Q. About 15-20 of our good friends have a monthly gathering in South Austin. With all the cross talk and background noise, I have a very hard time understanding people. Can anything be done to my hearing aids to help?
A. Noise always makes it more difficult to have conversations – whether you have hearing aids or normal hearing. Some people’s hearing and understanding are more sensitive to noise than others. If you are able to step out to a less noisy area, that would certainly help.
For your hearing aids, your hearing center might be able to add or activate a ‘noise reduction’ or ‘voices in noise’ setting that you can turn on when necessary. Keep in mind, your natural hearing will still continue to pick up the surrounding noises, even if your hearing aids are tuning them out.
Turning the volume up or down can make conversations easier to hear. Each situation and environment can be different. One might need more volume, and another less.
Lastly, try keeping your back near a wall in a busy environment. And face the person you are talking with to watch them as they talk to you.
Call us at the Better Hearing Center of Austin at 512-282-4327 for a thorough, well explained ear check-up and hearing exam. You can listen to new hearing aids at your appointment. We provide 4-week hearing aid trials with follow-up appointments to fully try out hearing aids before a final purchase.
Saleem Assaf (BA – Rice, MBA – UT) is a native Dallas, Texan and a recipient of KVUE’s 2020 award for 5 Who Care and the Texas Hearing Aid Association’s 2018 Dispenser of the Year award. Outside his practice, Saleem volunteers for hearing healthcare in Austin and abroad. Since 2008, he has provided $178,000 in hearing aids to students at the Texas School for the Deaf.