Monday, September 30, 2013

Hearing Aid Technology Today

“They’re NOT Your Mother’s Hearing Aids!”

The recent advances in hearing aid technology mean those living with hearing loss can enjoy numerous benefits that were previously impossible.  Some of the newest advances include:

Size:  Today’s hearing aids are extremely discrete, often smaller than a watch battery! Even behind-the- ear hearing aids are smaller than ever before while some in-the-canal style hearing aids are 100% invisible. 

Digital technology:  Advanced technology means a more accurate simulation of the way the ear works.  That means sounds are more natural to the hearing aid user.

 Automatic adjustments:  Hearing aids can automatically adjust to rapidly changing listening environments, eliminating the need for manual operation by the hearing aid user.

Adaptive Dual Microphones:  Communication clarity is made possible by microphones that focus on the sound source while reducing or eliminating irritating and distracting background noise.

 Open fit technology:  That stuffed up or “talking in the barrel” feeling has been eliminated by slim design hearing aids that leave your ear canal open or unoccluded. Comfort and clarity of speech are the result.

 Feedback management technology:  That irritating whistle that let’s everyone know you are wearing hearing aids is gone!  Feedback management technology allows the hearing aid to recognize feedback and squelch it before it ever occurs.

Cell phone and Bluetooth compatibility:  Changes by the FCC means that you can easily find out if a cell phone is hearing aid compatible (HAC).  Just look for the HAC label.  No label means the phone is not compatible. Cell phones that work well with hearing aids have a microphone (M) rating of M3 or M4.   Hearing aids are rated from M1 to M4.  The higher rating means you experience less noise and have a better connection. The rating for the telecoil is from T1 to T4. A higher rating means you will be able to hear better in the telecoil mode. A combined rating of 6 is considered excellent, a combined rating of 5 is considered normal and a combined rating of 4 is considered usable.