You have been diagnosed with hearing loss and are now looking for a new set of hearing aids. With all the technical jargon being thrown around, you’re a little bit apprehensive. What do they all mean? Are they really essential for you or are they features that you won’t get benefit from?
In the past, hearing aids are just there to amplify the sounds coming into your ears. With technology advancement in the past few decades, hearing aids can be made to do much, much more. There are many hearing aid features that are designed for specific hearing and lifestyle needs. We can’t recommend which ones are suitable for you yet because we don’t know your personal circumstances.
That said, there are some hearing aid features which you must look for when buying hearing aids. Let us guide you through the list:
1. Multi Channels
Digital hearing aids can divide frequencies into multiple sections or multi-channels. This allows each section of frequencies to be adjusted according to your hearing loss profile. Premium hearing aids tend to have higher number of sections/channels, which means a smoother amplification across the whole range frequencies.
2. Binaural Processing
Binaural means two ears. Naturally, our ears needs to be working together in balancing ourselves and processing sound signals. Most people have hearing loss in both ears, so modern hearing aids are designed to work with two ears. If you are thinking of buying just one hearing aid, due to affordability, to help with your binaural hearing loss, consider buying two cheaper ones instead. Also, using two different hearing aids on both sides of your ears, might give you a less enjoyable experience because they don’t match each other.
3. Noise Control & Reduction
You often use your hearing aids in various listening environments – at home, outside, on the road, or in a restaurant. This means that your hearing aids would need to help you listen to different background noise levels. Most, if not all, of today’s digital hearing aids have some amount of noise-cancellation capabilities that can differentiate between helpful sounds and unnecessary noise. The amount of noise reduction varies. Premium hearing aids typically have a better noise control algorithm.
4. Directional Microphones
Most modern digital hearing aids have built-in directional microphones to help the wearer concentrate on the sound they want to hear. They do this by ignoring or reducing the sounds coming from the other, less important directions. This is helpful when you’re talking to people in noisier venues. Some higher end hearing aids even have multiple microphones and adaptive microphones.
5. Multiple Programmings
Most digital hearing aids nowadays are equipped with multiple program storing capabilities. When you discuss your lifestyle with us, our audiologist can set multiple programs into your hearing aids, each for different situation. Different programs could have different levels of volume, noise reduction, direction of microphones, etc. Some higher end hearing aids also have automatic programming ability, where they analyse the acoustic features of the environment and make adjustments automatically with the help of artificial intelligence technology.
6. Wireless Connectivity
Digital hearing aids can connect to some Bluetooth-compatible devices, such as smartphones, music players and televisions. Even if they cannot do it directly, they can be connected to intermediary devices. One example is the remote control. Apart from adjusting your hearing aids wirelessly, it can stream the phone calls or other sounds straight to your hearing aids. Thus turning your hearing aids into a pair of stereo headphones. Plus, many hearing aids have telecoils, that detects a telephone near your ears. You can then focus on the phone conversation while other sounds from your environment are suppressed.
As you can see, modern digital hearing aids are making things very convenient for you with these smart features. Hopefully this information has clarified what hearing aid technology will do for you.
There are also other more unique and newer hearing aid features that might be beneficial for you. If you have been diagnosed with or suspect that you might have hearing loss, schedule an appointment with us today. We will guide you through the whole process and provide you with professional advice on what’s the best option for your unique hearing situations.
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