Even the best hearing aids will not cope satisfactorily in surroundings where the acoustics are poor. Have you noticed that it is often easier to have a conversation in your own home rather than in a busy restaurant?
A great deal of the difference may simply be due to the varying acoustics. The worse the acoustics, the more difficult it is for the hearing aid wearer to hear.
Here is a list of the things that can make a difference to the acoustics.
|Poor acoustics||Good acoustics|
|High, concave ceiling||Acoustic tiles on ceiling|
|In the middle of a noisy room||In the corner of a noisy room|
|Hard surfaces||Soft surfaces|
|Floors covered in tiles, lino, stone, marble, granite||Carpets, rugs|
|Wooden, metal or plastic chairs, pews, benches||Armchairs, upholstered seating, cushions|
|Uncurtained windows||Curtains, blinds|
|Bare tables, worktops||Tablecloths, placemats, coasters|
|Bare walls||Books, pictures, posters|
|Poor lighting||Good lighting|
|Kitchen, bathrooms, entrance halls in public buildings, swimming pools, supermarkets,||Sitting rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, furniture departments in department stores, libraries|
|Background noise, television, radio, tannoy, washing machines, games machines in pubs||Silence, television or radio off, music turned down|
|Open plan offices||Small offices|
|Busy streets||Quiet streets|
A few questions for you!
1. You have invited a friend for a meal – where would you sit?
(a) In the lounge or (b) in the kitchen?
2. You need to speak to the manager of a supermarket. Where would you ask to see him/her?
(a) In the centre of the store, (b) in a corner of the store, or (c) in the office?
3. You want to meet a friend for afternoon tea. Where would you suggest you meet?
(a) In the café of a supermarket, (b) in a fast food outlet, (c) in a small café with modern fitments,or (d) in a small teashop which is carpeted?
4. You have met a friend at the railway station and decide to take a taxi because of her luggage. Where would you have a conversation with her?
(a) In the station,(b) waiting for the taxi, or (c) in the taxi?
Answers: 1a; 2c; 3d; 4c.