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Hearing Aids and Austin Neighborhood Gatherings

Q.  My spouse and I attend at least a handful of Austin gatherings with our friends over the extended holiday period.  She hears fine.  With my hearing aids on, I certainly hear better, but I understand men much better than women, so I often miss out on the conversations with my girlfriends.  Why is that and what can I do about it?

A.  On average, people with hearing loss usually have more trouble hearing higher pitched tones.  This means they hear lower pitched tones better.  For someone with a hearing loss, the outcome is often that men’s voices are easier to understand than women’s and children’s voices. 

    Hearing aids do help us hear what we would otherwise miss on our own.  In a noisy environment, ambient background noises can crowd out higher pitched voices.  Depending on the age, brand, and model of your hearing aids, your hearing center might be able to create a unique program setting for you to use in noisy situations.  If so, you should hear a bit better.

    If your hearing aids are more than 4 to 5 years old, schedule an appointment to listen to the newest hearing aids.  Marked improvements have been made recently to help hearing aids tell the difference between noises and voices – and to focus on the voices for you.