HEARING TIPS

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Technology is developing into stronger, smarter, and smaller devices. Taking up less space while having more functionality is the overall trend.

So it’s no surprise that hearing aids are no different. The world’s population is aging and hearing problems, though they can have a variety of causes, are more common amongst older people. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 37.5 million people and 3 million Canadians report having trouble hearing, and since age is a stronger predictor of hearing loss than any other demographic variable, that number will probably go up.

Naturally, if you’re dealing with hearing loss, even one person with trouble hearing, i.e. you, is one person too many. Better ways to reduce hearing loss? Bring ‘em on! Here are some of the innovations that are in the works.

Whole-Body Tracking Through Your Hearing Aids

This is so intuitive, it’s one of those “Now why didn’t I think of that” developments. Health and fitness trackers need to be worn on the body. So do you really need a device on your wrist if you already have one in your ear? Nope! If you have a newer hearing aid, it probably can track your pulse, physical activity along with improving hearing issues like tinnitus. Hearing aids can also track things that other wearables normally don’t, like the time spent conversing. Particularly as you get older, your level of social engagement can actually be an important health metric.

Better Streaming Straight to You

Virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri have quickly moved from smartphones to in-home devices and the main focus here is connectivity. Some hearing aids that have Bluetooth capabilities now let users stream audio directly from a device, like a smart TV for instance, to the hearing aids. Google released open-source standards for Android developers that show them how to use certain channels within Bluetooth to provide uninterrupted audio directly to hearing aids. This technology is making things like music and movies more enjoyable by acting like super-powered wireless headphones.

Big Data Allows Smart Adjustments

In a similar way to how Netflix recommends shows and movies according to what you’ve watched previously, or your Fitbit alerts you to tell you that you’ve reached a goal (or okay, let’s say stepping stone, depending on how driven your everyday step goals are), your next hearing aid may make personalized suggestions. The places you go and the adjustments you make will allow these new hearing aids, being manufactured by a few companies, to learn your behaviors. Some push it even further, crowdsourcing information on how people use their hearing aids anonymizing and then mixing the data. So whether you’re watching TV at home, or in an IMAX theater, your hearing aids will be able to use this information to identify what your situation is and make adjustments to provide you with the most enjoyable audio experience.

Finally Losing The Batteries

Hearing aids that don’t need their batteries replaced? Sound too good to be true? After all, making certain you’ve got spare batteries on hand, or even making time to recharge your hearing aid batteries, can be a pain in the, um, ear. While a hearing aid that doesn’t take any batteries at all may seem like wishful thinking, rechargeable battery technology keeps improving. You’ll get faster charging time, extended use time, and worry less about batteries, which seems pretty good.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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