Now that you’ve got hearing aids and can hear everything, there’s just one problem: You can hear everything.
The presence of background noise is a big adjustment for most new hearing aid users. They’re simply not used to having to hear it. Even with modern devices’ abilities to reduce background noise, it can still be challenging to hear the intended speaker when there is other noise in the listening environment.
Even if you can hear the speaker, it can be difficult to focus on them with traffic sounds, wind blowing through the trees or other people talking. Fortunately, there are a number of technological advancements and hearing techniques you can use to hopefully yield more productive listening experiences, including:
Two Hearing Aids May Be Better Than One
Wearing hearing aids in both ears rather than one can make it easier to hear regardless of where the sound is coming from and a better ability to understand speech in noisy situations. The desired sound is generally louder and clearer when using two devices. Imagine wearing prescription glasses with one of the lenses missing; the ability to see clearly from both eyes is significantly decreased.
The Dominance of Digital Devices
Hearing aids with digital signal processing (DSP) ease the ability to hear speech amid noise because they can automatically reduce background sound when necessary. Wearers of DSP hearing aids often report less stress listening because those extra noises are minimized while the speech quality is improved.
Using FM Technology
There are two components of hearing better with FM technology:
- FM receiver can transmit sounds from speakers to the ears.
- FM transmitter picks up a voice and relays it to an FM receiver, which could be a transmitter that sits on a table or counter, a handheld device or a small microphone.
FM technology is helpful because the transmitter will amplify the speaker’s voice by up to 20 dB louder than the background noise. Many behind-the-ear hearing aid models utilize FM technology with a wireless transmitter.
Strategies To Hear In Restaurants
Restaurants are a common source of listening frustration for those with hearing loss. Try these tips to hear better while dining out:
- Pick quieter restaurants. Sports bars are notoriously difficult to hear in. Look for places with carpet, curtains, tablecloths and acoustic panels on the walls and ceilings.
- Sit away from the front door, busing stations and kitchens.
- Don’t be afraid to ask staff to turn down the music to help you hear better.