There are over 48 million Americans with hearing loss today, and that number is only expected to rise. In fact, hearing loss is set to be the seventh largest disease burden in the world by 2030. Unfortunately, hearing loss is also undertreated, with most people waiting an average of seven years from the time they notice hearing loss to the time they make an appointment for a hearing test and do something about it.
Hearing Loss Can Have Consequences
While we once might have thought of hearing loss as an unfortunate but relatively benign part of getting older, today we know that it is not benign. As hearing loss progresses, we see a trend of people pulling away from social engagements, becoming more isolated, having more memory issues and decreased mobility, and even suffering an earlier onset of cognitive decline and dementia.
Hearing Aid Technology Has Never Been Better
At the same time, hearing aid technology has never been more impressive. While battery technology has allowed hearing aids to become smaller, computer technology has simultaneously allowed them to become much more powerful. Hearing aids today can emphasize speech over background noise, in some cases making speech recognition in noisy environments better than normal hearing.
Multi-microphone setups and integrated DSP (digital signal processing) between the left and right ear hearing aids can deliver binaural directionality that, in cases of mild to moderate hearing loss, can restore hearing ability to the same as that of a 20-year-old person with normal hearing. No longer do we need to give up our sense of being in three-dimensional space to improve our ability to comprehend speech!
Connectivity With Hearing Aids
Just as exciting are the improvements in connectivity we’ve seen in recent years. You’re probably familiar with Bluetooth from shopping for a phone, computer, music player or tablet. Because Bluetooth is not a proprietary technology for any specific company, it can be used to connect a wide array of devices from many different manufacturers.
Hearing aids like Phonak’s Audeo line provide connectivity via Bluetooth to multiple devices simultaneously. That means you can be directly connected to the audio from your television, and when your phone rings the audio stream will automatically switch to that device. With the holidays coming up and many people remaining separate from their families during the pandemic, Bluetooth connectivity for video conferencing will be especially appreciated. Hear every detail of conversation with easy connectivity and simple switching between devices with Phonak Audeo.
With Phonak’s Remote Support app, the process of fitment and general support has never been easier.
Fitment, the process of programming the DSP in your hearing aids to match your specific hearing loss profile, has traditionally involved multiple return visits to your hearing healthcare provider. While we appreciate the opportunity to check in on our patients’ progress with their hearing aids as they go through the adjustment phase, we also understand that you want your hearing aids to work for you day to day, without having to wait until you can get to our office to adjust your fitment and make your experience of your hearing aids more comfortable.
We also appreciate that during the pandemic, it’s important to limit our contact with those outside our “pod” as much as possible, and Phonak’s Remote Support app helps you do just that. Using the app, you can video conference with us in real time and we can adjust your fitment or address your concerns directly through the app, while you stay in the comfort of your own home.
You can still come to the office whenever you want, but if you prefer to stay home (even just because it’s raining) you’ll have that option, too.
Hearing Aids at Mt. Hood Hearing
The Better Hearing Institute, a non-profit organization, recommends getting a hearing test once every decade until age 50 and once every three years after that. If you experience difficulties with hearing or you’ve noticed changes in your hearing, contact us for a hearing test. If a hearing loss is detected, we will help you find the best hearing aids to address your hearing needs.
If you currently use hearing aids but they’re getting older and don’t provide the connectivity you’d like to have, or if you’re simply due for a hearing test, make an appointment today and see what we can do to keep you hearing your best.
The approaching holiday season will make for lots of opportunities to stay connected with the people you care about, and there’s no better way than with a great new set of Bluetooth-capable hearing aids!
To learn about how you can get new hearing aids now without spending thousands of dollars up front, please visit our pricing page.