Hearing a conversation in a crowded restaurant and listening to an individual speaking in a hushed room are two completely different situations. So that you can keep up with variations in your listening environment, the majority of digital hearing aids are equipped with several different listening programs. The ability to access multiple listening programs helps to ensure that you can hear at your best no matter what situation you are in.
After you receive your hearing aid, your hearing care professional will use a computer running specialized software to program it based on your unique needs. This device allows him or her to fine-tune a number of individual processing characteristics into several distinct programs. These programs can be accessed manually when you start wearing your device, or they may automatically change to match your current listening situation.
Today’s hearing aids are quite powerful, and many are capable of running a wide variety of listening programs. You can access programs that reduce feedback, help shift high frequencies to lower ones (making them more comfortable to hear), help block out unnecessary background noise, and help make speech patterns in quiet environment clearer. 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.
Depending on your device, you may access these programs several different ways. 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. Other hearing aids are equipped with a small manual switch, and some may actually choose the most appropriate program for you automatically.
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 helps audiologists narrow in on what settings will give the child the best listening experience possible.
The multiple listening programs feature in hearing aids can play a significant role in allowing the hearer to enjoy a more natural listening experience.