Hearing loss is a common problem affecting millions of people worldwide. Because of this, there has been an increased research effort to understand hearing loss and create assistive devices that allow those with hearing loss to minimize its effects. Thanks to those efforts, hearing loss options have come a long way, giving people more choices when choosing the correct device for them. Continue reading to learn more about how solutions for hearing loss have changed over time, focusing on the improvements and options available now.
Technological progress is one of the most significant changes between hearing loss treatments today and in the past. In the past, hearing aids were usually big and awkward and didn’t give the wearer much confidence or confidentiality. But since digital technology has developed, hearing aids have become less noticeable. The way sound is handled and amplified has also improved, thanks to digital processing. This has led to better sound quality and a better user experience.
Hearing aids today have elements like noise reduction, feedback cancellation, and directional microphones that make them more useful. These features are highly beneficial in helping people who have trouble hearing in noisy places, allowing them to focus better on specific sounds. Noise reduction technology listens to the sounds coming in, reducing the background noise so that the person receives the message more clearly. Feedback reduction can also reduce the annoying whistling sound that older hearing aids often make.
Understanding Hearing Aid Types
These days, people with trouble hearing have many choices regarding hearing aids. Traditional behind-the-ear (BTE) and in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids are still widely used and useful for different hearing loss levels. However, modern hearing aids go beyond these choices.
Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) and invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) devices are becoming more common because they are hard to see when worn. These devices are custom-made to fit inside the ear canal. They look better and sound better than traditional hearing aids. CIC and IIC devices are suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss and help reduce the anxiety of wearing assistive devices.
The receiver-in-canal (RIC) or receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) devices are another choice. They have a small part behind the ear linked by a thin wire to a receiver in the ear canal. RIC devices give you a natural sound experience by opening the ear canal. This lets you better pinpoint where sounds are coming from and reduce the effects of occlusion.
Permanent Hearing Aid Options
People with more severe or certain kinds of hearing loss can now get implantable hearing solutions in addition to traditional hearing aids. Implantable devices like cochlear implants and bone-anchored hearing systems have dramatically changed how hearing loss affects these people, opening up a world they didn’t think was possible.
Electronic devices called cochlear implants are put into the inner ear through surgery. They have a speech processor on the outside that is worn behind the ear and a part on the inside that triggers the auditory nerve directly. People with profound hearing loss can benefit greatly from cochlear implants, as the interpretation of sounds allows them to understand words better. They work by bypassing the damaged parts of the ear and stimulating the auditory nerve directly.
Another type of permanent hearing aid is a bone-anchored hearing system. BAHS uses bone conduction to send sound vibrations straight to the inner ear, skipping the outer and middle ears. It is especially helpful for people with conductive or mixed hearing loss, in which sound can’t get to the inner ear because of problems in the outer or middle ear. BAHS comprises a small titanium implant surgically put in the bone behind the ear and an external sound processor connecting to the implant. The sound processor picks up sound waves and turns them into vibrations. These vibrations are then sent to the inner ear through the implant.
Innovative Features For Hearing Assistance
Wireless connectivity and smart features are also a big step forward in current hearing loss solutions. Many hearing aids now use Bluetooth, which lets people wirelessly connect their phones, TVs, and other audio devices. This makes it easy to stream phone calls, music, and other sounds straight to the hearing aids, making them more convenient and easy to use.
Some hearing aids even come with smartphone apps that let people change the settings, make their own listening profiles, and even track how well their hearing is getting over time. These apps give people more control over their hearing aids by allowing adjustments, so they can ensure their hearing aids fit their wants and preferences.
Some hearing aids also have artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that can learn the user’s preferences and change the settings automatically based on the listening surroundings. This adaptive technology improves the listening experience in different situations, making the change from quiet to noisy settings smooth.
Discover Your Options For Better Hearing
Hearing loss devices have come a long way, giving people a wider range of options. As technology has improved, hearing aids have become smaller and more advanced, with multiple features that meet individual preferences. And those working hard to increase hearing for those with hearing loss aren’t done yet. They’re still working to improve assistive devices and provide even more options to improve the quality of life for those with hearing loss.
If you’re curious about your options for hearing assistive devices, contact Eldorado Hearing today. Our skilled team will evaluate your hearing loss and provide a comprehensive diagnosis and options matching your needs.