Dealing with hearing loss during the holiday season can be particularly challenging.
While you may honestly prefer to NOT hear a few of your family members, the conversations you do wish to indulge in can be stressful. And because nearly all large holiday gatherings tend to be loud, it can be near impossible to focus on any one person or dialogue.
If you wish to participate in conversation, you have to contend 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 left out.
Short of forcing everyone to repeat themselves or remaining quiet, what are your options?
It’s true, 10 years ago you didn’t have many. The 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 person you were in conversation with.
But hearing aids have changed, and for the better. In particular, modern hearing aids have two functions that can salvage your holiday season: background noise reduction and speech focus.
Background noise reduction
Older analog hearing aid models were essentially very simple devices. They contained a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker. Sound was acquired by the microphone, amplified, and transported through the speaker to the ear.
The drawback was, however, that the hearing aid couldn’t distinguish between vocalization and background noise. The amplifier made all sounds louder, so unless you were in a tranquil setting, you experienced a frustrating time hearing voices.
Since holiday parties are anything but quiet, what you really need is a hearing aid that can differentiate between sounds—which is exactly what contemporary digital hearing aids can do.
Digital hearing aids, coupled with containing a microphone, amplifier, and speaker, also feature a digital processor. As a result, sound can be translated into digital information that the hearing aid can make use of to differentiate between various kinds of sounds.
By differentiating and tagging different types of sounds, modern hearing aids can be programmed to amplify only sounds with targeted characteristics, including all of the frequencies you have difficulty hearing. Background sounds, in contrast, can be conveniently recognized and suppressed.
Along with restraining background sound, contemporary hearing aids can also recognize and focus on speech.
Speech has a distinctive aspect in that it is made up of mainly of high-frequency sounds. This makes it simple for the digital processor to distinguish between speaking and background noise, which is principally low frequency.
What’s more, digital hearing aids have what are referred to as directional microphones, which can detect the direction of sound. Some hearing aid models can even aim the microphones in specific directions, such as the direction of the person you’re speaking with.
Book Your Hearing Test and Appreciate the Holidays Again
Are you ready to recover your holiday season?
Contact us today and we’ll show you how to select among the extraordinary digital hearing aid technology available to you. After that, with your new hearing aids—equipped 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.