Hearing aids, like most technological devices, have advanced at a rapid pace. Hearing aids were first brought to the commercial market in 1913 and eventually upgraded to the massive, beige, and barely inconspicuous hearing aids that you may remember from the 1970s. The hearing aids available today are quite similar to supercomputers compared to their older versions. Before hearing aids would enhance all sounds around you and sit awkwardly around your ear, but contemporary hearing aids have remarkable capabilities that offer comfortability and give the user the ideal experience. Here are a few cutting-edge hearing aid developments that will benefit the hearing-impaired community.
Some manufacturers focus on hearing aids with smartphone capabilities. The ability to pair hearing aids to your smartphone can improve your hearing quality, so keep this in mind. It also provides convenience as you can change your hearing aids settings at any time, allowing you to select the settings that work best for you in all of your unique scenarios. This improvement is handy as you don’t have to worry about moving from one environment to another. This improvement brings the feature of apps, which is discussed below.
Many of today’s modern hearing aids come with smartphone apps that allow users to make adjustments communicate with their hearing care physician and track battery life. Most notably, some function similarly to assistive listening devices, channeling phone calls and other sound sources directly to a user’s hearing aids. Some can also translate across languages and convert speech to text.
Top-of-the-line sound processing and frequency response
When sound enters a hearing aid, it is divided into bands of sound (also referred to as “channels”) and digitized before it can be amplified. The more flexible a hearing aid is in banding sounds enhanced for your specific hearing loss prescription, the better. For example, if you are experiencing high-frequency hearing loss, a better-made hearing aid can only amplify sounds within that band, whereas a lower-end one may boost both mid-end high-frequency noises. The frequency response refers to how the hearing aid is customized.
In hearing aids, Bluetooth compatibility is a wireless capability that allows your hearing aids to connect to Bluetooth-enabled devices, usually via a third-party device. Because the signal bypasses the microphone and directly enters the hearing aid’s processor, Bluetooth technology can increase the signal-to-noise ratio and eliminate feedback from the microphone. In addition, unlike an FM system, a Bluetooth connection is less prone to face interference.
Tracking your brain activity through AI
Artificial intelligence has been a game-changer in practically every business, and healthcare is no exception. Hearing aid technology has gotten even more futuristic thanks to AI, which can detect brain activity, interpret brain waves, and link to smartphones. The Livio AI hearing aid from Starkey is the first behind-the-ear (BTE) device that uses artificial intelligence to not only improve hearing quality but also track your general health. Livio AI recognizes that people with hearing loss are more likely to fall owing to balance issues. Therefore it uses inbuilt sensors to keep track of how many times you might fall and help you become more aware of balance concerns. Your smartphone can translate speech from other languages and transmit it directly to your Livio AI hearing aids in the language you understand best by connecting to the Livio AI app “Thrive.”
Smaller, sleeker, discrete
As mentioned earlier, hearing aids had come a long way since the 1970s and 1980s, when they were large and conspicuous. Hearing aids that are in the ear, invisible in the canal (IIC), and totally in the canal are now available from most companies, making discretion a crucial element of treating hearing loss. According to numerous studies, patients worry about stigma from others when wearing hearing aids, which manufacturers and hearing health specialists have worked to minimize and correct with more prominent designs. These designs, however, are not one-size-fits-all for your specific ear anatomy or level of hearing loss. Because these hearing aids are smaller, the technology inside them may not be capable of dealing with more severe hearing loss.
These new cutting-edge features are just a few of what hearing aids on the market today have to offer. Therefore, if you are having trouble hearing and aren’t sure if a hearing aid is suitable for you, go to a hearing health professional to learn about all of the fantastic capabilities that hearing aids have to offer and whether they’re right for you.