Listening to a person who is sitting next to you in a quiet room is not the same thing as following a lively conversation around a crowded restaurant table. Many digital hearing aids come with various listening programs to help compensate for variations in listening environments. These listening programs give your hearing aid the flexibility to help you hear at your best in a wide range of situations.
Your hearing professional will initially set up your multiple listening programs by using an external device. This process allows a number of individual processing characteristics to be fine-tuned into a number of distinct listening programs. These programs can be accessed manually when you start wearing your device, or they may automatically change to match your current listening situation.
There are many different types of listening programs that can be accessed through your hearing aid. You can access programs that reduce feedback, help shift high frequencies to lower ones (making them more comfortable to hear), help block out unnecessary background noise, and help make speech patterns in quiet environment clearer. 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 method you use to access these different programs varies from device to device. Your hearing aid may include a small external device (similar to a remote control) that allows you to change programs and access additional features. Other devices may be controlled by a small switch, while still others may automatically determine which program is best suited for your situation.
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 can help hearing instrument specialists determine what settings will lead to the best hearing experience for the child.
The additional flexibility and convenience that come with multiple listening programs helps hearing aid wearers achieve a more comfortable listening experience.