From improving speech comprehension in noisy settings to blocking out wind noise, hearing aids have come a long way from the ones your grandfather used to have, and they are still evolving as technology progresses.
But when it comes to the best features, some stand out more than others, and they are Bluetooth connectivity, Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, and remote programming.
Let's take a closer look at these technologies.
Bluetooth is a wireless communication network that transfers data between electronic devices using tiny radio waves. You've likely used the technology on your smartphone, desktop, or tablet.
For a long time, Bluetooth has been used in several hearing aids, but it could only be taken advantage of via a separate streaming device that you wore around your neck. With the introduction of the first made for iPhone' hearing aid in 2014, all of that changed. This new kind of direct connectivity Bluetooth hearing aid allowed you to connect your hearing aid directly to your smartphone, removing the need for a streamer or wires.
This one change sent shockwaves throughout the hearing aid industry. Today, most Bluetooth-compatible hearing devices allow users to pair their devices for direct sound streaming into their ears.
Some benefits of Bluetooth hearing aids:
- Hands-free calls: A user can now make a phone call and have the caller's voice streamed to their hearing aids without them having to reach for their phone. You no longer have to rely on someone to take your call when you're in the middle of something important.
- Improved audio quality: Your ears no longer have to compete with background noise when listening to music or watching your favorite show! So, the next time you're on a zoom call with your extended family, make sure you're first connected to Bluetooth.
- Connect to a range of devices: You can now access content from a range of devices while going about your daily business, just as you can with your Bluetooth headphones, while also enjoying all of the hearing advantages of your hearing aids.
Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries
You might already be using rechargeable technology with your phone, laptop, and tablet, but did you know that hearing aids with rechargeable batteries are also available? The best rechargeable hearing aid batteries are lithium-ion batteries, which form part of a new generation of rechargeable hearing aids.
The following are some of the advantages of lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aids:
- There's no need to buy new batteries: Disposable hearing aids are expensive, and depending on how much you use them, you can need to replace the batteries every few days. There are no extra costs associated with rechargeable hearing aids.
- It is preferable for those who are less dextrous: Replacing disposable batteries is difficult, especially if your dexterity isn't what it used to be. When you use rechargeable hearing aids, you won't have to spend time replacing tiny batteries. All you have to do now is put them on the charger overnight.
- Better for the environment: Disposable batteries must be replaced every few days, and you can discard hundreds of batteries in a year. Since rechargeable batteries can be recharged several times, they are better for the environment.
Telehealth refers to the use of technology to allow health care providers to deliver services to patients without physically visiting an office. Telehealth programs have long been excellent choices for those with mobility problems, restricted transportation options, or those who find it difficult to visit a doctor's office physically.
It has also become an increasingly common alternative to in-person healthcare for almost everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the same for hearing health services - many of us have decided to incorporate and improve our tele-audiology services to better support our patients and families while staying healthy and socially isolated.
Many new hearing aids are fitted with technology that allows us to fine-tune and tailor the equipment to the wearer's needs remotely. We can also use this service to walk our patients through simple cleaning procedures that they can do at home.
Although this kind of care is a massive help during the pandemic, an in-person hearing aid test is still essential for the hearing professional to provide the most accurate programming. This is because there are specific procedures that can't be performed remotely, such as:
- Accurate pure-tone tests
- Ear examinations
- Bone conduction tests
- Real Ear measurements
As you can see, modern hearing aids boast a growing number of features that make hearing treatment more seamless and convenient than ever. To learn more about the latest hearing aids and fitting procedures, contact us today.