Dealing with hearing loss during the holiday season can be especially difficult.
While you may honestly prefer to NOT hear some of your family members, the conversations you do wish to participate in can be stressful. And because nearly all large holiday gatherings tend to be loud, it can be virtually impossible to concentrate on any one person or conversation.
In order to participate 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 produces an impossible scenario that can make you feel detached and left out.
Short of forcing everyone to repeat themselves or remaining quiet, 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, including background noise. Since all sound was just made to be louder, it didn’t help a great deal with understanding the person you were speaking with.
But hearing aids have changed, and for the better. Specifically, the latest hearing aids have two functions that can salvage your holiday season: background noise reduction and speech focus.
Background noise suppression
Older analog hearing aid models were in truth very simple gadgets. They consisted of a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker. Sound was detected by the microphone, amplified, and directed through the speaker to the ear.
The difficulty was, however, that the hearing aid couldn’t differentiate between voices and background sound. The amplifier made all sounds louder, so unless you were in a tranquil environment, you experienced a challenging time hearing voices.
Since holiday events are anything but quiet, what you necessarily need 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. That means sound can be converted into digital information that the hearing aid can use to differentiate between various types of sounds.
By differentiating and designating different types of sounds, modern hearing aids can be programmed to amplify only sounds with targeted attributes, such as all of the frequencies you have trouble hearing. Background sounds, on the other hand, can be conveniently identified and repressed.
In addition to suppressing background sound, contemporary hearing aids can also identify and concentrate on speech.
Speech has a distinctive property in that it is composed primarily of high-frequency sounds. This makes it simple for the digital processor to differentiate between conversation and background noise, which is predominantly low frequency.
In addition, digital hearing aids have what are called directional microphones, which can detect the direction of sound. Some hearing aid models can even focus the microphones in specific 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 recover your holiday season?
Call us today and we’ll help you select among the incredible 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.