Technology helps shed hearing aid stigma

Whether it’s ageism, alteration in self-perception or vanity, some people needlessly suffer hearing loss for several years before seeking treatment because of the stigma associated with wearing hearing aids.

Fewer than 20 percent of people with hearing loss choose to correct it, yet 95 percent of hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids.

The good news is that with technological improvements, better hearing aids are now being manufactured.  Nowadays there are a variety of styles and sizes, including smaller options, making hearing aids less visible.  People are accustomed to seeing wireless Bluetooth headsets devices everywhere, so hearing aids fit in better.

The technology has also improved the quality of sound. Hearing aids for people experiencing hearing loss are programmable to the point where each person can control their hearing aid directly from their smartphones. Some devices nestle behind the ear of the wearer and feature only a small, clear tube that runs into the ear canal and hard to notice. Some fit down into the ear canal.  

Hearing aids today can be programmed with different channels, so the wearer can have one type of program for listening and noise, for music, for quiet one-on-one listening and even to control the volume of their television or computer. Hearing aids can better focus on the target you want to listen to, and not overwhelm the listener with everything in their environment.

Noise reduction and precision has gotten so much better with the hearing aid devices and because there are better circuitry, improvements were made to limit feedback, or that whistling sound many people have associated with hearing aids.

Read more about Northside's Audiology Services.