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Holiday Hearing

Coping with hearing loss throughout the holiday season can be especially difficult.

While you may actually prefer to NOT hear some of your relatives, the conversations you do wish to engage in can be stressful. And because nearly all large holiday events tend to be loud, it can be close to impossible to concentrate on any one person or conversation.

In order to participate in conversation, you have to contend with background music, people talking simultaneously around the table, and the Thanksgiving football game blasting in the background. This creates an impossible scenario that can make you feel isolated and excluded.

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, 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 conversing with.

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

Earlier analog hearing aid models were in fact very simple devices. They contained a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker. Sound was picked up by the microphone, amplified, and delivered through the speaker to the ear.

The issue was, however, that the hearing aid couldn’t differentiate between vocalization and background noise. The amplifier made every sound louder, so unless you were in a quiet setting, you experienced a difficult time hearing voices.

Since holiday gatherings are anything but quiet, what you necessarily require is a hearing aid that can distinguish between sounds—which is exactly what contemporary digital hearing aids can accomplish.

Digital hearing aids, in combination with containing a microphone, amplifier, and speaker, also incorporate a digital processor. That means sound can be transformed into digital information that the hearing aid can make use of to differentiate between different types of sounds.

By distinguishing and designating different kinds of sounds, today’s hearing aids can be programmed to amplify only sounds with targeted properties, such as all of the frequencies you have difficulty hearing. Background sounds, on the other hand, can be easily identified and suppressed.

Speech focus

In addition to suppressing background sound, modern hearing aids can also identify and concentrate on speech.

Speech has a unique aspect in that it is made up of chiefly 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 called directional microphones, which can locate the direction of sound. Some hearing aid models can even aim the microphones in targeted directions, such as the direction of the person you’re speaking with.

Reserve Your Hearing Test and Make the Most Of the Holidays Again

Are you ready to recover your holiday season?

Contact us today and we’ll assist you to choose among the amazing digital hearing aid technology on the market. Then, with your new hearing aids—outfitted 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.