Hearing a person who is sitting next to you in a quiet room isn’t the same as following a lively conversation around a busy restaurant table. Many digital hearing aids have various listening programs to help adjust to variations 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. This device allows him or her to fine-tune a number of individual processing characteristics into several distinct programs. When you start wearing your device, these programs can be accessed manually or automatically to match whatever situation you find yourself in.
Today’s hearing aids are quite powerful, and many are capable of running a wide variety of listening programs. Some programs work to reduce background noise, eliminate feedback or shift higher-frequency sounds into a more comfortable range, while others are designed to make speech patterns easier to identify. 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. Your hearing aid may include a small external device (similar to a remote control) that allows you to change programs and access additional features. Other devices may be controlled by a small switch, while still others may automatically determine which program is best suited for your situation.
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 can help hearing instrument specialists 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.