Listening to someone who is seated next to you in a silent room is not the same thing as following a spirited conversation around a busy restaurant table. Many digital hearing aids are equipped with a number of 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. When you start wearing your device, these programs can be accessed manually or automatically to match whatever situation you find yourself in.
You may be surprised at the variety of listening programs your hearing aid is able to run. 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. Your hearing professional can work with you to help determine which programs are most appropriate for your individual situation.
The method you use to access these different programs varies from device to device. 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. You may be able to switch from program to program via a small switch, or your device may determine the best program for the situation without requiring your input.
Having multiple listening programs available may be particularly helpful for younger children with hearing issues. Having a number of available programs allows parents to quickly find a setting that is most comfortable for their child. This in turn gives hearing care professionals additional insight into which settings will produce the best results for the child.
A hearing aid with multiple listening programs can help you enjoy a more comfortable and natural listening experience.