As people age, many have some degree of significant hearing loss. Of those affected with this loss, many do not wear a hearing aid when they could benefit by using one.
Hearing Aid Resistance
In previous years, a hearing aid was a large, clumsy device worn behind or on top of the ear. The stigma and inconvenience of wearing one of these devices made people with hearing loss hesitant to use them. Additionally, the quality of these older devices was basic and there was significant feedback in situations with more than one or two sources of sound. Also, previous hearing aid devices could not be adjusted for the hearing loss of a particular wearer. Cost was also a major obstacle for people with hearing loss, as a typical hearing aid was very expensive and not covered by medical insurance.
New Hearing Aid Technology
Here are some of the new hearing aid technologies currently available for the hearing impaired:
- Smaller and Smarter: Hearing aids are now designed to be smaller and worn inside the ear or implanted inside the ear canal. These internal devices eliminate the stigma of wearing a hearing aid as they are almost undetectable when being worn.
- Personalized Hearing Correction: Digital sound processing has enabled hearing aid manufacturers to design more efficient hearing aids that can be programmed to amplify only the sound frequencies that an individual wearer has trouble hearing.
- Reduced Feedback: The newest hearing aids have specialized technology to reduce sound feedback and enhance voice recognition while the wearer is on the telephone or cell phone. Additionally, hearing aids designed to work with the new cell phones have greatly improved audio quality.
- Ambient Noise Reduction: New hearing aids are programmed to reduce unavoidable ambient noise that is present in some situations like the whirring of fans or the humming of machines.
- Wind Distortion Reduction: When outdoors, wind can be especially bothersome to someone with a hearing aid. New hearing aid devices reduce the noise of the wind while the wearer is in nature.
- Adjustable and Programmable Settings: Hearing aids are worn in many different environments and it is now possible for the wearer to adjust their settings for a particular situation. These settings can be saved to the device and reused as the wearer changes locations.
With the advances being made in hearing aid technology, these devices are smaller, higher quality, less expensive and more insurance companies are covering them. Hopefully these new advances and reduced costs will encourage those suffering from hearing loss to use the new devices and enhance their daily lives with sound. Contact a local audiologist, such as Audiologists Northwest, for more information.