Q: What is new in today’s hearing aid technology?Emily Steffel, AuD, CCC-A

Emily Steffel, AuD, CCC-A

A:  There are so many exciting new things in hearing aid technology!  Some hearing aids are now completely rechargeable.  These hearing aids plug into a charger each night, just like your phone, and you won’t have to mess with those tiny hearing aid batteries.  There are also hearing aids that will send your phone call or music directly to your hearing aids without you having to hold the phone to your ear (helpful for the “hands free” driving laws).  There are even hearing aids that are both rechargeable and stream calls/music.

Additionally most hearing aids nowadays can be connected to a smart phone so the phone becomes a remote control, allowing patients to adjust their volume or program settings without ever having to touch the hearing aid at all, making the use of the hearing aids more discrete.

Lastly there are hearing aids that use a new method for background noise reduction that uses classification of sounds rather than direction of sounds to reduce background noises, which is a better option for some patients who have trouble in background noise.  This gives us two different types of background noise reduction styles to better fit the wide range of hearing needs experienced by individuals with hearing difficulties.  Overall it is plain to see today’s hearing aids are definitely “not your grandmother’s hearing aids”.