Hearing a person speaking in a quiet room is very different from trying to follow a conversation in a busy restaurant. So that you can keep up with changes in your listening environment, the majority of digital hearing aids are equipped with several different listening programs. Being able to select various listening programs makes it convenient to hear better in many different situations.
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 process allows a number of individual processing characteristics to be fine-tuned into a number of distinct listening programs. Once you begin using your hearing aid, these programs may be selected manually or automatically (depending on the your particular device and its configuration) to suit your listening environment.
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. Your hearing professional can work with you to help determine which programs are most appropriate for your individual situation.
Depending on your device, you may access these programs several different ways. 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. 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.