Perhaps you remember the clunky hearing aids of yesteryear. Maybe your grandparents wore them, and you remember their ongoing struggle with the awkwardness of the device and constant volume issues. Thankfully, the old style of hearing aids has gone by the wayside, and technology has stepped in, making the gift of hearing more accessible and easier than ever.
“The technology today is incredible,” said Dr. Anna Nichols. “These hearing aids are not your grandpa’s…. They are intuitive, slim, and incredibly sophisticated. Ninety percent of my patients are using hearing aids that connect to smartphones through Bluetooth technology. They are user-friendly and convenient for anyone of any age.”
Some of the benefits of today’s hearing aids include:
Improved Sound Quality: Anna mused, “Generation after generation has worked to improve sound quality in our lives…. Anyone who remembers the transition from vinyl to cassette to CD remembers the distinct difference in sound quality as the technology improved. Likewise, the technology of today’s hearing aids produces clearer digital audio over the analog versions of years past.”
Selective Amplification: “This is a phenomenal benefit over hearing aids of years past,” shared Anna. “The ability to selectively amplify sound is hugely beneficial in noisy restaurants or other crowded areas where the background noise overtakes the conversation. The ability to filter out that background noise enables patients to feel more a part of things. They don’t feel like they have to be a shadow in the room because they can’t distinguish the discussion from the din around them.”
Volume Adjustment: “It’s not just a matter of the wearer being able to adjust the volume,” explained Anna. “The hearing aid itself can auto correct the volume based on the environment. We don’t often think about the various soundscapes we encounter, but the audio conditions of home are very different than the road noise we have when we get in the car…. Or the sounds in a grocery store or playground. Today’s hearing aids account for those kinds of environments and automatically adjust the volume accordingly.”
Directional Microphones: Anna continued, “The microphones in today’s hearing aids do a great job of picking up directional sound, rather than all the sounds all around the wearer. This directional microphone further streamlines conversations and filters out background noise.”
Feedback Reduction: “We all know that horrible sound that audio feedback gives,” Anna said. “That agonizing high-pitched screech. Imagine that in your ear! Today’s hearing aids can self-correct before the audio feedback happens.”
“Beyond these benefits,” Anna said, “today’s hearing aids are rechargeable. We also offer our patients the training they need to be successful with their hearing aids. The technology even enables our patients to stream their favorite podcasts and music! Truly – they are more like highly customized AirPods than anything. And they are also lighter and far less conspicuous, meaning people feel more confident wearing them.”
Hearing loss generally occurs gradually. Anna encourages her patients to be proactive about their hearing to catch issues before they become more serious. While every insurance policy is different, many plans cover the cost of an annual hearing test. Call to schedule a hearing test with Nichols Hearing and Audiology, and if you need assistance – trust that the technology today will help you regain confidence everywhere you go.
Nichols Hearing and Audiology is located at 3640 Westgate Center Circle, Suite B, in Winston-Salem. Call the office at 336.842.3437. Visit NicholsHearingandAudiology.com. Be sure to like the practice on Facebook and follow on Instagram (@nicholshearingandaudiology).