How to help with difficulty hearing in background noise.
Hearing aids provide significant benefits in background noise to most persons with hearing loss. However, those with a more significant hearing loss or auditory processing issues may still have problems hearing in background noise, even while wearing hearing aids. This is especially true when the background noise is other people talking, for example, a noisy restaurant or group gathering.
A remote microphone wirelessly connected to your hearing aids can help with problems hearing in background noise.
Several hearing aid manufacturers developed wireless remote microphones. These remote microphones connect wirelessly to your hearing aids via bluetooth or a remote interface device. For those that struggle to understand speech in background noise they are often a game-changer. Research shows that wireless microphones coupled with hearing aids in both ears improves the persons’ speech understanding in noisy environments. A recent study simulated a restaurant dining experience and compared persons’ ability to understand speech in background noise with hearing aids alone and with hearing aids plus a wireless remote microphone. Participants were asked to repeat Hearing in Noise Test sentences presented in restaurant noise. Sentences were presented from one of five loudspeakers equally spaced with the participant, while restaurant noise was presented on each side. The results of the study found significantly better speech understanding in background noise with the wireless remote microphone option.*
Audiologists near you, such as San Francisco’s Dr. Annie Ha , understand the benefits of hearing aid technology for those who struggle to hear in background noise. She can find the right remote microphone for you. It’s important to select a remote microphone that will be compatible with your hearing aids and type of hearing loss. Your hearing aids may need to be programmed or adjusted to communicate with the remote microphone.
*Thibodeau, Linda M., Benefits in Speech Recognition in Noise with Remote Wireless Microphones in Group Settings, J Am Acad Audiol 2020; 31(06): 404-411