Senior couple swimming in a pool

The technologically-advanced hearing aids of today are changing the way active adults think about wearing an assistive device. They’re finding that these “hearables” not only provide a better hearing experience than their predecessors. They’re more comfortable, smart, integrative and compatible with the active lifestyle you want to live.

Here are three things you may not have known about hearing aids:

1. Two Is Always Better Than One

Harry Nilsson of Three Dog Night got it right. One is the loneliest number. That’s especially true when it comes to hearing aids. Whether you’re playing soccer, hitting the flea market or riding a jet-ski, living an active lifestyle means being able to move confidently and freely in your environment.

Your ears work together to accomplish this. Losing your hearing in one ear will seriously throw your game off. For one thing, it’s harder to tell where sound came from, and that can become disorienting.

If you’re jogging and can’t hear where a car is coming from, you’re at a disadvantage. Single-sided hearing has also been associated with vertigo, which can make you more accident-prone.

On top of that, your ears work together to understand language. Even if you have the best possible hearing aid in one ear, you’ll struggle more when one ear is left to fend for itself.

To help your ears be the power couple they’re supposed to be, wear two hearing aids.

2. Optimal Hearing Can Be Achieved Anywhere

Hearing devices today can be optimized for various types of hearing environments. Do you love theater, sporting events or fine dining? There’s a setting on your hearing aids for each of these. Do you need to hear the traffic and people around you while jogging? There’s a setting for that too.

A quiet conversation in a noisy venue? A noisy conversation in a quiet room? A low-talker on the telephone? Your hearing aid can handle those easily.

It takes some practice. But adjusting your hearing aids when they seem off will make all the difference.

You’ve never shied away from a challenge. And the more you use your hearing aids, the more of a pro you become.

3. Hearing Aids Can Keep You Mentally Sharp

As an active person, the last thing you want to think about is cognitive decline. You see people struggling with the credit card scanner at the grocery store, having trouble driving or forgetting things all the time. You’re compassionate toward them. But you’re also really glad that’s not you.

Studies show that untreated hearing loss has a lot to do with how quickly people lose their cognitive abilities. People who are accustomed to hearing start disengaging from their surroundings as hearing loss sets in.

Struggling to hear makes them feel fatigued. Over time their minds begin to slow down. It’s hard to learn new things or adapt to changes. They may become irritable and start isolating themselves from people they love. They definitely can’t stay active.

And the worse the hearing loss is, the faster the decline takes place.

Mild = 2X decline speed.

Moderate = 3X decline speed.

Severe = 5X decline speed.

But there’s good news. The simple act of wearing your hearing aids can decrease cognitive decline progression. Stay sharp and active with hearing aids.

4. Hearing Aids Aren’t One Size Fits All

Hearing aid fittings aren’t just about getting a device that helps you hear at your best. Hearing aids need to fit into your lifestyle. Talk to your hearing specialist about the things you’re passionate about to learn more about devices that fit with your life.

Do you surf, ski or swim? If so, you’ll need a hearing aid that’s waterproof. If you’re just near water, but not submerged, for example you enjoy sport fishing, boating or days at the beach, then water resistance may be all you need.

Hearing aids that aren’t specifically designed to endure water, will be damaged. So check your hearing aid manual before allowing it to get wet.

Hearing aids today can have bluetooth, allowing you to wirelessly connect to your smartphone, TV or stereo. Enjoy music on the go without trying to fit headphones over your hearing aids.

Stay active and healthy by getting and using hearing aids that don’t get in the way of your active lifestyle. Talk to a hearing specialist to get the best hearing experience.