years ago you didn’t have many. Older analog hearing aids could amplify speech—the trouble was that they also amplified everything else, most notably background noise. Since all sound was just made to be louder, it didn’t help much with understanding the people you were speaking to.
But hearing aids have changed, and for the better. Specifically, contemporary hearing aids have two functions that can save your holiday season: background noise reduction and speech focus.
Background noise reduction
Older analog hearing aid models were in fact very straightforward devices. They contained a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker. Sound was collected by the microphone, amplified, and delivered through the speaker to the ear.
The challenge was, however, that the hearing aid couldn’t distinguish between vocalization and background sound. The amplifier made every sound louder, so unless you were in a tranquil environment, you experienced a difficult time hearing voices.
Because holiday events are anything but quiet, what you necessarily require is a hearing aid that can distinguish between sounds—which is exactly what modern digital hearing aids can accomplish.
Digital hearing aids, coupled with 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 kinds of sounds.
By differentiating and labeling different types of sounds, today’s hearing aids can be programmed to amplify only sounds with targeted traits, including all of the frequencies you have trouble hearing. Background sounds, in contrast, can be conveniently identified and silenced.
In combination with restraining background sound, contemporary hearing aids can also recognize and concentrate on speech.
Speech has a distinct aspect in that it is composed chiefly of high-frequency sounds. This makes it easy for the digital processor to differentiate between speech and background noise, which is principally low frequency.
In addition, digital hearing aids have what are known as directional microphones, which can locate the direction of sound. Some hearing aid models can even focus the microphones in targeted directions, such as the direction of the person you’re talking to.
Reserve 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 select among the amazing digital hearing aid technology available to you. Then, with your new hearing aids—complete 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.