Associated Audiologists Blog

How Is Hearing Technology Improving?

Posted by Associated Audiologists on Jan 5, 2017 9:00:00 AM

How-Is-Hearing-Technology-Improving.jpgHearing aids improve quality of life for the millions of Americans with hearing loss. They’re known to improve speech and memory as well as cognitive performance in older adults. Today, we have greater understanding of exactly how hearing works, and advances in technology have allowed for improvements in hearing aid technology. Hearing aids continue to improve from year to year. Here are just some of the amazing improvements that have made hearing technology as exceptional as it is today.

Improved listening comfort

Modern hearing aids are equipped with sophisticated microcomputers that respond automatically to sound in your environment. They help clarify and clean up sound quality, filter out certain background sounds, and adjust the volume automatically. Their processing power is enhanced and can handle approximately five million instructions every second, which helps to reduce feedback.

The latest hearing technology features can now improve listening comfort for users. Directional microphones, for example, can help improve hearing when there is background noise. One microphone self-directs, or focuses, toward the important sources of sound while a second microphone attempts to reduce background sounds to make listening easier on the user.

Additionally, digital noise reduction technology improves listening comfort by identifying and filtering out unwanted sounds in order to reduce background noise. Impulse noise reduction also helps by softening transient noises, such as rattling car keys or dishes.

Better connectivity

Thanks to wireless technologies like Bluetooth, hearing aids can now freely interact with many other devices, including smart phones, tablets, and televisions. This has increased the usefulness of hearing technology for people with hearing loss. No doubt, being able to use your smart phone or tablet as an assistive listening device, or use it to adjust hearing aids, has improved quality of life.

They’re customizable

Because the vast majority of hearing aids now use digital technology, it’s easier than ever for your audiologist to connect your hearing aid to a computer in order to read the pattern and degree of your hearing loss in individual ears. These hearing aids can then be customized to individual hearing loss for improved listening ability.

They’re smart

Today’s hearing aids are “smart.” This means that they’re able to both understand and to adapt to users’ preferences. Smart technology in hearing aids can help people with hearing loss personally tailor sound. Through information storage systems, some hearing aids can learn users’ preferences, record them, and then automatically self-adjust when the users are in similar hearing situations.

Better protection

The ear canal is a rather hostile environment for electronics and other materials because it’s filled with wax-generating glands that can create wax buildups, which can harmful to important hearing aid components.Luckily, today’s hearing technology offers even better protection for hearing aids. They’re designed to be water-resistant, dirt- and dust-resistant, as well as more durable in design. This helps reduce repairs from daily wear and tear.

They’re easily concealed       

Due to smaller microprocessors, hearing aids can now be made smaller and less noticeable than ever before.  People with hearing loss who used to be unwilling to wear hearing aids because they were deemed unsightly can now wear them without being self-conscious about their hearing loss. Hearing technology has improved to the degree that smaller products can be implemented with increased functionality and power. Furthermore, they’re now being manufactured in a variety of colors in order to better match users’ skin tones and hair colors for improved concealment.

Interested in learning more about how today’s hearing technology can be matched to your needs? Request an appointment with a doctoral-level audiologist at Associated Audiologists. Your audiologist will be able to explain the different features and technologies available and will work closely with you in the decision-making process.

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Topics: Hearing Technology

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