With hearing loss being the third most common health problem in the country, most people will need to purchase hearing aids at some point in their lifetime. However, many people with hearing loss object to wearing a hearing aid. They see hearing devices as obtrusive and clunky. They believe that wearing hearing aids will show their age and draw too much attention to their disability.
However, hearing aid technology has come a long way in recent years. These devices are less noticeable, more appealing, and more technologically advanced than ever before. Hearing aids of the past involved large, heavy batteries and vacuum tubes. But now, they involve computerization, digitized sound processing, and microchips. You can now purchase hearing aids with advanced capabilities and functions to meet virtually all of your needs.
Here’s what’s new in the latest hearing aid technology.
Digital hearing aids are long lasting and offer clear benefits, such as flexibility in programming in order to match your specific patterns of hearing loss, greater fitting precision, greater management of loudness discomfort, and noise reduction. Digital hearing aids are more often than not self-adjusting, making them easy and convenient to wear. Some can even store various programs, which can you switch between when your listening environments change.
Direct audio input
A direct audio input system allows you to connect your hearing aid to another device with a wire through a headphone jack. This feature is ideal for connecting with devices that don’t have Bluetooth capabilities. Though in-the-ear and invisible-in-canal hearing aids are typically too small for such a feature, many behind-the-ear hearing aids are now equipped with this technology.
For devices that do have Bluetooth streaming capabilities, however, such as TVs, computers, phones, and many other electronics, the latest hearing aid technology can allow you to connect to these devices wirelessly. You can talk on the phone hands free or listen to your favorite TV show or music without disturbing those around you thanks to this short-range wireless connection.
A telecoil, often referred to as a t-coil, is a tiny copper coil that acts as a wireless antenna to deliver customized sound. Telecoils are available in most hearing devices. It allows you to talk on compatible phones without having to endure listening to any feedback noise, ringing, or whistling. The telecoil can also be linked to a sound system in theaters, classrooms, and other public areas that are equipped with hearing assistive technology, which can improve your understanding of the dialogue taking place around you when in a public setting.
For some, the most exciting latest hearing aid technology is a smartphone app. Depending on your hearing aid, you can download an app, connect it to your hearing device, and then have the option of controlling and adjusting your settings, such as volume, right from your phone.
In the past, wearing a hearing aid could prevent you from being able to participate in the activities that you love, such as swimming. But thanks to the latest hearing aid technology, you can now buy a device that is water-resistant, shock-resistant, dust-resistant, and moisture-resistant. You can now enjoy all the benefits of wearing a hearing aid, even in the most demanding environments.
Request an appointment with a doctoral-level audiologist at Associated Audiologists to select the advanced capabilities and features that match your needs and budget. Hearing aid accessories can also be added to your device over time as your hearing situation changes.