shutterstock_123420280Conversations at crowded tables can be extremely challenging, even for those without hearing loss.  The different stories, voices, and volumes compete for your  attention while you try to engage with those around you.  As our friends and families get together to celebrate traditions of winter, make sure to have strategies in place to maximize retention of speech understanding.

These tried and true methods should be of great help.  If you have one side that hears better than the other, make sure that dominant side is facing the action.  If you are in a setting that tests both sides, try to reduce interfering noises by having you back to a wall.  This will help ensure that sounds you hear are in front of you, and easier to recognize.

Processors with dual microphones will have better directionality, meaning they will help to interpret sounds coming from behind you vs. in front of you.  Activating the Noise setting of your processor will also work to reduce background noise and help focus on sounds you want to hear.  If you need more information about changing programs, visit our website www.Cochlear.com/US and select your processor type by clicking the “For Recipients” section.

Assistive listening devices are also a great option for particularly challenging noise environments.  You can select wired accessories, like a lapel microphone, or wireless accessories, like a Mini Mic.  The Mini Mic can be clipped to a speakers shirt and stream their voice directly to your processor, almost like you are standing right next to them.    Learn more about the Mini Mic and Phone Clip here.

What has worked for you?  We would love to get everyone’s tips and tricks for hearing in challenging situations.  Funny learning experiences are always extra welcome! Email us at CochlearWire@cochlear.com.

Marilyn Flood