Tips for Hearing in Challenging Listening Situations

Hearing aid technology has advanced tremendously in recent years, but one problem still remains for many users: dealing with background noise.

Background noise is defined as any sound that interferes with your ability to hear and focus on the auditory signal you want to hear, and may include traffic, rustling papers, children laughing, clattering dishes, and multiple people speaking at the same time.

There are certain steps you can take to make background noise more tolerable:

Use devices with Digital Signal Processing (DSP).  These hearing aids are able to differentiate between speech and noise and can be programmed to reduce background noise. Most hearing aids sold today have this digital technology.
Use two hearing aids instead of one. Scientific evidence indicates that speech perception in noisy listening situations is better with two hearing aids.
Purchase hearing aids with directional microphones.  With this option, you can switch the hearing aid from picking up sounds from all directions to picking up sounds from the front. Many devices with newer technology do this automatically.

Here are some strategies that will help you hear and communicate better:

  • Be honest, acknowledge your hearing loss and offer suggestions for others to aid you in hearing them.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask people to repeat themselves if you miss something.
  • When possible, suggest moving conversations to quieter places.
  • When attending a lecture or group event, arrive early and find a seat close to the speaker.

Remember, at Hearing Associates, we’re here to help, every step of the way!

Schedule your evaluation at our main office in Mason City or at any of our other practices in Iowa and Minnesota.