ORO VALLEY AUDIOLOGY
2542 E. Vistoso
Oro Valley, AZ 85755
TANQUE VERDE AUDIOLOGY
7255 E. Tanque Verde
Tucson, AZ 85715
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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Here are a few things that improve hearing in
Hearing With Both Ears
Your brain compares the signal from both ears and uses the differences
to determine from what direction sounds originate and to tune out
background noise while you focus on conversation. If you have hearing
loss in both ears and choose to wear only one hearing aid, you are
essentially only listening through one ear. Without “stereo,” the
brain has difficulty filtering out the interfering noise.
Control Your Environment
Certain acoustics can make hearing in noise even worse. High ceilings
and reverberant surfaces such as tile floors make noisy situations
difficult even for those with normal hearing. Don’t be shy about
controlling your surroundings — ask for a booth in a corner of the
restaurant, or pull aside the person you’re straining to hear at a
party and duck outside or into a quieter room.
We cannot stress enough the importance of this feature on hearing
aids. While adding a directional microphone to a hearing aid may
increase the cost slightly, it also increases the benefit
immeasurably. Given that in most circumstances we face the person we
wish to hear, it would be helpful to amplify sounds in front of us
without amplifying the noise behind us. Directional microphones do
When a hearing aid has only a single microphone, the microphone picks
up sound (regardless of what direction it comes from) and amplifies it
according to the prescription. By placing a second microphone on the
hearing aid, we can tell from what direction sounds originate. With a
directional microphone, one microphone points forward and one points
to the rear. Because sounds coming from behind you will be louder when
they reach the back microphone and sounds coming from in front of you
will be louder when they reach the front microphone, we now have a
basis for comparison. The hearing aid uses this information to turn
down sounds coming from behind and to accentuate sounds coming from in
front, thereby dramatically improving hearing in noise.
Most hearing aids with directional microphones require that you switch
between the omni-directional and directional modes. That is, there
will usually be a program button or switch that will toggle the
hearing aid between a prescription for “in
quiet” (when you may want
to hear sounds from behind you) and one for noisy environments (when
the directional microphone is on so that background noise is reduced
but not eliminated). Other hearing aids have automatic directionality,
where sounds detected from behind are turned down over the course of a
few seconds. We will discuss the specifics of operation for your
particular hearing aids.
Steady State Noise Reduction
Some digital hearing aids search for “steady
state” noises (e.g.
refrigerator hum, fan noise) and turn those down. Because speech is a
modulated signal, speech is amplified while the constant hum of your
refrigerator is almost completely cancelled. While this feature is
very helpful for specific types of noise, it will not help reduce
background noise that is not steady state such as the party of people
talking behind you in a restaurant.
From our Blog - ... One of Those (Hard of Hearing) Weekends - Have you ever had one of those hours,
or days, or weekends when hearing loss seems to play a starring role as the bad guy? ...
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