Guest Post by Amanda Kaestner
Whatâ€™s that you say?
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), â€œThere is a strong relationship between age and reported hearing loss.â€ They claim that 30% of adults 65 to 74 years old, and 47% of adults 75 or older have some kind of hearing problem.
Fortunately, for senior citizens and other with hearing impairments, advancements in hearing aid technology have created a way towards better hearing and thus, a better quality of life, than hearing aids in the past.
For a deeper reflection of the past, you may recall people of the 18th century having to use ear trumpets or animal horns to hear. Meanwhile, modern-day hearing aids have gone from analog to digital and it is this technology that is expanding the world of hearing aids.
In 1996, hearing aid processing algorithms saw a dramatic advancement with the introduction of digital signal processing. Today, hearing aids have built-in digital signal processing chips that make hearing aids revolutionary.
Some of the advancements in hearing aid technology include the following:
The main complaint amongst people with hearing loss and using hearing aids is the background noise, according to Hopkins Hearing. Since this technology was first used, noise reduction algorithms have undergone a lot of changes. Initially, in analog hearing aids, noise reduction meant keeping noise at bay by lowering low frequency signals. As a result, strong low frequency gains were kept away from the hearing aid. The latest hearing aids use algorithms that have the ability to distinguish noise from speech and, based on certain factors, the gain is then reduced to keep out noise from distorting speech.
Earlier, hearing aids had fixed directional microphones or the wearer had to push a button to change the microphone to directional mode. This caused the microphone to perceive the source of the sound as fixed despite the actual direction of the sound source.
With advances in digital technology, people with hearing loss have several options when it comes to directionality, according to Paradise Hearing which also excels in making customized hearing aids in Phoenix. So you can get automatic, multi-band automatic, adaptive, or asymmetric directionality in your hearing aid. However, Paradise Hearing recommends understanding the pros and cons of each option to make an informed decision.
Another advancement that hearing aid technology has witnessed in recent times is digital wireless technology. This technology allows hearing aids to connect with external devices. This advancement is a boon for people with hearing loss when they are put into tough listening situations. However, this technology still has a long way to go. It is believed once this technology becomes widespread, it will improve a personâ€™s experience with his hearing aid. Bluetooth and wireless technology hopes to let people with hearing loss communicate with external devices, so that they can enjoy clear transmissions.
People, who have severe high frequency hearing loss, usually do not benefit from the amplification of this frequency. As a result, such individuals have a lot of problems in hearing and deciphering speech. Frequency transposition is one such advancement in hearing aid technology that shifts high frequency signals to low frequency, so that the person can hear and recognize the speech. Modern-day hearing aids are available with frequency transposition that can help you hear high frequency sounds and speeches better.
These are some of the latest advancements in hearing aid technology that are benefiting people with hearing loss and older adults in particular. These advancements have changed the technology for the better. So put down that rusty ear trumpet and visit a hearing specialist near you if you are considering more advanced hearing aid solutions.