Hearing aids have been around for many years, but recent technological advances have made them so much more useful and effective. Wearing a hearing aid is no longer an imposition on your lifestyle -- it makes life easier, just as it should. One of the ways in which you can really embrace technology with your hearing aids is by choosing one that integrates with your smartphone. Here's a closer look at the way this technology works and what it can do with you.
How do hearing aids interface with your phone?
Hearing aids that coordinate with your smartphone allow you to stream music, calls, and other noises directly from your phone to the hearing aid. This makes the sounds so much easier to distinguish and interpret than if you were to play them from your phone's speakers and hope that the hearing aid picks them up properly. The sound is so much cleaner and more pristine. There won't be as much buzzing and whistling, and you can hear the sounds clearly even if you're in a busy area.
The hearing aid will just come with an app you can download on your phone. You can also control the hearing aid from this app. Adjust the volume, turn it on, and turn it off by touching your phone screen rather than having to fiddle with a tiny switch on the hearing aid itself.
What style hearing aids are available?
Both RIC (receiver in canal) and BTE (behind the ear) hearing aids come in smartphone-compatible versions now. If you're not familiar with these styles, here's an overview:
RIC hearing aids have a small housing that sits behind your ear, but the microphone itself is in your ear canal. This allows the hearing aid to be smaller, and it also results in clearer sounds. The downfall is that the in-canal microphone must be specifically molded to your ear, and you may need to have them remodeled every few years to maintain a good fit.
BTE hearing aids sit behind your ear -- microphone and all. They are a bit larger than RIC hearing aids, but they do not have to be custom fitted. So you may be able to head to your audiologist and bring them home today rather than waiting for them to be custom molded. BTE hearing aids also tend to be cheaper.
Talk to your hearing aid specialist like Pacific Hearing Care to learn more about the various models of hearing aids that are compatible with your smartphone.