Relief from Loud TV Commercials

Loud commercials worse for hearing aid users

We have all experienced it: the sudden increase in loudness that some TV commercials have over the program being watched. For people with normal hearing, the change in volume is primarily annoying. For hearing aid users, that same change in loudness may be uncomfortable or even painful.

The CALM Act

Now, with new regulations recently enacted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), such irksome volume swells may be a thing of the past. On Dec. 13, 2012, the FCC put into effect its Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act. This legislation is intended to require commercials aired on television to have the same average volume as the programs they accompany.

Most hearing aids have noise reduction circuits

While most hearing aids manufactured in the last 10 years have noise reduction circuits that prevent the hearing aid from over amplifying sudden loud sounds, the increase in the volume for commercials can still be unpleasant. As an audiologist since 1979, this has been a common complaint of many of my hearing aid patients.

Report violators to FCC

Hopefully, this new policy will provide relief for hearing aid wearers (and everybody else!) who have long sought relief from those blaring TV ads. If it doesn’t, the following link explains how you can report violators of the new commercial calming rules directly to the FCC:

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