Hearing professionals and developers are using the latest wireless and smartphone technology to create a new generation of digital hearing aids which users can control via an app on their smartphone.
Most of the new app-linked hearing aids provide their wearer with the ability to:
- Tune his hearing aid himself.
- Amplify or reduce the decibel (dB) as needed for his location.
- Save the sound setting best suited to his location, and automatically switch to that setting every time he returns to that location.
- Use his hearing aids as headphones. He can stream sound directly from his smartphone to hear music, navigation instructions, or his conversation partner over the din of a crowd.
According to Nielsen, 51% of adults over age 55 are now smartphone owners and that number is expected to grow each year. With the advent of these app-linked hearing aids and the increased use of smartphones, older adults suffering from hearing loss now have a viable alternative to traditional hearing aids. Moreover, there’s an increased likelihood that they will make use of the hearing aids’ extra features since these smartphone apps are meant to be convenient and user-friendly.
These new app-linked hearing aids are sold as electronic devices and are not overseen by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Hearing professionals advise that these new hearing aids are not for those with severe hearing loss or sensorineural deafness. Nor are they meant to replace the delicate and customized care provided by an audiologist. Any hearing loss should be medically assessed for your well being and quality of life.