Coping with hearing loss during the holiday season can be particularly difficult.
While you may honestly prefer to NOT hear some of your relatives, the conversations you do want to take part 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.
If you wish to engage in conversation, you have to contend with background music, people talking all at once around the table, and the Thanksgiving football game blasting in the background. This creates an impossible scenario that can make you feel isolated and left out.
Short of making everyone repeat themselves or staying quiet, what are your choices?
Truthfully, 10 years ago you didn’t have many. Older analog hearing aids could amplify speech—the issue was that they also amplified everything else, most notably background noise. Since all sound was just made to be louder, it didn’t help a great deal with understanding the people you were speaking to.
But hearing aids have changed, and for the better. Specifically, the latest hearing aids have two features that can save your holiday season: background noise reduction and speech focus.
Background noise reduction
Older analog hearing aid models were really very simple gadgets. They contained a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker. Sound was picked up by the microphone, amplified, and transported through the speaker to the ear.
The difficulty was, however, that the hearing aid couldn’t distinguish between voices and background noise. The amplifier made all sounds louder, so unless you were in a tranquil setting, you experienced a difficult 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 exactly what modern digital hearing aids can do.
Digital hearing aids, coupled with containing a microphone, amplifier, and speaker, also incorporate a digital processor. That means sound can be translated into digital information that the hearing aid can utilize to distinguish between various kinds of sounds.
By identifying and labeling different kinds of sounds, modern hearing aids can be programmed to amplify only sounds with targeted traits, such as all of the frequencies you have trouble hearing. Background sounds, on the other hand, can be easily identified and suppressed.
Along with restraining background sound, contemporary hearing aids can also identify and concentrate on speech.
Speech has a unique attribute in that it is composed mainly of high-frequency sounds. This makes it simple for the digital processor to differentiate between speech and background noise, which is principally low frequency.
On top of it, digital hearing aids have what are referred to as directional microphones, which can locate the direction of sound. Some hearing aid models can even focus the microphones in targeted directions, like the direction of the person you’re conversing with.
Reserve Your Hearing Test and Make the Most Of the Holidays Again
Are you ready to get back 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 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.