Since it’s summer, odds are you’ll find yourself outside more than usual, and whether you’re going to street festivals, fairs, amusement or water parks, you’ll want to be aware of your hearing aid’s localization features.
What is localization?
Localization is the ability to determine the direction and placement of sound and noise, and is important for spatial awareness, balance, and location comprehension. Those with hearing loss often have trouble with the localization of sound.
What does this mean for summer activities?
Being able to hear the world around you is an incredibly important part of staying aware and safe, and unlike at home or indoors, the sounds of an outdoor environment can be a bit more unpredictable.
If you find yourself surrounded by a lot of people, you’ll also be surrounded by a lot of sound. To someone with hearing impairment, this could be like hearing a low roar, a flat level of noise coming from no particular direction. This not only limits your interaction with those around you, but can also cause safety issues.
What can you do?
- Be sure to talk to your audiologist about how your hearing aid processes sound in a 3D environment.
- Before you buy an aid, research different brands. Oticon Opn™, for instance, has a lot of good localization features, including rapid noise reduction and speech clarity support.
- If you notice an increased difficulty hearing or comprehending speech or noise in big crowds, don’t ignore it. Maybe you need another hearing assessment, or maybe your aid simply needs an up-to-date adjustment.
Don’t waste your summer worrying about noise outside.