Factors for Improving Hearing in Noise:
Choose the highest level of technology you can afford. The difference in the three levels of technology is performance in noisy environments. Each manufacturer has proprietary strategies with some truths:
1. No hearing aid eliminates all background noise. All hearing aids improve the speech to noise ratio (reducing noise, raising speech).
2. Siemens (Signia) hearing aids enable the listener to hear better in noise than people with normal hearing.
4. Phonak's new AutoSense Sky offers improved speech to noise ratio for kids. This is especially important for children integrated into classes with normal hearing children.
Along the way...as life presents us with a variety of challenges... in health... at work... with noisy hobbies... in the life saving medications we're prescribed... in systemic illnesses we develop... we all experience sensory changes, even if we don't develop a hearing loss.
Some individuals with normal hearing report difficulty understanding speech in noisy places. Fewer individuals with hearing loss report no difficulty hearing in noise. Experience shows that the degree of problem-causing background noise can vary significantly among individuals with the same amount of hearing loss.
Some refer to tolerance to noise as dependent on how your brain is "hard-wired." You may recall you were the teenager who could listen to the Top 40 on the radio, pet the dog, talk on the phone, and simultaneously complete your algebra homework. You may have had a brother or sister who slammed their door, turned off the radio, put on noise canceling headphones and completed their homework. Looks like you may be "hard-wired" to tolerate more noise than your sibling. Research shows your "wiring" persists throughout the lifespan.
At Appalachian Audiology, we measure your tolerance for noise before we even begin to talk about hearing solutions. Often we hear, "I hear fine one on one, but put some noise in the background, and I should have stayed at home." That's why we test three aspects of communication before we discuss hearing solutions: