First Step To Finding A Prescription Hearing Aid
Recent improvements in prescription hearing aid technology have made this an exciting time, with more choices than ever for your unique needs. When searching for the right hearing aids, it’s important to begin by locating a doctoral-level audiologist. Your audiologist will explore the various hearing aid options with you to determine which technology best meets your needs. This is consistent with the Associated Audiologists mission to improve lives through comprehensive audiology care.
Understanding How Prescription Hearing Aid Technology Works
Prescription hearing aids have advanced significantly since the development of digital processors. Microcomputer chips digitally process signals to selectively amplify the sounds for an individualized response based on the user’s hearing loss and personal preferences. Customizable prescription hearing aids use digital signal processing (DSP) to convert sound waves into digital signals. A computer chip in the hearing aid analyzes the signals to determine the frequency, or pitch, of the sound and whether the sound is music or background noise. It then makes modifications to provide a clear, amplified, distortion-free signal, emphasizing the most important sounds.
DSP also allows for more flexibility in programming the aid for each individual, matching your specific pattern of hearing loss.
The following are the benefits of the latest prescription hearing aid technology:
- Better precision in setting the appropriate gain for each frequency.
- Artificial Intelligence, or AI, processing allows the hearing aid to learn from the user’s environments and preferences.
- On-board and smart app controls allow for more flexibility for individual adjustments.
- Automatic management of loud sounds for comfort.
- Control of acoustic feedback reducing squealing or whistling sounds.
- Advanced noise management to reduce background noise.
- Automatic volume control and algorithm changes.
- Bluetooth streaming and advanced accessories for improved connectivity.
Many prescription hearing aids can store several custom programs to better accommodate all of your different listening environments so you can choose which type of amplification best suits your needs at any given time.
Most prescription hearing aids can be re-programmed by your audiologist if your hearing loss or listening needs change over time.
Consider the following technologies when choosing the best hearing aids for you:
— This is one of the most significant developments in prescription hearing aid technology that is based on how two normal ears work together. Traditionally, hearing aids functioned independently of one another. Now, they can communicate with one another, providing many of the benefits of hearing with two ears, improving your ability to hear fully, more naturally, and better detect the environment and speech around you.
Direct Streaming to Bluetooth/Cell Phone
— Most hearing aids feature Bluetooth connectivity. These models allow for seamless integration between the hearing aids and newer cell phone technology. This means you can stream your phone calls and music directly from your cell phone to your hearing aids, giving you better sound quality, clarity, and stereo listening.
Smartphone Remote App Features
— Many hearing aids can also connect with your smartphone through an app that works with both iOS and Android-based systems. This puts control over your hearing aid at your fingertips. You can change volume settings in each individual device and make other unique adjustments to suit your preferences and your environment. These apps are easy to use, and allow you to adjust everything from the microphones’ directionality to specific sound settings to suit any given environment.
Accessories for Prescription Hearing Aids
— Hearing aids with wireless capabilities have exciting technology available to improve your hearing when communicating with family and friends in complex environments where there is background noise or you cannot clearly see the speaker’s face. These devices utilize wireless connectivity and Bluetooth accessories to improve the listening experience.
These accessories such as a remote mic, or spouse mic, stream your conversation partner’s voice directly to your hearing aids, making that signal of interest louder than the background noise in the room.
Additionally, there are television devices that stream the sounds from your television directly to your aids allowing you to control your TV listening volume while others in the room can control the sound from the TV for their preference.
Some of the exciting new prescription hearing aid technology we carry with these advanced features include Widex Moment, Phonak Lumity and Paradise, ReSound One and Omnia, Oticon More, Starkey Evolv and Livo, Signia and Relate brands.