Hearing someone who is seated next to you in a silent room is not the same thing as following a lively conversation around a busy restaurant table. The majority of digital hearing aids can adjust to different conditions like these by using a variety of “listening programs”. Having access to multiple listening programs helps to ensure that you can hear at your best whatever situation you are in.
When you first receive your hearing aid, your hearing professional will program your device with an external computer. 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 method you use to access these different programs varies from device to device. Some hearing aids are sold with a small external controller that allows you to switch from program to program as well as access other features. 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.
Young children with hearing issues may be good candidates for hearing aids with multiple listening programs. Having a number of available programs allows parents to quickly find a setting that is most comfortable for their 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.