Imagine a hearing aid that tells you when it’s time to change the batteries, helps connect you to other wireless or bluetooth devices like your cell phone, or even allows you to “recover” sounds you haven’t heard for years.
Thanks to a revolution in digital technology, modern hearing aids offer this much and more. Many individuals now wear tiny, cosmetically appealing hearing aids that help make the most of their hearing in ways you may have never imagined.
Recent technological advances have led to the development of new hearing aids that:
- Connect the wearer to cell phones and other digital devices. Using secure Bluetooth connectivity, new hearing aids can now connect users to their favorite devices, including their cell phone or — via hearing assistive devices — their television. An added bonus is that the user hears the sound in both ears, improving the ability to understand conversations.
- “Recover” sounds that could not previously be heard. This new hearing aid technology takes high-frequency sounds, compresses them, and shifts them to a frequency the user can hear. Amazingly, this can be done without distortion. This technology helps many patients rediscover sounds they have been missing and improves speech clarity.
- “Zoom” in on sounds for better hearing, especially in noisy environments. This technology allows users to choose which direction to focus their hearing on. Zoom technology can be very helpful in the car, for example, allowing you to concentrate on sounds coming from right or left, front or back.
- Help with tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Optional listening programs on new hearing aids can generate and deliver relaxing background sounds that can distract and/or mask tinnitus while continuing to stimulate the auditory system.
- Assist patients in maintaining their hearing aids. Some digital hearing aids include programs that tell the wearer when to change batteries, or which hearing program they are using.
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