The Best Hearing Aid Features
Hearing aids do much more than amplify sound. Today’s digital hearing aids come with several features that allow the units to process sound and communicate with your brain to improve your hearing. These are some of the best hearing aid features available.
Digital hearing aids can separate sound into individual frequencies. This allows each frequency, or channel, to have its own volume control. Your audiologist adjusts the amplification for each frequency to allow you to hear higher or lower pitched sounds better. Some hearing aids have up to 15 or 20 frequency channels that can be adjusted. This is different and distinct from the manual volume control on hearing aids.
If you find that it’s difficult to hear in noisy situations, your audiologist probably will recommend this feature to you. Hearing aids with this feature have two microphones on each hearing aid – one for the front and one for behind. The processor in the hearing aids automatically reduces the sensitivity of the rear microphone when you’re in a loud or noisy area and brings it back up when the noise volume decreases.
Noise and feedback reduction
Digital hearing aids can increase and decrease the amplification of sound, allowing the user to better understand speech in a noisy location. These increases and decreases occur in frequencies that have little to do with understanding speech.
Feedback reduction works to ensure that amplified sound is not picked up by the microphone(s). Some units have more sophisticated feedback managers than others. Whether or not you will have feedback depends upon the fit of your hearing aids and the severity of your hearing loss, so some units may not need as sophisticated a system as others.
These types of hearing aids can be trained to remember your volume preferences either with a push button or remote control. When you regularly reduce or increase the volume at the same time each day, eventually the hearing aids will automatically do it for you.
Just as your wireless phone picks up calls or music via Bluetooth, the same technology is in use in hearing aids. You can connect to your cell phone, mp3 player or television directly. This feature is very popular with people who have to be on the telephone often at work or at home.
This feature allows you to hear better when you talk on the telephone. There’s a setting to flip from the regular microphone to a “T” setting for telephone. This may be manual or automatic. The telecoil directs the sound to the hearing aid’s processor without using the microphone. The “T” setting also may be available in movie theatres or auditoriums with FM or induction loop installations, allowing you to hear speech better in these environments.
The best hearing aid features give your units the ability to adapt to your particular needs. Your audiologist can help determine which properties are necessary for you.