Nearly 48 million Americans suffer from some form of hearing loss, yet just less than 10 million of those people use hearing aids. While there are many reasons why someone would choose not to wear a hearing aid, a lot of those reasons are based on misinformation or a bad reputation earned by old hearing aid technology. But the fact remains that advances have been made in hearing aid technology over the years, so many of these complaints are now moot.
Here are three of the most common complaints that have come up over the years about hearing aids – and how advances in hearing aid technology have solved them.
“What it is, is I hear stupid things better.”
That was Mickey’s answer when Rocky asked about his new hearing aid in Rocky II. While that response is what any fan of the Rocky franchise would expect from the curmudgeonly boxing trainer, it’s actually been a common complaint about hearing aids for years. Noise confusion due to background noise like wind and conversation din has always been a problem with hearing aids, but wind-resistant noise cancellation technology has come a long way in a short time.
Smart hearing aids can now help you focus on the conversation you’re actually having instead of the one happening across the room, while it also helps keep noise to a minimum when you’re enjoying a day outdoors. Hearing aids can finally fulfill their purpose – helping people hear what they want to hear, no more or no less.
“Do I want to go swimming or do I want to hear?”
For years now, this is a choice that many people have had to make during the summer months or while on vacation at a warm locale because hearing aids have barely been water resistant and have never even approached being waterproof – until now.
Hearing aid technology has advanced to the point where newer models can withstand being submerged in water for a period of time, while others are good enough to avoid being removed if you’re in the shower or heavy rain. In addition, this new moisture resistance actually helps extend the life of hearing aids, since sweat and earwax – two things your hearing aids will come in close contact with while in your ears – have been known to cause problems with hearing aids. While we may not be completely at the point where you never have to remove your hearing aids while in the water – for example, it’s probably still not a good idea to wear them if you plan on scuba diving – it’s just a matter of time before the technology becomes completely waterproof.
“My hearing aid can’t connect to my phone!”
Ok, so this might be more of a recent complaint about hearing aids, but let’s face it – we live in a world with smart houses, smart cars, and smart just about everything else. Why wouldn’t we want hearing aids controlled by other devices through apps? It’s an added convenience that can make things just a little bit easier for you.
For instance, there are numerous apps available that can give you better control over the settings on your hearing aid. These apps can replace the remote many use to control settings, which is convenient because then it’s just one less thing to have to worry about and carry around.
Some new hearing aids feature Bluetooth connectivity, which is a way for multiple devices to connect with each other wirelessly. Most often, Bluetooth technology is used in the car to take hands-free phone calls or stream music from your phone to your car stereo system. The idea behind Bluetooth hearing aids is basically the same: users can stream audio from a TV, computer, or phone into their hearing aids. It’s like having a clear set of speakers set directly in your ears!
Still not convinced that advances in technology have solved some of the more common complaints about hearing aids? Speak with a hearing specialist about your concerns to learn more.