January 17, 2023
Hearing aids have come a long way since the development of the first behind-the-ear models in the 1960s and 1970s. You might remember what these devices were like: bulky and very conspicuous. They would sit uncomfortably behind your ear, amplifying all the noises around you. But today, hearing aids are much more discreet and technologically advanced.
Here are some of the most exciting technologies available in today’s hearing aids.
Bluetooth is a non-proprietary wireless connectivity protocol. That means that Bluetooth works with many devices and doesn’t require cables.
This technology allows you to stream all media directly to your hearing aids. Much like you use a pair of earbuds, you can send audio from your smartphone directly to your hearing aids for phone calls, video conferences, music, and other media. If you have a Bluetooth-enabled television, you can pair your hearing aids with that to stream the audio from the TV directly to your hearing aids. Bluetooth adapters are also available to stream the audio from non-Bluetooth devices to your hearing aids.
Pairing your hearing aids to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth allows you to control your hearing aids using the manufacturer’s app, which can be downloaded onto your device. Most apps allow you to control the volume and the program and even separate volume levels for speech and background sound.
Rechargeable hearing aids have batteries built right into the hearing aid. Rather than taking out the batteries to recharge them, all you need to do is place the entire hearing aid on the charger each night. In the morning, you’ll have a full day of power.
Today’s rechargeable hearing aid batteries use lithium-ion technology, and these durable batteries efficiently provide a full day of power. Whether running complex programs to help you hear or streaming audio throughout the day, the batteries have enough power to let you hear your way.
All shapes and sizes of hearing aids are now available – some are so discreet that people can hardly see them!
An invisible hearing aid is a hearing aid that is designed to fit entirely inside the ear canal. Only two types could qualify as invisible: the invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aid and the completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aid. Although other hearing aid types exist, these are the only two that fit entirely within the ear canal, rendering them indistinguishable from almost everyone in the room.
Invisible hearing aids are widely available and are produced by all of the biggest hearing aid manufacturers.
Invisible hearing aids could be the right choice if you are concerned about the size of behind-the-ear hearing aids. They will give you the benefits of hearing aids without letting the entire world know you are wearing them.
Also, they use your ear’s shape to produce a more natural sound. There are no wires or tubes to get in the way, and your ear is not “plugged up” to prevent sound from automatically entering your ear. This more natural sound experience makes it easier for users to adapt to hearing aids.
Did you know that there are hearing aids with special features just for tinnitus sufferers?
Many hearing aids have ways to deal with tinnitus. Most of the time, soothing nature sounds are brought in to help cover up the annoying sounds of tinnitus. This kind of sound therapy can help people with these conditions make their tinnitus less obvious.
Hearing aids help people hear sounds they might have missed, which can mask many tinnitus sounds. They make it easier to hear external sounds, making it easier to ignore annoying sounds inside your head.
We don’t know what causes tinnitus, but some scientists think it’s actually “noise” made by the brain when it can’t get enough sound signals from the hair cells in the ear. Hearing aids help connect the brain and the auditory pathways, which may help reduce this noise.
Telehealth in audiology has been around for some time, but since people around the world grappled with local and state laws regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, demand has grown steeply.
Many wearers with hearing aids also use software for their hearing aids, which act as remote controls or streamers. Now they can get much of the same hearing care through an app as they get from an in-person meeting.
A Telehealth (or teleaudiology) service enables you to see, hear, and have an in-depth conversation with hearing experts – much like a typical visit to the office (or an in-home visit from your Audiologist). Whether at home or traveling, get the same standard of care and treatment wherever you are.