"Why is it that I spent $6,000 on a brand new premium set of hearing aids and I still can't hear worth a darn in background noise?" Have you ever heard someone say something like this?
For starters, hearing aids are only part of the solution for hearing improvement. Let me explain.
The bottom line is that the brain needs a good clean signal in order to have what it needs to understand sound. It really is true that hearing actually happens between the ears. So how does a person get a good signal to the brain?For some people, hearing aids do seem to be all that's required. They just need to hear the sounds outside their reduced range of hearing.
Well fit hearing aids do a fantastic job in these cases. However, for many with hearing loss, the nerve pathway from the ear to the brain is not clear, and hearing aids are only part of the solution. This is where extra devices like remote microphones can significantly clean up the signal if used properly.
For sure, these products can be a little cumbersome to use. However, at this point a people needs to ask themselves how badly do they want to hear more effectively. Finally, one of the biggest things (and the cheapest might I ad) is being intentional about good communication practices. For the listener, simple things can go a long way to understanding conversations better:
- Reminding people of how you need them to communicate with you if you have hearing loss.
- Sitting in well lit areas to help with lip reading.
- Moving to quiet places.
And for the speaker, some of the basics are:
- Getting the listener’s attention.
- Speaking clearly, not just louder.
- Talking face to face.
This is a just a sampling of the things that many of us know about, but don’t always practice. At Nanaimo Hearing Clinic, our job is not just to fit you with hearing aids! We also work to help you understand the additional tools and strategies that are necessary to be the most effective at communicating in difficult listening situations.