Noise is a fact of modern life. From crowded stadiums to restaurants to the subway, noise is everywhere and may become overwhelming at times. The problem becomes worse for people with hearing aids, which can make it nearly impossible to pick out wanted sounds from the surrounding noise. Fortunately, many newer hearing devices are incorporating a digital noise reduction feature, a type of technology that helps block out unwanted sounds so you can focus on the things you want to hear.
Digital noise reduction technology relies on the fact that noise and speech have different sound patterns. If a person is talking to you in a quiet room, the device knows that the signals it is picking up are speech signals. Walk into a crowded and noisy room and the hearing aid equipped with digital noise reduction immediately knows that unwanted noise is present. The hearing aid makes the necessary adjustments on its own using built-in software and reduces the volume associated with the noisy channels.
While no hearing aid can completely eliminate unwanted noise, it can go a long way in reducing the frustration brought about by trying to communicate in loud environments. Compared to hearing aids that don’t have noise reduction technology embedded, user report better speech sounds and improved comprehension.
Digital noise reduction technology works best when the background noise it is combating is fairly constant. This means that steady sounds such as an air conditioner or engine running are more effectively blocked than dynamic music or a nearby conversation.
To make the most out of the digital noise reduction feature in your hearing aid, you might want to consider taking some common sense steps to reduce the noise around you. If dining in a crowded restaurant, for example, consider asking to be seated in a quieter part of the room or request that the music playing overhead be turned down.
Digital noise reduction technology is not perfect, but it can go a long way in helping to counteract the unwanted noise you encounter in your day to day life.