In our modern times, hearing aids are rapidly becoming sleeker, more versatile, and more technologically advanced. Most hearing aid brands offer in the ear (ITE), completely in the canal (CIC), and invisible in the canal (IIC) styles. Thanks to technology such as 3D printing and Bluetooth, our Audiologists in Little Rock, Benton, North Little Rock, and Heber Springs can help find a device tailored to your needs and lifestyle more than ever, both physically and digitally.
Modern hearing aids are typically equipped with a directional microphone, digital feedback reduction and digital noise reduction, low battery warnings, and wax guards, among other features. Many devices today also come with exciting new features such as music storage, fitness tracking, rechargeable batteries, and the ability to take phone calls and stream music, much like with wireless earbuds. Some hearing aids can even function as health monitors and fall detectors.
Additionally, in 2017, legislation was passed which created a new category of hearing aid under the FDA, and allowed technology companies that normally make headphones to manufacture advanced hearing aids. Since, hearing aid manufacturers have developed models that are compatible with smartphones, both iPhone and Android. Hearing aid smartphone apps can give users the ability to adapt their hearing aid to their immediate environment (for example, reducing background noise in a crowded restaurant), and control over volume, bass, and treble—adjustments that would have previously required a visit to a hearing specialist’s office.
In addition to wireless Bluetooth capability, some hearing aids are now compatible with other smart home devices like lights and alarm systems. These features are especially beneficial to those who have greater hearing loss and would otherwise not be able to hear their home’s doorbell, smoke alarms, or burglar alarm.
These are only a few of the technological possibilities with hearing aids. Companies are constantly developing more ways to make these devices smarter, more easily accessible, more specific to the user’s needs, and potentially even life-saving for users. If you or a family member rely on hearing aids, be sure to explore the many options that today’s technology has to offer. Contact the Hearing Center at Arkansas Otolaryngology Center to learn more from an Audiologist near you.