Hearing aids have evolved so much overtime - it's hard to believe that a hollowed-out horn was the only option at one point! "Technology" didn't find itself in the hearing aid industry until the late 1800's with the invention of the telephone as the inspiration. It wasn't until the late 1900's technology was able to fit into something that only fit on your ear vs a device with wires you had to clip on your pants.
Technology is advancing so quickly since the end of the 20th century that the hearing aids of today are virtually invisible and have very little limitations on levels of customization available.
Here's some additional tidbits you may not have known:
- Digital hearing aids can be programmed using your computer and can tailor the settings to your exact, unique needs. New digital technology allows for you to take phone calls and hear the TV right through your devices on top of many other cool features.
- Hearing aids are more adjustable than ever. They can understand and make the distinction between speech and background noise. When combined with special induction loops, hearing aids can accurately pick up announcements in crowded places and subtract the background noise and frequency distortions. Very helpful in airports, stadiums, restaurants and public transport areas. These adjustable features are also available on your smartphone to a certain extent.
- Programming allows the hearing aids to auto-adjust to memory based on your setting. This enables the hearing aid to revert to your most comfortable setting automatically. The settings are based on your previous use and real-time interactions with the environment.
- You have battery choices. Digital hearing are compatible with rechargeable technology. You can also use disposable batteries if you need.
- You shouldn’t buy hearing aids online; they have to be programmed by a certified audiologist or hearing specialist to be set for your specific needs. Follow-up visits are just as important to ensure your hearing aids are adjusted properly, working optimally and can be cleaned. The same is true for over-the-counter products that removes the provider from the equation all together.
- Two hearing aids are better than one, even if you’ve only lost hearing in one ear. Remember sounds come from every direction. Two hearing aids increase your ability to detect which direction a sound is coming from, which can be lifesaving in a certain situation, like crossing a busy street.
- Wearing hearing aids is different than putting on a pair of prescription glasses. Hearing aids don’t always work effectively at right away. Usually, an audiologist won’t set your hearing aid to full prescription at the beginning, but rather they allow you time to adjust, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. It can take up to three visits to get your hearing aids completely tuned in.
- It takes time to get used to. Your brain might not be used to disguising between which sounds are important and which aren’t. It needs a bit of exercise. Just like trying to establish a new habit will take time, so does the habit of using your hearing aid.
- Tell the hearing provider you'd like to take the hearing aids for a test drive. Amplifon offers a 60-day no-risk trial period with a 100% money-back guarantee if the hearing aids are just not the right fit for you. You've got nothing to lose!
- Hearing aids can help reduce the symptoms of tinnitus, a condition generally experienced as noises or ringing in the ears or head. Some hearing aids provide a kind of ‘masking’ effect for tinnitus, allowing you to hear sounds more naturally.
- Hearing aids might slow down cognitive decline in the elderly. When you can’t hear properly, you are less engaged, and when we’re not engaged, there tends to be an increase in cognitive decline. So, it stands to reason that when hearing aids boost your confidence to take part in conversations and engage with people, they will help slow down mental decline.
If you have questions about the technology available today and what the best options are for you, schedule an appointment with a provider today.
Here's a little history of hearing aids timeline we've put together to help show the evolution: