Hearing aid technology has come a long way in the past few years. Gone are the clunky hearing aids that whistled in the wind, or buzzed if you tried to hug someone. Today’s hearing devices are sophisticated mini computers that are helping you hear like never before. Are you keeping up with the times? Looking to update your hearing aids? Here’s everything you need to know about going digital with your hearing aids.
Analog Hearing Aids
While digital hearing aids are taking the hearing aid world by storm, they’re relatively new technology. The first digital hearing aid didn’t come to market until 1996. Before then, all hearing aids were analog. Analog hearing aids work very differently than digital devices. Analog technology detects sounds, translates them into electrical signals, and makes the sound waves larger so that you can hear them more clearly.
Analog hearing aids were much bigger than the tiny digital devices available today, and have to be adjusted manually. If you’ve ever worn analog hearing aids, you had to be aware of the listening environments around you, and be constantly changing settings when you went from the house to the car to the store. Buttons are right on the device itself, and finding the right button to press can be challenging for anyone, especially those with reduced dexterity skills. While there are still a few analog hearing aids out there, very few manufacturers continue to produce analog technology.
Digital Hearing Aids
As technology advances, so does hearing aid performance, with complex devices that are powerful enough to run multiple programs and settings simultaneously, but simple enough for anyone to use. How does a digital hearing aid work? Rather than making sound waves larger, digital technology takes apart the sound waves, breaking them up into smaller digital sound units that can be manipulated easily. Background sounds are easy to identify and soften, and speech sounds can be amplified for the best hearing experience. Digital hearing aids have a small chip, with complex electrical components that are constantly evaluating the sounds around you, to make sounds clearer and easier to understand.
What Makes Digital Hearing Aids So Special?
Digital hearing aids offer many advantages over analog models. From processing capacity to noise reduction and speech recognition, it’s a whole new game. Digital devices are tiny and discreet, not like the clunky devices you remember from a few years ago. They’re comfortable, and help in every listening environment. They’re smarter than ever before, and most switch between programs and settings automatically so you never even have to think about your hearing, and can have a seamless listening experience as you go through your day. Just like your ears and brain, digital technology allows your hearing device to adapt to the sounds around you, and use different strategies to hear based on the listening environment.
Since they’re so complex, digital hearing aids can be completely customized to your exact hearing needs and lifestyle, so that programs and settings give you optimal hearing. You’ll have no problem understanding conversations or localizing sounds, and you’ll never have to worry about feedback
Not only are digital hearing aids smarter than ever, many of today’s latest models come with Bluetooth technology and connectivity features, allowing you to tap into your home entertainment system, your phone, and even your car’s stereo system. This means you’ll never struggle to hear phone conversations, since the audio will be streamed directly to your hearing device. When you do need to change a setting on your device or adjust the volume, simply use an app on your smartphone. With a simple click, you can be in complete control, and you’ll never have to fidget with tiny buttons.
Finding the Perfect Digital Hearing Aid
There are many levels of digital hearing aids available, from entry-level products to top-of-the-line devices. In the last five years alone, an astonishing number of new models have hit the market, allowing you to connect with the world around you like never before.
If you’re ready to go digital, visit us at My Hearing Centers to discuss your hearing loss, and check out your options. We have a wide selection of models and advanced hearing devices from today’s leading manufacturers that will suit your needs, whatever your level of hearing loss.