Woman with hearing aid outrunning her husband on the track.

Hearing aids, as with lots of other devices, are getting smarter, more inconspicuous and cooler every day, and just in time. The U.S. census documents that the average American is older as the whole population gets older, and hearing loss is, unfortunately, extremely common, particularly in older adults. About 37.5 million American adults say they have some amount of hearing loss, and these numbers are increasing.

Fortunately hearing technology has had some exciting breakthroughs recently that will offer more options for treating hearing loss. A few of the advancements now available are presented here.

Your Overall Health Can be Tracked by Your Hearing Aids

Did you know that hearing aids can keep track of several important vital signs as well or better than a fitness tracker? Not only can it keep track of step count, how many calories were burned, the total number of steps you took and heart rate, it also monitors the time between heartbeats to help detect any cardiovascular issues. They are even developing technology that can determine blood pressure, oxygenation of the blood and other important vital signs. There are other possible benefits that come with hearing aids, including the ability to help drown out tinnitus and will help you hear generally so that your social life will improve also. Actually, social engagement has been connected to your general health as well, so actually it’s another health statistic we should be following. With these new hearing aids, you won’t even need a fitness device or smartwatch because the hearing aids can sync to your smartphone so you can listen to music.

Smarter and Simpler Streaming

As we get addicted to virtual assistants such as Alexa and Siri, being connected and able to communicate with them is getting more important. Even if you resist the allure of talking directly to these assistants, Bluetooth hearing aids offer key advantages such as streaming music directly from a smart device like your phone or maybe even streaming directly from your smart TV. Imagine the benefits of this: You could hear the analysts in the next Super Bowl clearly over your family’s cheers (or at least steer clear of getting yelled at for having the volume too high). The ability to directly stream phone calls, music, shows and more right to your ears not only helps you hear and enjoy them more, but it will help you regulate your hearing loss inconspicuously.

Automatic Adjustments

Have you noticed that you get ads from Goodreads and they seem to know what kind of books you enjoy reading? Or how all your favorite kinds of items get advertised to you by Amazon? This is the power of artificial intelligence and big data. Modern hearing aids harness this kind of intelligence and use it to make changes according to how you reacted in the past. For instance, if you lowered the volume the last time you went to the train station, your hearing aid will recall that and turn itself down the next time you visit the train station. They are expanding this technology to include crowdsourcing as well, allowing information from other users to notify your hearing aids that you’re entering a loud zone. Over time the hearing aids add up all this information to make recommendations and automatic corrections, so you can adjust quickly to variations in the hearing environment.

What? No More Tiny 312 Batteries?

Why would you want to continuously wrestle with hearing aid batteries? Rechargeable hearing aids are currently available. Even though you can do a lot to help extend the life of your hearing aids’ batteries, truth be told…it’s still pricey and irritating. Even better, they are working on technology that will recharge hearing aids without even having to take them out of your ears.

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