Now that we are solidly into some nicer weather, we can fully expect that our social environment for the next several months will remain outdoors. For most people this means sunshine, laughter and relaxation. Far too often it can cause anxiety and depression in someone who is hard of hearing. Sound can disappear with a lack of acoustical echo afforded by interior walls, conversation tends to be at a further distance than indoors and oftentimes there is background noise caused by neighbours, traffic or wind.
There are a few things to keep in mind. Hearing aids are paramount in overcoming hearing loss outdoors! The listening environment can be quite complex, so not just any hearing aid will do. Advanced or premium technology is the key because the sophistication level of the chip is what determines how the noise reduction and wind noise reduction systems function. Basic hearing aids (not necessarily related to lower price) can put you at a disadvantage while trying to converse in a backyard. It is important that the clinician helps you to select hearing aids with the appropriate features which can function either automatically or manually to help you, rather than hinder. Wind noise can be incredibly challenging to hear through so the style of device, along with chipset must be selected with the outdoors in mind.
Another option which can be of significant assistance in certain applications is a remote microphone which can be worn as a lapel mic on the other person which can transmit the signal to the hearing aids and eliminate distance as a factor. These typically are available as a no-cost option with the purchase of certain hearing aids and can be quite helpful.
If you plan on spending time outdoors with others this season, communicate this important detail with your hearing healthcare provider to ensure you are using the best hearing aids for your personal needs.