Hearing Matters

Speech-in-Noise, What can we do about background noise?

By Ryan Hill, Au.D.

Difficulty hearing speech in noise is the most common complaint of any person who has hearing loss whether or not they wear hearing aids. This is one of the most challenging aspects of our jobs as audiologists and also for the researchers and scientists who are working on new technology. The latest hearing aid technology is better than it ever has been, but it is still not perfect.

But how well should we expect to hear in background noise? Unfortunately, there are too many factors for each person and their hearing loss to make a blanketed answer that fits everyone.  Factors such as severity of hearing loss, speech recognition ability, auditory memory, technology of the hearing system, accessories coupled to the hearing aids, level of noise in the area, are among the many factors that contribute to a person’s ability to hear speech in noise.

Can we test it? We sure can. We use a test called the Quick-S.I.N. Quick Speech-In-Noise test. We can test you with and without hearing aids and even measure the improvement the hearing aids offer. This will give us an idea of what to expect in the real world. If we feel you could use improvement we can make recommendations on how to reduce noise and increase what you want to hear in those adverse listening environments.

If you could use more help in noisy situations, schedule a consultation and we will be glad to make further recommendations to improve your hearing in background noise!