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McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

Woman with hearing aid outrunning her husband on the track.

Hearing aids, like lots of other devices, are getting smarter, more inconspicuous and more stylish all the time, and just in time. The average American is older, reports The Us Census Department, as the population as a whole ages, and sadly, loss of hearing, particularly in older people, is very common. 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 provide more possibilities for treating loss of hearing. Here are just a few of the developments coming our way.

Your General Health Can be Tracked by Your Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are equal to if not better than a fitness tracker at tracking several vital signs. Not only can it track step count, how many calories were burned, the total number of steps you took and heart rate, it also checks the time between heartbeats to help detect any cardiovascular issues. They’re also developing technology that can evaluate other significant vital signs such as blood pressure and oxygenation of the blood. There are other possible advantages 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 involvement has been connected to your general health also, so actually it’s another health metric 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 your tunes.

Easier And More intelligent Streaming

Being connected to your virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa is becoming more important as people get more addicted to these features. Even if using these assistants is not your thing, hearing aids that have Bluetooth allow you to stream sound from any Bluetooth device such as your smart TV or phone. Just think of the advantages: You could hear the analysts in the big game clearly over your family’s fun (or at least steer clear of getting yelled at for turning the volume too high). You will be able to manage your hearing loss more discreetly and also enjoy your shows, phone calls, and music more by hearing them directly in your ears.

Automatic Adjustments

Have you noticed that you get ads from Goodreads and they seem to know what type of books you enjoy reading? Or how Amazon seems to know which items to recommend? This is the power of artificial intelligence and big data. New hearing aid technologies harness this kind of intelligence and use it to make changes based on your past reactions. It will notice how you prefer to turn the volume down when you enter the train station and do that automatically the next time it recognizes you’ve entered the station (or any other circumstance with to much background noise). They are also beginning to network your hearing aids with other devices that belong to people near you in order to inform you of a possible loud noise danger nearby. Over time you will be able to quickly adjust to changes in the hearing environment because your hearing aid will make recommendations based on all the information it has collected.

What? No More Little 312 Batteries?

Who wants to continuously struggle with hearing aid batteries? Rechargeable hearing aids are now on the market. Even though you can do a lot to help extend the life of your hearing aids’ batteries, let’s face it…it’s still annoying and pricey. Better yet, technology to recharge your hearing aids while they are still in your ears is being developed.