Hearing loss and background noise don't mix - here's why

When an individual who normally hears well begins having trouble hearing in loud surroundings, it’s one of the first signs of hearing loss. Let’s explore why that is:

Trying to understand and make out speech cues is tricky for anyone. This is because all of us use contextual cues - or clues we do make out - in order to fill the gaps missed or not made out due to background noise levels.

Loud settings tend to mask the finer sounds of speech — such as higher-pitched consonants — and that makes it hard for even those with perfect hearing thresholds to hear in loud and crowded (pre-covid!) environments.

When you add in the variable of hearing loss, these circumstances become incredibly difficult to navigate, as the brain doesn’t always separate speech from the background noise and fill in the spaces of the missing sounds. Even if it is able to do so, the cognitive fatigue that we experience is exhausting from these situations.

How Hearing Aids Operate in Noisy Environments

A hearing aid is a remarkable piece of technology that can utilize various specific differences between speech and noise to separate each type of auditory sound from the other.

Constant background noise is more steady-state - which means there’s not much fluctuation amplitude (loudness) or frequencies (pitch). On the other hand, speech is highly variable in both amplitude and frequency.

A hearing aid works to analyze and differentiate the sounds entering the microphones, then handle noise and speech differently, making sure the target signal — speech — is amplified and prioritized, while background noises are compressed and not enhanced.

Game-changing sound with Livio Edge AI’s Edge Mode feature

No matter how well a hearing aid is programmed, extremely challenging and unpredictable environments will be encountered sooner or later. Our Livio Edge AI hearing aids were designed to help you hear better in these difficult listening situations! With just a simple tap, the AI technology in the hearing aids is triggered to instantly make acoustic changes to suppress unwanted background noise and enhance speech sounds. Better hearing has never been more effortless! Learn more about what these hearing aids can do.

Experience the difference that hearing aids can make yourself by calling (888) 919-6824 or clicking here to find a hearing professional in your area.

By Starkey Canada

Archive