New Advances Improve Hearing Aids
Microchips. Digital processing. Computerized analysis.
Those aren’t the features of the newest smartphone —
they’re the technologies available in modern hearing aids.
About four out of five Americans who could benefit from a hearing aid don’t use one. If you’re among them, it may be time to reconsider. Assistive devices have come a long way since the vacuum tubes and heavy batteries your grandparents used.
The latest models are smaller and less visible. Designs with plastic cases that rest behind the ear are recommended for children because they are easily adjusted as the child grows. But now, most models for adults are nearly invisible, fitting partially or completely within the outer ear or ear canal. Some are even surgically attached to your skull or a bone in your middle ear and can be worn all the time.
Your doctor or audiologist can implant extended-wear hearing aids directly into your ear canals, and then you can wear them continuously for several months. Their design protects against moisture from sweating, swimming and showering, and they amplify only the sounds you want to hear.
Now, many hearing aids have a directional microphone. Switch it on so that sounds in front of you — say, a person speaking — will sound louder than noise behind you. Digital hearing aids allow more precise adjustment. Programmable models save settings for different listening environments, from a quiet home to a loud party, so that you can transition with ease to loop you in to clear sound.
About two-thirds of hearing aids now come equipped with a telecoil. This small, magnetic coil acts like a wireless antenna. Using it, you receive sound through the circuits of the hearing aid. Landline telephones and some cellphones let you hear clearly using this technology. What’s more, many churches, performance halls and other public places now use what’s called an induction loop to broadcast directly to your hearing aid.
If you’re having trouble hearing, check with your doctor or an audiologist. He or she can help pinpoint the cause of your problem and choose the hearing aid that’s best for you.
If you experience symptoms of hearing loss, call 812-376-5373 to speak to a member of our team. Our audiologists can evaluate your hearing and determine if a hearing instrument is appropriate for you. We provide innovative, effective and affordable digital hearing aids to match your lifestyle and budget. To learn about our services, visit www.crh.org/audiology.
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