Hearing an individual speaking in a hushed room is very different from trying to hear a conversation in a crowded restaurant. Many digital hearing aids come with various listening programs to help compensate for changes in listening environments. These listening programs give your hearing aid the flexibility to help you hear at your best in a wide range of situations.
Your hearing professional will initially set up your multiple listening programs by using an external device. The software will give him or her the ability to “fine-tune” the way your hearing aid processes sound and to create a series of distinct listening programs for different scenarios. These programs can be accessed manually when you start wearing your device, or they may automatically change to match your current listening situation.
There are many different types of listening programs that can be accessed through your hearing aid. There are programs that help block out distracting background noise, programs that reduce feedback, programs that can shift high frequency sounds into lower, more comfortable frequencies, and programs that can make speech patterns clearer in quiet environments. Your hearing professional can work with you to help determine which programs are most appropriate for your individual situation.
The method you use to access these different programs varies from device to device. Some models include a small fob (much like a remote control) that allows the user to choose a program or to select or adjust other features of the hearing aid. You may be able to switch from program to program via a small switch, or your device may determine the best program for the situation without requiring your input.
Young children with hearing issues may be good candidates for hearing aids with multiple listening programs. These programs allow parents to quickly change their child’s listening settings to find the most comfortable choice. This helps audiologists narrow in on what settings will give the child the best listening experience possible.
A hearing aid with multiple listening programs can help you enjoy a more comfortable and natural listening experience.