Listening to someone who is sitting next to you in a silent room is not the same thing as following a lively conversation around a busy restaurant table. Most digital hearing aids can adapt to different environments like these by using an assortment of “listening programs”. Being able to use various listening programs makes it convenient to hear better in a variety of different conditions.
Your hearing professional will initially set up your multiple listening programs by using an external device. The software will give him or her the ability to “fine-tune” the way your hearing aid processes sound and to create a series of distinct listening programs for different scenarios. 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.
The way you activate one of these listening programs can vary from hearing aid to hearing aid. Some models include a small fob (much like a remote control) that allows the user to choose a program or to select or adjust other features of the hearing aid. Other devices may be controlled by a small switch, while still others may automatically determine which program is best suited for your situation.
Hearing aids with multiple listening programs can be especially useful for young children. Parents can more easily switch between programs to find the most comfortable settings for the child. This helps audiologists 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.