Q. To me, my family mumbles and talks too softly. I am also more sensitive to noise than I used to be. How can hearing aids help me hear their voices better without making background noises too loud?
A. Today’s hearing aids are smart enough to help your brain hear voices better and resist the effects of background noises. Yes, the hearing aids are advanced, and they also enhance your brain’s natural noise cancelling capacity.
The heart of today’s hearing aids are highly advanced, fast, and smart processors. For example, the VeloxTM chip in the Oticon Opn has a 100 cycle-per-second audio processing rate. This allows the Oticon Opn to reduce disruptive noises that are mixed in among the words you need to hear. Yes, the noises are still there, but their impact is much reduced while the aids enhance vocal sounds even more.
Hearing aids can be thought of like brain medicine or brain therapy. They help a bit right away. Along with hearing voices more easily and clearly, for the first few days some background sounds may be more noticeable. As your brain relearns how to hear better each day during the first few weeks, it can also regain some of its natural noise cancelling ability. So, as your brain grows accustomed to understanding speech better, it can also ignore background noises better, too.