It is often advised by Audiologists to avoid communicating in a noisy environment, especially if you are suffering from hearing loss and is a new user of digital hearing aids. This trick really works in adjusting to the new world of hearing. But what if you have no choice but to attend or go through some noisy situation? Or if you are the one who have been indoors for quite a while now, and are planning to face this world with your new digital hearing aids on? In either of the case, the very foremost thing that you need to do is to stay calm and not to panic. We are here to help you out!
What are the Tips to Help Me Communicate Easily in a Chaotic Environment?
Although the modern day digital hearing aids are designed to make you feel comfortable even in some cacophonous situation, yet you need to know some tricks and tips about how to tackle these unwanted situations, especially if you are a new hearing aid user. If, however, you are feeling comfortable in using analog hearing aids and are reluctant to switch over to digital hearing aids, our advice is either to opt for the later (after consulting an experienced Audiologist) which are much more advanced, thus having the capability to handle noisy situations, or else it is a must for you to follow these important tips for communicating in such situations. So let’s go through 5 most important ones which you MUST follow!
1. Use two hearing aids rather than one. There are a number of advantages of using two hearing aids which include -
a) The better ability to hear sounds from all directions coming from either side.
b) Increased loudness and clarity, as the amplified sounds are equally distributed to both the ears.
c) You will be able to understand and locate from which direction the sound source is originating.
d) Using binaural devices, especially digital hearing aids, will increase your ability to hear speech sounds better and will enhance speech understanding even in noisy backgrounds.
e) Using binaural digital hearing aids will prevent accidents from happening. If you are on the streets with only one hearing aid put on, you might have a wrong notion of the direction of a vehicle approaching from behind. For example, you are on a major crossing and a car is speeding from behind from the right side (suppose). In such a case you might assume that it is coming from the left side, because you are wearing your device in the left ear (suppose). It is a dangerous situation as your brain will prompt you to move to the right side from which the car is actually proceeding. It might lead to serious accidents.
Although you might do better with one hearing aid in normal situations, but in noisy situations you will realize that your devices are performing better.
2. Use digital hearing aids as they have digital signal processing (DSP). This technology allows the device to differentiate between speech and noise. In other words, the digital hearing aids - due to their DSP technology - enable you to listen to speech sounds clearly as the device reduces or cancels out background noise. Also, you must use the directional microphone setting of your digital devices so that you can switch the device from an omnidirectional setting to a directional setting. In case you do not know the difference between the two - if your digital hearing aids is in the omnidirectional mode, then you will hear sounds coming from all directions - namely front, back, right and left, top and bottom. But if you switch over to the directional setting, your hearing aid will pick up only the primary sounds which are coming from the front of the hearing aid user. So if you sit face-to-face with the speaker, you will clearly be able to listen to his/her speech - and not only listen, but also understand what the person is saying. In this case, you are able to focus only on a particular and an important sound source - which is speech. To attain the best result, make sure that the directional microphone is properly positioned.
3. Use the FM technology of your digital hearing aids. FM technology is the best solution for you if you have difficulty hearing in noise. It comprises two components -
a) An FM transmitter which will pick up the speaker’s speech sounds and send it to the FM receiver.
b) An FM receiver which will receive the speech sounds picked up by the transmitter and deliver them directly to the person’s ears (such as via loudspeakers).
FM technology is an advanced feature in the modern day digital hearing aids, as it helps the user clearly listen to the speech sounds which are which are closer to him/her. This technology amplifies the speech and makes it louder than the other background noises as much as 20 dB higher.
4. Take part in regular auditory training sessions. Recent researches have proved auditory training programs for adults with hearing impairment to be quite effective in improving their speech understanding capability in noise, while using advanced digital hearing aids.
5. Be at a comfortable position while conversing and face the speaker properly. Choose a place which is not dark, but well-lit. Make sure that the speaker’s face is visible clearly enough. This will enable you to read the person’s lips while trying to listen and understand his/her speech.
To conclude, the above tips will be quite effective in enabling you to listen much clearly even in noisy areas, especially if you are a new hearing aid user, and will also enhance your speech understanding capability. If you are still facing problems in understanding speech even while using good quality digital hearing aids, you must immediately consult an expert and certified Audiologist without delay.