Grand Rapids, MI 616-773-2419
Kentwood, MI 616-828-1516
Greenville, MI 616-828-5420
McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

Holiday Hearing

Struggling with hearing loss throughout the holiday season can be especially challenging.

While you may honestly prefer to NOT hear some of your family members, the conversations you do want to take part in can be stressful. And because most large holiday gatherings tend to be loud, it can be near impossible to focus on any one person or conversation.

In order to engage in conversation, you have to cope with background music, people talking simultaneously around the table, and the Thanksgiving football game blaring in the background. This creates an impossible situation that can make you feel detached and excluded.

Short of forcing everyone to repeat themselves or staying quiet, what are your options?

Truthfully, 10 years ago you didn’t have many. Older analog hearing aids could amplify speech—the trouble was that they also amplified everything else, including background noise. Since all sound was just made to be louder, it didn’t help a great deal with understanding the person you were talking to.

But hearing aids have changed, and for the better. In particular, contemporary hearing aids have two functions that can save your holiday season: background noise reduction and speech focus.

Background noise suppression

Older analog hearing aid models were in fact very straightforward gadgets. They consisted of a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker. Sound was detected by the microphone, amplified, and delivered through the speaker to the ear.

The difficulty was, however, that the hearing aid couldn’t differentiate between vocalization and background sound. The amplifier made every sound louder, so unless you were in a quiet environment, you had a tough time hearing voices.

Because holiday gatherings are anything but quiet, what you actually need is a hearing aid that can differentiate between sounds—which is exactly what modern digital hearing aids can accomplish.

Digital hearing aids, coupled with containing a microphone, amplifier, and speaker, also include a digital processor. As a result, sound can be converted into digital information that the hearing aid can utilize to distinguish between various kinds of sounds.

By distinguishing and marking different types of sounds, modern hearing aids can be programmed to amplify only sounds with particular attributes, including all of the frequencies you have difficulty hearing. Background sounds, in contrast, can be conveniently recognized and silenced.

Speech focus

Along with restraining background sound, contemporary hearing aids can also identify and concentrate on speech.

Speech has a exclusive trait in that it is made up of primarily of high-frequency sounds. This makes it simple for the digital processor to distinguish between speech and background noise, which is predominantly low frequency.

On top of that, digital hearing aids have what are known as directional microphones, which can locate the direction of sound. Some hearing aid models can even focus the microphones in specific directions, like the direction of the person you’re talking to.

Book Your Hearing Test and Enjoy the Holidays Again

Are you ready to reclaim your holiday season?

Contact us today and we’ll help you select among the incredible digital hearing aid technology available to you. After that, with your new hearing aids—complete with background noise suppression and speech focus—you’ll have the ability to hear all of the conversations with comfort and clarity.

As for the relatives you don’t want to hear? Not to worry, the hearing aids also come equipped with an off button.