Patients often ask me, “Is there anything available that will work better than my current hearing aids?” Since hearing aid circuits are miniature computers and their changes parallel the advancements in computer technology, you will see marked improvements every two to three years. The leading manufacturers are focusing their research and development in the following areas:
Better Understanding in Background Noise – New directional microphones have a narrowed width of focus that shuts out noises from the sides and rear.
Improved Control of Acoustic Feedback – High-resolution phase cancellation techniques create a negative waveform to eliminate the feedback immediately.
Computer Circuitry Enhancements – Faster, more intelligent microprocessors and more efficient software identify and amplify the speech you want to hear and reduce the noises you don’t need to hear.
Connectivity – Hearing aids can connect effortlessly and wirelessly to other audio sources you use daily, such as cell phones, televisions, iPods, etc.
You’ll never know how much improvement you can experience from new technology without taking a “test drive.” I suggest you reflect on listening situations that you experience routinely and honestly assess how well you perform. Would you like to hear more clearly on the phone? Is background noise interfering with your understanding in restaurants? Does music sound as rich and full as you would like? The newest hearing aids are designed to overcome many of the obstacles that older technology could not address. Together, we should evaluate how the benefits of new hearing instruments can optimize every listening situation you encounter.