Following a discussion in a crowded restaurant and listening to someone speaking in a hushed room are two completely different scenarios. The majority of digital hearing aids can adjust to different conditions like these by using a variety of “listening programs”. These listening programs give your hearing aid the flexibility to help you hear at your best in a wide range of situations.
When you first receive your hearing aid, your hearing professional will program your device with an external computer. 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.
There are many different types of listening programs that can be accessed through your hearing aid. 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 programs you can take advantage of – talk to your hearing professional to find programs that are most relevant to your situation.
Depending on your device, you may access these programs several different ways. Your hearing aid may include a small external device (similar to a remote control) that allows you to change programs and access additional features. 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.
Having multiple listening programs available may be particularly helpful for younger children with hearing issues. Parents can more easily switch between programs to find the most comfortable settings for the child. This helps hearing instrument specialists narrow in on what settings will give the child the best listening experience possible.
The multiple listening programs feature in hearing aids can play a significant role in allowing the hearer to enjoy a more natural listening experience.