The advancement of technology has played a vital role in transforming the lives of many that struggle with hearing loss, and the innovations that are permeating the current and coming generation of hearing aids is no exemption.
Currently, many hearing aid companies have embarked on the process of creating devices that are smaller, more attractive and easier to use. Additionally, they are designed with numerous innovative features that not only meet the growing requirements of hearing loss patients but also excites them. Below we take a look at some of the latest innovations in hearing aid technology, and what you can look forward to when picking out your next device!
Size of Hearing Aids
Many people that struggle with hearing loss can often feel self-conscious about the visibility of their hearing aids, which is why many of the best hearing aids brands on the market have turned their attention to creating powerful yet discreet hearing devices.
Furthermore, hearing aids are available in different sizes specifically designed to complement the unique shape and size of an individual’s ear. This way, clients can avoid the extra costs of investing in custom-made devices and instead use the ready-to-wear hearing aids in pre-designed size that offers an equally good fit.
Rechargeability of Hearing Aids
Rechargeable hearing aid batteries have been in the market for quite some time now and are a great option for elderly users who may struggle with replacing small batteries. But much like the release of new phone models, the rechargeability of hearing aid batteries get great improvements as new models are released as well.
On average, most hearing aids on the market can be connected to a charging case for half an hour to accumulate a 6-hour power charge and for 3 hours to accumulate a 24-hour power charge. In some cases, such as with the Resound Quattro, hearing aids can even operate for up to 30 hours. So, you won’t have to worry about your device running out of battery midday while you’re out and about!
Hearing Aid Sound Synchrony
Traditionally, hearing aids functioned as monaural gadgets, meaning that the hearing aid for the left ear and the right ear functioned independently. Now with the help of ear-to-ear connections, both your hearing aids can be linked via a wireless signal. This means that if the user changes the settings of one hearing aid, the intended change will take effect on the other device automatically.
Additionally, instead of users being bombarded with various sound waves coming into each ear based on who they are communicating with and the environment they are in, the ear-to-ear connection will create a general sound that is similar to natural hearing.
Environmental Adjustments and Background Noise
An innovative feature that many users look for these days is the intuitive awareness of a hearing aid of the user’s surroundings. This means that a hearing aid now has the ability to automatically adjust the user’s settings according to the environment they’re in to immediately enhance their hearing capabilities.
At the same time, these hearing aids are also better able to tune out background noise, to enhance only what the user needs or wants to hear. This can greatly improve a user’s ability to carry out conversations, regardless of a noisy environment or conversing with people who speak softly.
More Adjustment Handles
This innovation is generally more available to premium hearing aids, which also stresses the importance of finding the best hearing aid for your needs. Essentially, the availability of more adjustment handles allows users to better customise their hearing settings.
As a general gauge, a premium hearing aid can offer a user up to 20 different adjustment handle, while a basic device can offer as little as 3. When you have insufficient adjustment handles, you can often end up with over or under amplified sound, which not only leaves you with poorer hearing capabilities, it also can worsen the state of your hearing loss.
Hearing Aid Apps
Mobile apps these days allow hearing aid users to connect the hearing devices to their tablets or smartphones for greater customisation and control over their hearing aid settings. These apps mainly come in two categories.
The hearing aid amplifier app: These apps work precisely as their name suggests. They function through an in-built microphone in the hearing device to amplify the exterior sound waves around the user. The hearing aid amplifier app helps the user to equalize the incoming sound between ears and reduce background sounds. The majority of these apps are free and available for Android and iPhone users.
The hearing aid controller app: These supporting apps allow users to adjust and control their devices directly from their phones. These apps often allow users to save specific sound settings for convenient transition when moving between different hearing environments. The apps are compatible with Android and iPhone devices.
Innovations in Wireless Connectivity (Bluetooth)
Wireless connectivity has changed many aspects of society, and the hearing aid field has not been left out. Hearing aid companies are trying to make sure users get products that can be connected wirelessly to Bluetooth enabled gadgets for greater convenience and hearing ability.
Users become more connected to and aware of their surroundings with this revolutionary innovation. Bluetooth enabled devices you might be using such as televisions, mobile phones, security devices, and so on can transmit a signal directly to your hearing aids, so you can be sure to not miss anything important.
Additionally, this is a groundbreaking technology in the entertainment industry. When users stream music, TV programs, and movies to their mobile phones, tablets, computers, and TVs to their hearing aids, it typically turns them into a functioning pair of earphones. Furthermore, Apple uses patented innovation that connects specific models of hearing aids directly with its iOS platform which powers iPod Touch, iPad, and iPhone gadgets.
Widely known as BiometRic, this hearing aid innovation allows hearing aids to act as health monitoring gadgets. The biometric receiver in the canal is designed to come in different sizes and measure heart rate, energy expenditure and activity levels.
Additionally, the device offers a platform for new innovations in hearing health gadgets. The device provides comprehensive crucial sign information while the incorporated sensor in the receiver gives it ideal access to the best position in the body to track this information.
In most cases, people with hearing damage tend to suffer from other comorbidities such as diabetes and cardiac problems. This means that their hearing aids will assist them in monitoring the health conditions and also enhance their hearing ability.
New innovations should come with professional support
Like other aspects of technology, hearing aids have been greatly improved in recent years, and are only going to be getting more innovative adjustments as time goes on. But like we always say, a hearing aid truly shines when it’s been tailored to suit your needs! So before you make your next purchase, you should always get your hearing tested by a trusted hearing care practitioner/ hearing specialist, and ask to try on a hearing aid as well.