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Hearing Aids & Background Noise – Difficulty Hearing in Noisy Environments

One of the biggest struggles in social life can be hearing in noisy situations with, or even without, hearing loss.  Quiet environments are less challenging than noisy environments, such as restaurants because typically these places have poor acoustics, hard surfaces and high ceilings and many times loud music playing in the background.  All of these factors make it very difficult to communicate with someone at your table and enjoy the conversation.

Do you have trouble hearing in noisy environments? Here are some tips on how to hear better in those situations, especially if you have hearing aids:

Seating

When you are out and about, do you best to to be seated at a table with you back to the dominant noise.  Have the person(s) you are with sit with their back towards a wall or less noise, as this will help direct their voice in your direction while you can drown out some of the background noise. Don’t be afraid to ask your hostess or server for a seating location that will give you the ability to hear better.

Avoid The Dark

Sitting in well-lit areas can also help those struggling to hear in loud environments by giving you the ability to clearly see your friends and/or family and can use their non-verbal cues to help follow conversation.

Utilize Technology

Hearing aids frequently are equipped with the technology to aid users when dealing with loud background noise. On most modern hearing aids, there is a dedicated program that is specialized for restaurants or speech in noise, which can  be accessed by pushing a button on your hearing aid. This “restaurant mode” enables the hearing aid to reduce background noise and enhance the speech in front of you more efficiently.

Use Bluetooth Apps

For those of you who have hearing aids that are Bluetooth compatible, look into applications that allow you to adjust your hearing aid settings. Once paired to your phone, you are given the flexibility to adjust your settings to best suit the environment that you are currently in.  

Hearing aids can offer hearing loss sufferers with the ability to avoid becoming overwhelmed with background noise from a loud environment. With ever-evolving technology and new settings on hearing aids (restaurant mode, for example), those suffering from hearing loss can avoid missing out on conversation at the dinner table

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