Following a discussion in a busy restaurant and following an individual speaking in a hushed room are two completely different scenarios. Many digital hearing aids have a number of listening programs to help compensate for changes in listening environments. Having the ability to select different listening programs makes it easy to hear better in a variety of different conditions.
After you receive your hearing aid, your hearing care professional will use a computer running specialized software to program it based on your unique needs. This process allows a number of individual processing characteristics to be fine-tuned into a number of distinct listening programs. When you start wearing your device, these programs can be accessed manually or automatically to match whatever situation you find yourself in.
You may be surprised at the variety of listening programs your hearing aid is able to run. You can access programs that reduce feedback, help shift high frequencies to lower ones (making them more comfortable to hear), help block out unnecessary background noise, and help make speech patterns in quiet environment clearer. These are just a few of the possibilities–your hearing care professional will work with you to choose which ones are most appropriate based on the condition of your own hearing and the situations you encounter most often.
The way you activate one of these listening programs can vary from hearing aid to hearing aid. Some hearing aids are sold with a small external controller that allows you to switch from program to program as well as access other features. Other hearing aids are equipped with a small manual switch, and some may actually choose the most appropriate program for you automatically.
Hearing aids with multiple listening programs can be especially useful for young children. These programs allow parents to quickly change their child’s listening settings to find the most comfortable choice. This can help audiologists determine what settings will lead to the best hearing experience for the child.
The additional flexibility and convenience that come with multiple listening programs helps hearing aid wearers achieve a more comfortable listening experience.