Available Hearing Aid Features
Selecting the right hearing aid for your individual needs isn’t always easy. With recent advances in technology, there are more hearing aid features available today than ever before. When choosing a hearing aid, you should consider what features and functionality you’ll want based on your lifestyle as well as your cosmetic preferences. Below are some of the many options you have when choosing a hearing aid device:
Refers to an aid’s ability to direct sound in specific directions, while suppressing unwanted sounds. This improves your ability to focus your attention on a specific person/conversation without the distractions of other sounds.
Digital Noise Reduction
In addition to directional microphones as a tool to help in situations with competing noise, hearing aids can reduce amplification in certain channels. Typically, amplification is reduced in the channels that provide little benefit to overall speech understanding. This can be helpful in reducing the noise that is arriving from the front and the overall noise in the room. More premium hearing aids may also work to enhance the speech arriving from the front by increasing the amplification in the channels that carry important speech information so that the speech is more pronounced than the noise.
Digital Feedback Reduction
Acoustic feedback in hearing aids is the high-pitched whistling sound that you may have heard from some older hearing aids. It is a result of the amplified sound leaking out the ear canal and being picked up by the microphone of the hearing aid. Fortunately, feedback is now much less common because most digital hearing aids have a feedback manager that reduces feedback. The probability of feedback depends on the configuration and severity of the hearing loss. Therefore, not everyone needs the most sophisticated feedback management system. Feedback also depends on the fit of the instrument.
Multiple Programs or Memories
Multiple programs or memories can be stored in hearing aids and accessed using a push button or through a remote control. These programs optimize the hearing aids for different listening environments. Multiple programs can also be available for special uses, such as for listening on the telephone or to television. More advanced hearing aids analyze the sound environment and adjust automatically for specific environments.
Many hearing aids can be operated using a remote control. For some individuals and certain hearing aids, a remote control can be very helpful, allowing the changing of programs and/or volume without touching the hearing aids. The increased automatic functioning of modern hearing aids has somewhat reduced the need for remote controls, however, many hearing aid users still find them beneficial. Some remote controls can also act as a Bluetooth streaming device.
Waterproof Hearing Aids
Do you go jogging / running frequently? Are you a swimmer? If so, a waterproof or sweatproof model might be ideal for you. Made for active hearing aid users, there are models available in dustproof and shockproof as well.
Bluetooth Wireless Connectivity
Most people are familiar with Bluetooth technology through the use of cell phones and even car radios, but did you know that your hearing aid can come equipped with it too? Bluetooth in hearing aids makes it easy to stream sounds from many different devices straight to your device. So say you’re watching TV with friends and you’re having trouble hearing. Instead of increasing the volume for everyone, simply turn on your streamer and adjust the volume on the streamer remote. The volume will increase but only in your ears!
Sound Generators or Tinnitus Maskers
Certain hearing aids have the capability of internally generating sounds that are not present in the environment. The sound generators are used to produce various sounds that can help reduce the perceived loudness of tinnitus (ear or head noise).
Ear-to-Ear Communication (E2E)
This feature is focused on those who wear two hearing aids. This technology allows one aid to “talk” to another, much like our own ears, and adjust sound input accordingly. This feature might be recommended by your hearing care professional do to your specific hearing loss type.
This feature helps hearing aids understand user habits and preferences and, over time, automatically adjust when in similar environments.
Data Logistics and Data Learning
This feature helps record your hearing habits, including the length of time you’re wearing the device, types of listening environments you’ve been in and how you have adjusted your aid. This in turn allows your hearing specialist to understand how your device is working well for you.
These are just several of the many hearing aid features available. If you would like to consult with one of our hearing care professionals to determine the right hearing aid features for you, contact us today and schedule an appointment at one of our 3 office locations.