One of the biggest challenges we face with our patients is getting them to overcome the stigma that is still, unfortunately, attached to hearing aids. On average, people wait about seven years from the time they first notice their hearing issues before they take the next step to get the appropriate corrective device.
People have the false perception that hearing aids signify old age or disability; both are untrue. People are also concerned about having big, bulky devices on their ears or no longer being able to do some of the things they enjoy; also untrue.
In fact, we almost always see patients who wish they had acted sooner because they had no idea about the technological advancement and miniaturization of hearing aids through the years. Here is just a little reminder of some of the new technology you may see:
Smartphone and Bluetooth Compatibility
Almost all hearing aids today have built-in Bluetooth technology. This allows the user to hear phone calls directly through their hearing aids and stream music, movies, or other forms of entertainment from their smartphone, tablet or other Bluetooth devices.
Many hearing aids now offer the convenience of rechargeable batteries. No more dead batteries at inopportune moments or fumbling with insertion of fresh batteries. Many existing hearing aid models can be converted to be compatible with rechargeable batteries so ask your audiologist if you are interested in this option.
Automatic Program Changes
Hearing devices have built-in technology that is sophisticated enough to recognize what kind of listening situation you are in. Is quiet? Are there other people taking around you? Is there music playing? The hearing devices are constantly taking an “acoustic snapshot” of your listening environment and instantly making adjustments in order to help you hear speech better in whatever situation you are in and as you transition through different environments during the course of your day.
Often times when a patient is first fit with hearing devices, they will notice their own voice is more pronounced than when they were are wearing the hearing aids. Hearing devices are able to help correct for this occlusion effect until you are able to naturally acclimate to it on your own.
Feedback Reduction (Whistling)
A hearing aid should not whistle or buzz. If it does, there is usually ear wax blocking sound from getting into the ear canal properly or the hearing aid is not fit properly causing sound to leak out of the ear. This is called “feedback.” Feedback reduction technology allows the hearing aid to detect when feedback is happening and eliminates it until you can have the problem evaluated by one of our audiologists.
Wind Noise Reduction
Wind noise can be bothersome for a hearing aid user, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Golfers, gardeners, and runners/walkers can all benefit from this feature, which automatically recognizes and suppresses wind noise when you’re spending time outdoors.
Lyric Hearing System (Invisible Hearing Aids)
Hearing Evaluation Services (HES) is proud to be one of the select providers to offer Lyric. Lyric is the world’s first and only 100% invisible hearing aid that can be worn 24/7 for up to four months.
Unlike many other hearing aids, Lyric is positioned completely inside the ear canal, so it uses your ear’s natural anatomy to funnel sound to your eardrum. This unique design and placement helps provide an exceptionally natural sound quality.
If you would like to learn more about any of devices that have these technologies, or even try a free demo, please visit HESofBuffalo.org, or call us today for an appointment.