Hearing aids help improve hearing by amplifying sound and improving clarity. Though they may not restore normal hearing, they come highly recommended for various conditions. Whether it is profound hearing loss, tinnitus, or single-sided loss there’s hope for millions of people who suffer from hearing loss. With technological advancements, companies have come up with quality hearing aids for a better user experience. Gone are the days when you could only access big, unsightly hearing aids with minimal features and accessories. Today they can fit right into your ear. You can use them to stream, connect to Bluetooth and smartphone and as a fitness tracker. They may also come in handy in case of an emergency. Below we explore the latest technology in hearing aids.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) And Machine Learning
AI enables the hearing aid to simulate human behavior. This enables it to scan the environment, the different sounds and intelligently decipher which sound to relay. Through AI the device adjusts the sound based on the user’s selected preferences and level of hearing loss. This saves the user the trouble of manually adjusting to the device since it’s able to pick specific and familiar voices. With machine learning, the hearing device depends on past encounters to automatically pick familiar environments and sounds.
With new android and apple phone models, you can customize your hearing aid using specific apps. This enables you to stream music, audiobooks, monitor battery life, contact the service provider and even receive phone calls. Some can aid translation into different languages and convert text to speech.
The latest advancement enables you to use your hearing aid to different Bluetooth compatible devices and stream information as long as they are compatible. Since there’s less interference, the sound is clearer compared to listening directly from the device. This could be a smartphone, television, music player, or computer.
Smart Hearing Aids
Some latest makes have smart features that can tell your location. The device then adjusts the sounds that match the environment. This feature is found on aids compatible with smartphones.
Some of the latest hearing aids come with a remote control that enables the user to make adjustments without touching the device. This is crucial considering the hygiene issues that may arise when the device is custom-made to fit in the canal (ITC). Frequent removal and touching the device to make adjustments may cause ear infections, especially in children who are not keen to observe hygiene. In some cases, some hearing aids are connected to smartphones through unique applications. In this case, the phone acts as the remote control.
Latest developments have seen the growth of hearing aids that pick sounds from one direction. These aids are key when you are in a noisy environment. Coupled with artificial intelligence, they aid microphones can focus where sound is coming from and relay sound from only one direction. This means they can reduce sound coming from behinds and sides to focus on what is important for the moment.
Advanced hearing aids have a feature that enables programming that masks tinnitus or ringing in the ears. A hearing professional can help you program a soothing sound into the aids, which helps manage the tinnitus.
Modern hearing aids are customized to fit within the ear canal, making them invisible. They are smaller but more powerful. Most of the latest models are less visible, lighter, and smaller compared to older models.
Some devices come fixed with a tracker. This saves you the need for a smartwatch, pedometer, and heart rate monitor. The hearing aid can track your heart rate and movement and share this information on your smartphone.
One of the critical roles played by the ears is body balance. Unfortunately, with hearing loss, it’s easy to lose balance and fall without anticipation. Technology advancements have led to high-tech hearing aids that include a feature that can detect a fall. The device connects to a smartphone and texts preselected contacts or calls 911 for an emergency. The only caveat to this feature is that the hearing aid and the paired smartphone need to be near each other.
The latest hearing aids have inbuilt rechargeable batteries removing the need to replace batteries after a few days. Just like a phone battery, you charge the battery till full and recharge when need be.