The latest changes in hearing aid technology now can allow the user to go Bluetooth wireless and hear their telephone, TV, listen with a remote microphone, and all other sound sources directly streamed into their hearing aids. Even more revolutionary is the fact that the IPhone and other cellphones have apps to control the sound processing at the will of the user. With laws requiring hands free, this makes it easy to use and you can hearing the conversation in both ears and it’s perfectly amplified to match your hearing needs.
All of the manufacturers have gadgets to connect you to the world. They have a full range of products that can fit any hearing loss and they can come with or without the Bluetooth option.
For the client, I know that telephone communication is a must and TV and radio are best played through the hearing aid prescriptions. So, using Bluetooth to connect these devices directly to hearing aids is a revolution in hearing care, but not always a necessity for most hearing losses. The features that I like the best are the ease of use, clarity, and the benefits of being connected to the world. However, some patients can hear these with just the hearing aids and Bluetooth products such as remote microphones are unnecessary and should be added to the purchase as they become required for clearer and easier communication. This is the case where less gadgets is more convenient!
With marketing leading the charge in hearing aid technology and sales, patients should expect hearing aids to provide normal performance for almost all of their activities of daily living without gadgets. since most hearing aids at the premium level are all the same, technology should be emphasized over patient care and prescription writing by the Audiologist. Connectivity devices are the new buzz, but they should only be used after the hearing aid prescriptions have been maximized, an adequate adaptation period for he patient has passed, and amplification alone cannot do the job. Less equipment, better hearing, and less bother.