Hearing aids, as with lots of other devices, are getting smarter, more inconspicuous and more stylish all the time, and just in time. The U.S. census documents that the average American is older as the whole population gets older, and hearing loss is, sadly, extremely common, particularly in older adults. Roughly 37.5 million adults in America and rising say they have some amount of hearing loss.
Luckily more choices for dealing with hearing loss are available due to exciting breakthroughs in recent hearing technology. Here are just a few of the developments coming our way.
Hearing Aids That Track Your Overall Health
Did you know that hearing aids can keep track of several important vital signs as well or better than a fitness tracker? Not only can it keep track of step count, how many calories were burned, the total number of steps you took and heart rate, it also checks the time in between heartbeats to help find any cardiovascular issues. They’re also working on technology that can assess other key vital signs such as blood pressure and oxygenation of the blood. Hearing aids also often have other benefits, including the ability to help drown out tinnitus and will improve your social life by bettering your overall hearing. Actually, social interaction is another metric we should look at because it has been linked to your overall health. Since hearing aids can now also sync with your smartphone so you can listen to your music, you won’t even need a smartwatch or fitness device?
More intelligent and Simpler Streaming
Staying connected to your virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa is becoming more important as people get more addicted to these features. Even if you defy the enticement of talking directly to these assistants, Bluetooth hearing aids permit you to stream sound from any Bluetooth device including your smart TV or phone. Consider the benefits of this: You could hear the analysts in the big game clearly over your family’s fun (or at least steer clear of getting yelled at for having the volume too high). The ability to directly stream phone calls, music, shows and more right to your ears not only helps you hear and appreciate them more, but it will also help you manage your hearing loss discreetly.
Have you noticed that you get ads from Goodreads and they seem to already know what type of books you enjoy reading? Or how all your favorite kinds of things get advertised to you by Amazon? That’s because big data and artificial intelligence are very powerful. Modern hearing aids harness this kind of intelligence and use it to make adjustments according to how you reacted in the past. It will remember that you turn the volume down when you go into the train station and do that automatically the next time it recognizes you’ve entered the station (or any other situation with to much background noise). They are extending this technology to include crowdsourcing as well, allowing information from other users to inform your hearing aids that you’re approaching a loud zone. Over time the hearing aids add up all this information to make recommendations and automatic corrections, so you can adjust quickly to changes in the hearing environment.
You Won’t Have to Keep Changing Those Tiny Batteries
Who wants to constantly struggle with hearing aid batteries? You can now get rechargeable hearing aids. While you can do a lot to help increase the life of your hearing aids’ batteries, truth be told…it’s still expensive and irritating. Better yet, technology to recharge your hearing aids while they are still in your ears is being developed.