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How can I hear speech better in noisy situations when I wear my hearing aids?

people passing by

I have been wearing 2 hearing aids with 6 channels since July. I am satisfied overall, but continue to be frustrated with speech clarity when in a social situation, such as seated in a restaurant with lots of background sounds. I have tried different channels, but can’t find one that lets me hear speech clearly. Is there a way to address this problem?


Yes, there is a solution. However, your problem can be a complex one to resolve. Many things contribute to the challenges of hearing and comprehension in a social setting like a restaurant—everything from the acoustics of the location itself to your individual hearing profile. The good news is that you don’t have to try to figure it out on your own. If you are struggling with your current hearing aids, set up an appointment with your hearing health care provider to discuss the problem. Your provider is there to help!

Addressing hearing loss effectively is rarely a one-step process. For most people, there is a period of adjustment and readjustment of the hearing aids before achieving an optimal hearing experience. Your provider will ask questions to help identify the contributing factors, then make adjustments to your hearing aids. For example, he or she may change the compression, or consider how speech sounds match your listening range and adjust the programs accordingly. Then your provider will ask you to try out the new setting and report back if there is an improvement. This process may need to be repeated more than once to achieve the best results.

If you still find you are struggling in certain environments, you may want to explore the option of upgrading to a higher level of technology. Over the past few years, hearing aid manufacturers have made dramatic improvements in directionality, noise reduction, sound processing, and speech enhancement technology. It can be well worth the investment to upgrade for a more natural hearing experience. More channels can also help by giving your provider more parameters to work with in fine-tuning for challenging listening situations. If you’re not ready to upgrade, your provider will help you do the best you can with your existing technology.

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