Hearing a discussion in a busy restaurant and following a person speaking in a quiet room are two completely different scenarios. Many digital hearing aids are equipped with a number of listening programs to help compensate for variations in listening environments. Having access to multiple listening programs ensures that you can hear at your best whatever situation you are in.
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. When you start wearing your device, these programs can be accessed manually or automatically to match whatever situation you find yourself in.
Today’s hearing aids are quite powerful, and many are capable of running a wide variety of listening programs. 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. 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 hearing aids are equipped with a small manual switch, and some may actually choose the most appropriate program for you automatically.
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 can help audiologists 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.