Newest Hearing Aids: Tiny Computers Delivering Great Sound
August 9, 2010 —
If you've been enjoying the benefits of hearing aids since Bill Clinton was president there are some surprises out there – the kind of surprise that'll make you smile.
Hearing aids are more automated, more intuitive, interactive, powerful, smaller, lighter, discrete, showy, personal and the basis for a better quality of life - not only for the hearing aid wearer - but the wearer's family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and the folks around town.
So if you are someone who wears hearing aids and are thinking about new ones, then it's time to get excited as technology has taken hearing to an entirely new level. And for those of you who haven't worn hearing aids before – well lucky you, your hearing will be starting off eons ahead of where others have had to start in the past.
It's a sound filled life and you don't want to miss a thing, now do you?
Advanced Hearing Aids Improve Life
Advanced digital hearing aid technology is designed to integrate into your life quickly and seamlessly. You plug in each morning, unplug at bedtime. All that in-between time we call "life," those hearing aids are delivering quality sound, sure, but with today's high-tech technology, sound quality is just the beginning – something you should know before you contact an audiologist or hearing aid practitioner for a consult and hearing evaluation to determine the extent and nature of your hearing loss.
Once you know what's happening, ear-wise, today's consumer has lots of options thanks to computer-assisted hearing, wireless connectivity and everything from invisible hearing aids to totally tricked out fashion statements that just happen to be hearing aids.
Today, even entry-level models are feature rich, delivering a more natural, comfortable listening experience and improving life for everyone from infants to seniors. Hearing is back, and you want some of it.
Wireless Hearing Aids: Keep You Connected
Today's quality hearing aids are equipped with Bluetooth wireless technology, enabling your hearing aids to become a cell phone, a GPS receiver, TV sound amplifier – any wireless device, from MP3 players to concert halls hard-wired for digital communications with your ear gear.
This means you always stay in touch and know what's going on, which is especially nice when you want to keep your job. A good pair of hearing aids are the best investment you'll ever make because they'll keep you on the job longer, more than paying for that investment.
Wireless tech is also used in more sophisticated hearing aids to produce more natural, organic sound – the way your ears hear naturally (or used to, anyway). Sound arrives at one ear a spilt second before it reaches the other ear on the other side of your head. The split second sound delivery time enables the hearing centers of the brain to determine the location or source of the sound – a throwback to our prehistoric ancestors who needed to know the location of the dangers around them. Today, we hear the way humans have heard for millennia, and hearing aid manufacturers have replicated this spatial placement through the use of wireless tech.
How? The wonders of digital technology. Some digital hearing aids 'talk" to each other, sending wireless signals back and forth to deliver true, natural stereo sound. These high-tech entries in the hearing aid market mimic natural hearing through the use of wireless tech, delivering more natural sound in the most unobtrusive manner. One example of digital hearing aids today are the Oticon Agil
hearing aids allow for spatial hearing, meaning the hearing aids work together to deliver sound naturally to both of the ears so your brain hears as it should – not interrupted by hearing aid processing difference between ears. The result? Natural sound quality, improved ability to hear in background noise and increased satisfaction.
Let the Hearing Aids Do It
Want to spend the day fussing with the volume level of your hearing aids? Of course not, and now, you don't have to. Automation adapts your hearing aids to your preferences instead of the wearer adapting to this new electronic sound.
Today's quality hearing aids come loaded with convenience. Let the machine do it:
- Automated feedback suppression keeps you on your telephone longer
- No-hands volume control as your hearing aids "read" listening conditions and adjust accordingly
- Manual override equips you to adjust with a tap or the swipe of a finger with complete discretion
- "Hear-through" technology pick up the sounds you want to hear while reducing the background noise you don't want to hear
- Directional mics focus on important sounds automatically with the turn of the head
- Interactive technology tells you when power is running low or settings have been changed
- Seamless, wireless connectivity so you're always "on line" and connected
- Tunable settings to suit your particular hearing loss
Today, hearing aids are tiny computers that actually learn your preferences so the longer you wear them, the better they get to know your likes and dislikes.
Hearing Aids Types and Styles
What's important to you? A low-profile? Wearing comfort? Unprocessed sound? You can get it all thanks to the giant strides that have been made in just the past 10 years. If you're hearing aids are five years old, well, a lot's happened in just a few years.
Want invisible hearing aids? Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids slip into the ear canal, completely invisible to the rest of the world. The sound is full spectrum and these CICs are designed for all-day wearing comfort. Just insert in the morning, remove at night. No one knows you wear hearing aids.
Receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aids rest in the outer ear with a tiny speaker position at the edge of the ear canal. Because of this "open ear fit" your ears hear naturally to their limits, at which point your RICs kick in with a little boost – all programmed by your hearing aid professional.
RICs deliver an "open" sound and allow natural hearing to occur, with the hearing aid only boosting sound on an "as needed" basis.
You can go low-profile or totally in another direction with a flashy RIC that makes a statement: there's no more stigma associated with hearing aids and you aren't broken. You're doing just fine, thank you.
It's your call.
Finally, behind-the-ear hearing (BTE) aids rest lightly behind the ear with a small speaker positioned just at the edge of the ear canal. Again, this allows natural sound to be picked up and processed by the brain, with the BTE adding "oomph" when you need in, within specific frequencies.
And, hearing aid manufacturers have developed a range of looks from flesh-toned discretion to fire engine red fashion statement. Some hearing aids even come with several different protective shells so you can change the "look" of your hearing aids to suit any occasion, from professional to outrageous. For example the Oticon Dual
BTE hearing aids are available in colors such as shy violent, cabernet red, racing green and high-tech silver to name a few.
As more and more of the population move into hearing aid range (Hi, Baby Boomers!), manufacturers of quality hearing aids, like Oticon
, keep you comfortable, accessible on the wireless grid, hearing the sounds that make life fun and purposeful – today's high-tech hearing aids deliver a more natural, organic listening experience than ever before.
So, if your old hearing aids cause more headaches than they solve, if your hearing aids are collecting dust in a drawer somewhere, or if you're just recognizing that it's time to visit a hearing aid professional, shop around to find the perfect pair of hearing aids to suit your hearing loss, your lifestyle, your likes and dislikes.
It's a sound-filled world and, without those hearing aids, you're missing a lot of the fun. Call your hearing professional
today and start living life to the fullest again. You can, thanks to the latest in hearing aid technology...
...computers for your ears.
Originally published by Healthy Hearing – www.healthyhearing.com