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A Look at Hearing Aids Designed for Loud Noise Filtering

As hearing loss becomes a more prevalent issue, an increasing number of people rely on hearing aids to stay connected to their surroundings. But with loud noises often being a primary cause of hearing impairment, it raises an important question: How can hearing aid users safeguard their hearing against the very sounds that may have contributed to their hearing loss? This article delves into the latest advancements in hearing aid technology, specifically designed to filter out harmful noise levels while enhancing auditory experience.

Hearing Protection

Noise-induced hearing loss 

With the two leading contributors to hearing loss being aging and noise, it’s essential that we’re aware of the effect our surroundings can have on our hearing. Though noise-induced hearing loss can occur anytime you are exposed to excessively loud sounds, with permanent hearing loss possible following a single exposure, it is most often caused by repetitive exposure to loud noises.

The most common causes for noise-induced hearing loss include:

  • loud music
  • lawn mowers
  • machinery or power tools
  • gunfire

 As such, reducing the volume of music and wearing well-fitting ear protectors are essential to preventing what is most often permanent, irreversible damage.

While noise-induced hearing loss usually affects higher frequencies, making them harder to hear, other effects of exposure to loud noises may include tinnitus (also known as “ringing in the ears”), and hyperacusis (reduced tolerance to sound, or perceiving normal sounds as unbearably loud). The good news is that all these effects can be treated with the correct hearing aid.

Hearing Aid or Hearing Protection?

When it comes to protecting our hearing, many of us are familiar with hearing protection devices such as earplugs and earmuffs. Blocking sound waves from entering the ear, these devices are essential to ensuring our hearing isn’t affected by prolonged exposure to loud noises.

However, if we already suffer from hearing loss and wear a hearing aid, how can we safeguard our hearing if we find ourselves exposed to the same loud noises without these noises being amplified even further?

For construction workers, hunters, police officers, and all other hearing aid wearers who need to be around loud noises, whether for work or otherwise, one option is to wear a hearing aid with hearing muffs over the top, allowing users to hear their surroundings but still protecting them from particularly loud frequencies. However, several hearing aid manufacturers also produce hearing aids with noise-cancellation features, allowing wearers to reduce background noise and safeguard their hearing, all in one.

How Noise Reduction Hearing Aids Work

Many hearing aids are built with background noise reduction technology, fitted with modulation-based systems that analyze speech and noise levels, differentiating between speech and other noise. Automatically decreasing the volume of loud and background noises, these systems allow wearers to understand speech better and therefore participate more fully in conversations, no matter the type of environment they find themselves in. When these systems detect loud noises but no speech, they automatically reduce the volume to produce a more comfortable hearing experience.

With hearing aid technology advancing rapidly, these systems are constantly improving, with multiple channels able to process a myriad of sounds for targeted noise reduction responses.

Types of noise reduction systems include:

  • Digital noise reduction reduces background or environmental noise to make listening more comfortable.
  • Impulse noise reduction detects temporary loud noises and instantly softens them.
  • Wind noise reduction detects wind and reduces the noise, or at least avoids amplifying it.

The world's first custom, Bluetooth® compatible and rechargeable hearing aid and protection device

Soundgear Phantom

Dedicated to delivering the best hearing experience possible, Starkey produces a hearing device featuring the most advanced Noise Reduction technology on the market, helping those with normal to moderate hearing loss hear better without having to worry about exposure to loud noises.

Marketed as “the world’s first custom, Bluetooth® compatible and rechargeable hearing protection device,” Phantom is custom fit to each wearer’s ear, guaranteeing the highest level of protection from both sudden and continuous sounds while allowing users to hear environmental sounds and conversations more clearly. Other features include:

  • Apple® and Android™ connectivity
  • 23 hours of battery life, including 4 hours of streaming
  • Lithium-ion rechargeable battery that recharges overnight
  • A custom charger case that provides up to 3 additional charges for on-the-go charging

 Interested in finding out more about hearing aids with noise reduction, or want to get fitted for the right aid for you? Then book a hearing appointment at your local Hear Right and allow our trained audiologists to guide you towards the right choice for you.  

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Hear Right Canada

At Hear Right, we provide a high level of care for the treatment and rehabilitation of hearing loss utilizing highly skilled hearing care professionals and advanced technology at a lower cost to our patients.
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