27 Oct Hearing Aid Technologies for Easier Living
Hearing aids have advanced dramatically, even in just the last couple of years. They’re high-tech, tiny and discreet, easy-to-use, and perform far better than ever before. In fact, a national survey by The Better Hearing Institute (www.betterhearing.org) showed that the vast majority of people who purchased hearing aids in the last year are glad they did (91%). They’d even recommend getting hearing aids to family members and friends (90%).
The truth is, modern digital hearing aids are as sleek, innovative and leading-edge as any consumer electronic device, even better, because they’re fitted and programmed to your individual hearing and lifestyle needs. Involvement by a hearing healthcare professional means you get maximum benefit from the latest in hearing aid technologies. Plus, you get personal coaching and follow-up visits that are invaluable in helping you make the most of your hearing aids.
Learn about the newest generation of hearing aids, and reconnect with the day-to-day joys of living. Don’t miss another one of life’s singular moments.
What you need to know about today’s hearing aids
Most people want to know what to look for in hearing aids so they can hear better in certain everyday situations. So we’ve gone ahead and identified several hearing aid technologies and features that are designed to help you hear more easily in real-life.
Keep in mind: A licensed hearing healthcare professional—that is, an audiologist, or a hearing instrument specialist, is best-suited to help you identify the right hearing aids for your particular hearing needs and lifestyle. Seek out the services of an independent practitioner, like Hearing Institute Atlantic, for the best choice and selection of devices. Ask for a trial, so you can see what the new technology sounds like and how it improves your hearing.
The most common listening situations are described below, and hearing aids will help in all these situations. Be sure to ask your hearing healthcare professional about some the features that are best suited to hearing well.
One-on-one, face-to-face conversations: Most people who use hearing aids are very happy with the improvement they see in their ability to hear in one-on-one or small group conversations. You’d be surprised to find how even the most basic hearing aids can help you in these settings. Feedback cancellation technology, which is a very common feature, helps ensure that there’s no unwanted squealing from your hearing aids when the conversation gets really close.
Business meetings: Catching everything that is being said around the conference room table and over the speaker phone can be challenging even for those with normal hearing. Modern hearing aids offer dynamic sound processing which expertly manages multiple speakers and noise sources so you can focus on a conversation while staying attentive to people and things around you. And sleek, wireless mini-microphones—some even looking like a pen or integrated into your smart phone—can be placed on the conference room table to offer an additional listening boost. These accessories wirelessly amplify the speaker’s voice directly into your hearing aids.
Watching television: Watching a good TV show or movie should be a great way to unwind and spend some low-key together time with your spouse or family. The problem is untreated hearing loss makes it hard to hear, especially when the volume of the program itself is constantly fluctuating. Wireless streaming including Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids, offers a solution. You can feed crystal-clear sound directly from the TV into your hearing aids at volumes just right for you—and nobody else in the room knows when you’re turning the volume up or down. Friends and family can control the TV volume according to their own needs.
In the car: When driving, you want to be able to hear all the passengers no matter where they’re seated. Binaural synchronized hearing aids (that is, a hearing aid worn on each ear) provide the answer. Hearing aids with synchronized technology work as partners, much like our own ears, and use adaptive directional microphones. This technology lets you decipher speech from any direction. Advanced noise reduction technologies allow you to hear speech even through the sounds of the surrounding traffic.
Around the dinner table: Few things are as isolating as being surrounded by family and the people you love and not being part of the conversation. But modern hearing aids allow you to pick up on the conversation without a lot of effort or frustration. Highly advanced speech processing and noise reduction technologies work together to help you focus your attention on whoever is telling a great story.
On the phone: Modern hearing aids support wireless sound streaming or Bluetooth devices. This allows you to stream sound directly from your smartphone into your hearing aids without ever having to put the phone to your ear. This advanced-but-now-common technology allows for clearer, crisper sound. You can control the volume with your phone. This means you can hear and understand phone conversations with less effort. For landlines, there are adapters which transform your home phone into a wireless device. Allowing you to benefit from direct ear input, all while being hands free
In restaurants, coffee shops and other noisy settings: Public places where people meet to talk can be especially hard for those with difficulty hearing. But advancements in digital hearing aids have made it easier to hear conversation in these settings. Noise reduction technologies help filter out background clatter and chatter. This helps to keep speech clear, while other sounds are available but not disturbing. Accessories like mini-microphones, set on the table or clipped to your companion’s collar, can provide an added audio boost and clarity by wirelessly streaming the speaker’s voice directly into your hearing aids.
At musical performances and in movie theaters: When you’re at a concert or other musical event, you want to hear the richness and quality of the music. Fortunately, modern hearing aids are able to handle inputs of up to 113 decibels which allows the original sound input to be preserved. For music lovers this means that music is no longer distorted or compressed and the listening experience is natural and enjoyable. Many performing arts centers and an increasing number of cinemas are now equipped with hearing loops that work in conjunction with hearing aid telecoils or wireless technologies—so the source of the sound streams directly into your hearing aids.
At church, synagogue and other places of worship: Even basic hearing aid technology helps decrease listening effort by amplifying the sounds of interest. Modern hearing aids are equipped with dynamic sound processing which automatically manages changes in the sound environment. During a service the listener could experience the sermon, organ music, choir singing or general noise within the congregation. Modern hearing aids are constantly scanning for changes in sound input and employ features automatically to provide the best listening experience. An increasing number of churches are now equipped with hearing loops which stream the church’s sound system directly into your hearing aids, making it easier to enjoy and participate in the service.
Enjoying the outdoors: Digital wind noise detection and reduction technology is just what you need when you want to enjoy the outdoors on a breezy day. And highly advanced noise reduction technology helps dim background noise when you’re playing golf, running, or enjoying other outdoor activities.
Quelling that ringing in the ears (tinnitus): Tinnitus is perception of sound when no external sound source is present and is often accompanied by hearing loss. Luckily, research shows that hearing aids alone often reduce the annoyance associated with tinnitus for most people. Not only do they help improve hearing and communication, but they also help reduce the prominence of that ringing in the ears by amplifying sound in the environment. Just taking the focus off the tinnitus sounds can provide relief for many people. What’s more, hearing aids reduce the stress associated with intensive listening, which alone can help relieve tinnitus perception. Many modern hearing aids now include integrated “sound therapy,” giving people even greater relief.
So go ahead. Take that next step toward better hearing.
We encourage you to visit http://hearinginstitute.ca/hearing-devices/hearing-aids/ to learn more about different types of hearing aids that will keep you connected to those you love.