Recent Advancements in Hearing Aid Technology

Recent Advancements in Hearing Aid Technology

Hearing aid technology develops up to nine times faster than cell phone technology! Recent advancements in hearing aid technology have almost entirely eliminated common problems and complaints of past hearing aid users. Such problems include feedback (whistling), difficulties hearing in noise and poor aesthetic appeal. Many individuals are hesitant to try a hearing aid based on previous negative experience with older technology as well as due to negativity of others towards their hearing aids. What aspects of hearing aids have improved throughout the years?

Size: Technological advancements enables you to have a small, discreet and practically invisible hearing aid. The banana sized unsightly hearing aids we have become used to are now a thing of the past.

Comfort: The traditional plastic or acrylic ear mould which fills the whole ear is not always necessary anymore. Open fittings using slim tubes or thin receiver wires are now possible providing an almost invisible connection from the hearing aid behind the ear into the ear canal.

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Traditional ear mould (left) versus the new slim tube/ RIC options (right)

Rechargeable hearing aids: Traditionally, hearing aids use Zinc-Air batteries which don’t last very long. We now have the benefit of re-chargeable hearing aids in a variety of different hearing aid styles.

Wireless and Bluetooth connectivity: Hearing aids can now be linked to remote control units with Bluetooth or wireless technology. This lets you listen to any audio device directly through your hearing aid. You can answer your cellphone or landline phone through your hearing aid, listen to television, music, radio and even computer sounds. Wireless microphones also provide improved listening in noise or at church for individuals with more severe hearing loss who struggle in these environments.

Remote control adjustability: Remote controls enable the user to adjust volume and program settings on the remote, instead of fiddling around with small controls on the hearing aid.

Comfort in noise: In the past background noise was a great problem for hearing aid users, but fortunately noise management systems have improved the comfort of listening tremendously.

Speech in noise: Speech in noise has to date been the biggest problems for hearing aid users. Fortunately improved adaptive directionality systems and “automatic” hearing aids assist in focusing in on speech and block out background noise automatically. Programs can also be setup by the audiologist for the patient to manually focus in on speech in front of the listener and assist in blocking out background noise.

Affordability: Good hearing aid features have filtered down to the bottom price range which enables you to buy a good quality hearing aid even with a restricted budget.

Smartphone applications: Certain smartphone applications allow you to connect your hearing aids directly to the phone to stream phone calls and audio information without the use of a separate external Bluetooth or wireless device.

I’d love to help you find the best hearing aid to suit your needs and make your life a little easier. Please contact us to book an appointment in Bedfordview or Benoni by calling our office on 011 615 3047 or email candice@cvhaudiology.co.za