Hearing aids have been a source of great help for those with hearing difficulties. They help to amplify the sounds of the world and facilitate the auditory processes. But, hearing in a noisy environment can still be difficult, even with these great devices. The following tips for hearing in a noisy environment may help you ease your communication difficulties.

Should I use two hearing aids or one?

One hearing aid is great but are two even better? For many, there is an advantage to wearing two devices, especially when attempting to listen in a noisy environment. Wearing two hearing aids can help to improve speech and actually increase the voice loudness of the individuals who are talking to you. Two devices create an amplification that is likely to drown out or block the background noise that can be highly distracting and make hearing in a noisy environment difficult.

What are digital signal processing hearing aids?

Digital signal processing (DSP) devices are hearing aids with digital components. The devices are worn by individuals with hearing difficulties or any other auditory need, and they run on a DSP system. This system works well when attempting to perceive sound in noisy environment, because the device distinguishes between background and speech noises. The device itself will identify speech and turn down the rest of the noise, thus making it easier to hear what is being said. It is not a perfect solution to the problem of hearing in noisy environments, however, but it is a good start.

Do I need a directional microphone?

A directional microphone is an option available on many different hearing aids. Directional microphones have two different forms that they can take. They can be either omni-directional or directional. With omni-directional hearing aids, sound is picked up from all around the individual, including the front and back, as well as the sides. In contrast, a directional hearing aid will pick up sounds mainly from what is happening in front of an individual.

The directional microphone, which switches automatically from one microphone to another on some devices, can be a great way to eliminate background sounds and increase hearing in a noisy environment. Such abilities, though, do not happen automatically or every time. It is important that the microphone be located in just the right spot, in order that the optimizing sounds be heard. Individuals wearing these must be aware that the best position for a conversation to be heard via these microphones, especially when trying hearing in a noisy environment. This position involves keeping the head forward as the listener talks. By bending or moving, the person is no longer in an optimal position to hear what is going on around them.

What is FM technology?

Another of the best solutions for hearing in a noisy environment is FM technology.

There are two different aspects of this technology, including:

  • An FM transmitter which works by detecting a speaker’s voice which is then sent to an FM receiver. The transmitter can vary in size from large enough to sit on a table to very small. 
  • An FM receiver which attaches to the listener’s ear and transmits the sounds that way. It is very similar to a speaker device.

The Top 15 Communication Strategies for the Hearing Impaired.

  1. Choose quieter venues in restaurant, bars, etc.
  2. Reserve a spot early, and ask what accommodations are available.
  3. Prepare by knowing the menu to make ordering simpler.
  4. Pick less noisy times to go out.
  5. Peruse the menu ahead of time via online support.
  6. Do not overcrowd, and only dine with a few people.
  7. Choose a table in a quieter area.
  8. Choose seating that is not in the dark but in a well-lit area.
  9. Understand it is going to be difficult to hear regardless of your hearing aid strength.
  10. Sit so that the light from a window is not in your eyes but on the speakers face.
  11. Ask politely for music to be turned down.
  12. Tell your fellow diners that you need them to slow down and talk more clearly.
  13. Tell the waitress your preferences to minimize conversation and confusion.
  14. Ask for printed, not verbal, lists of the specials.
  15. Use your directional setting on the hearing aids with your back to the noise.