We have approached that beautiful time of year when the weather has cooled down a bit, holiday cheer is in full swing, and there are many events to attend where we get to gather and celebrate with one another. Although it is glorious to join together with friends and family, experiencing hearing loss throughout the holidays can be particularly hard to deal with when this time of year is supposed to be about joy, laughter, and good times. It may actually be nice to tune out a few relatives, but the loved ones you do want to listen to may be difficult to hear over the noise of the parties and the crowds. It can be impossible to concentrate on anything that’s being said and these occasions may even become more stressful than enjoyable.
There are so many factors you may be at odds with including background music, the chatter around the house and the dinner table, not to mention sports or holiday movies playing on the television. You may have noticed that loved ones need to repeat themselves, maybe even several times, so you can hear what is being said. So what kind of options are you faced with if you want this reality to change? We have a simple option, the solution for you may be hearing technology. Over the past decade hearing aids have gone through unbelievable improvements. Hearing aids have truly become advanced technology. Rather than simply making everything around you louder (which makes background noises louder as well), modern hearing aids have two functions that can save your holiday season—background noise reduction and speech focus.
Background noise reduction has been one of the most drastic improvements over the years. Older hearing aids were simple devices which consisted of a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker. Sound was picked up, amplified, and directed through the speaker to your ear. Clumping the vocalization and background noise together still made it quite difficult to understand speech. New digital hearing aids have undergone advancements to overcome this issue. Modern hearing aids still have all the components of the original hearing aid, but they also have something that was missing from the bigger picture—a digital processor. This new technology makes it possible for the hearing aids to convert sound into digital information. The hearing technology then uses that digital information to determine different kinds of sounds.
So what exactly does this mean? Hearing technology is smarter than it has ever been. Being to to identify different kinds of sounds means that hearing aids can be programmed to amplify only sounds with particular properties, especially those frequencies you may have difficulty hearing. Inversely, annoying background sounds that can make it difficult to hear can be identified and turned down.
Of course background noise reduction is not the only major advancement. In addition to controlling background noise, modern hearing aids can also recognize and focus on speech. Not only that, but digital hearing aids have directional microphones, which can focus on the direction of sound. So while background noises are being blocked out, voices from around the dinner table are being identified and amplified. This makes it possible to hear your loved ones at a large holiday meal!
Take back your holiday season this year. Do not let the fear of the unknown keep you from enjoying this holiday season and connecting with the people you love most. At Valley Hearing Center we have free hearing evaluations—we believe it is important to know your hearing status so you can get the help you need. Do not wait another day, call us today to get your hearing health on track and take advantage of the incredible technology we now have at our fingertips!
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