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Advanced Ears: How Far Have Hearing Aids Come?

Posted May 1, 2020 by in Health + Fitness
women's ear

    

Hearing aids aren’t often focused on by the tech community. These devices are generally regarded as quite boring, as they only serve a purpose which a select group of people are interested in, but it is a mistake to ignore the advancements which have been made in this field over the last few decades.

Hearing aids can provide clear hearing for more people than ever before, and this is largely thanks to the hard work of engineers across the globe. But, how exactly have hearing aids been improving?

Bluetooth Connectivity

Using mobile phones and speakers with hearing aids has always been an issue. These devices can cause feedback between one another, while also lowering the sound quality the user experiences. Modern hearing aids have changed this, with many examples coming equipped with Bluetooth receivers which can enable the hearing aid to become a wireless earphone.

This can make it possible for those with devices like this to make phone calls, watch television, and even attend large events without having to remove their hearing aids. You can even find phones which are specifically designed to connect to hearing aids like this.

Extended Battery Life

Battery life has always been an issue for hearing aids, with the small button batteries that they usually use offering very little power for their price. Many modern hearing aids have scrapped this method, instead switching to far more efficient rechargeable batteries which can be charged time and time again. The size of these batteries is quite staggering, as they have to be small to fit inside an ear, while also providing enough power to keep a hearing aid running for days at a time. You can still find options with removable batteries if you prefer the option to change your power source in the middle of the day.

Background Noise Reduction

Old hearing aids have a range of different issues, but background noise is by far one of the biggest of them. The devices of the past couldn’t differentiate between background noise and the sound you’re trying to hear, and this means that they would output all of this sound at the same volume.

In busy places, this can make it impossible for a person to use a hearing aid. Modern examples don’t suffer with this issue, instead being able to filter the sound you hear, reducing it to only the essentials.

Discrete Forms

The idea of having something stuck to the side of your head for the rest of your life is never a pleasant one. Hearing aids of the past would often combat this by being skin-colored, though this can often look worse than an unnatural shade. Modern hearing aids don’t have this problem, with engineers working extremely hard to ensure that people can use these devices without it being obvious.

Hearing aid technology is incredibly complex, and this makes it very impressive that they’re able to come in such small packages.

Bone Conduction

Hearing loss can easily get to the point that a hearing aid becomes almost useless. When someone has lost most or all of their hearing capacity, the sound produced by a hearing aid isn’t enough. Bone conduction can be a good way to solve this problem. These devices can turn your skull into one big ear, enabling you to listen to sounds without having to use your ears whatsoever.

This technology is quite complicated, and it’s improving all the time, giving more and more people the chance to hear clearly.

Compatibility

Standardization is very important in any techy field, but the hearing aid market has historically lacked this feature. Modern hearing aids use the USB connectors you already have at home, will work with devices like smartphones and TVs, and they won’t force you to invest in loads of accessories which make the price of your device skyrocket.

This also means that you don’t have to struggle to find replacements for the accessories which come with the hearing aid you buy; you’ll be able to get them from just about anywhere. This sort of development has made the whole process of improving your hearing much cheaper.

It’s easy to find yourself ignoring things like hearing aids when you’re thinking about technology. This sort of tool is often pushed aside for more exciting options, but it’s still amazing to see how far these small devices have come in such a short time. Even if you don’t need a hearing aid for yourself, you could be very thankful for these improvements in the future.