Hearing loss is a common issue faced by people of all ages, but it can be particularly difficult for older individuals who have enjoyed a lifetime of hearing clearly. For 60-year-old Maria, the realization that her hearing was deteriorating came as a shock. She had always prided herself on her sharp senses and her ability to communicate effectively, but now she found herself struggling to follow conversations and missing important details.
At first, Maria was hesitant to seek help for her hearing loss. She was worried about the stigma that is sometimes associated with wearing hearing aids, and she was also concerned about the cost and effectiveness of these devices. However, after some encouragement from her family and friends, Maria decided to do some research on the latest advancements in hearing aid technology.
Read more about Hearing Loss here: Hearing Loss in Seniors: 3 Things You Need to Know
Tech Breakthroughs That Help Seniors With Hearing Loss
What she discovered was a range of innovative products that could help her to overcome her hearing loss and enjoy clear, crisp sound once again. Here are seven of the most promising technologies she found:
Hearing aid technology has advanced significantly in recent years, with modern innovations providing better sound quality and user-friendly controls. Here are the top seven advances to look for when purchasing your next hearing aid:
- Improved microprocessors provide better speech clarity and customization. The newer models take advantage of advances in narrow directionality, spatial configuration, and echo adjustments to provide a more natural hearing experience with distinct speech and less sound distortion. Additionally, newer hearing aids have improved frequency response, which means they can better target only the frequencies affected by your specific kind of hearing loss.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) allows hearing aids to learn how to optimize your hearing. These devices use machine learning algorithms to analyze your sound environment and make adjustments on their own, saving you frequent visits to the audiologist and constantly monitoring your preferences. Some manufacturers even use machine learning to collect anonymous usage and environmental data, analyzing it to determine usage patterns and provide software updates to optimize the hearing experience for everyone.
- Bluetooth connectivity enables direct connections to smartphones and other devices, allowing for the streaming of audio content and phone calls through the hearing aids. This feature also allows users to control their hearing aids through an app and adjust volume levels from their phone. Additionally, the newest apps can convert speech to text or translate speech into other languages, and some hearing aids can communicate with audiologists to provide remote troubleshooting fixes.
- Rechargeable batteries have replaced the tiny button batteries used in traditional hearing aids. Newer lithium-ion batteries provide up to 30 hours on one charge, and some models offer portable charging cases. Although rechargeable hearing aids tend to be more expensive than those with disposable batteries, users save money in the long run, and the environment benefits from fewer disposable batteries in landfills.
- Background noise reduction allows for a smoother hearing experience, enhancing speech and other helpful sounds while muting general background noise. The hearing aid can be programmed for individual background noise reduction based on the user’s level of hearing loss, allowing for effortless participation in conversations, even in noisy environments.
- Own-Voice Processing detects and separates out the sound of the wearer’s voice, independently processing it and sending it back with a more natural sound without changing the sound of other people’s voices.
- Health and fitness tracking features are available in some hearing aids, allowing users to track their heart rate, blood pressure, energy expenditure, and body temperature analysis. Certain brands also have 3D motion sensors to track steps and other fitness goals.
Maria was encouraged by the range of options available to her, and she ultimately decided to invest in a pair of Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids. With her new devices, she could easily stream music and phone calls directly to her ears, without anyone else even realizing she was wearing hearing aids. She also appreciated the convenience of the rechargeable batteries, which made it easy to keep her hearing aids powered up and ready to go.
Overall, Maria’s experience highlights the importance of seeking help for hearing loss, and the many benefits that can come from using the latest hearing aid technologies. Whether you are looking for a discreet, invisible solution, or a powerful device that can help you navigate noisy environments, there is a hearing aid out there that can meet your needs.