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Woman wearing hearing aids climbing hill with family and laughing at a joke.

When was the last time you used that old ear trumpet? No? You don’t have one? Because that technology is centuries old. Okay, I suppose that seems logical. Ear trumpets are a bit… antiquated.

The fundamental shape of the modern hearing aid was developed in the 1950s. And that old model hearing aid is generally the one we remember and envision. But visualizing a hearing aid in this way isn’t realistic because those old hearing aids are out-dated technology. We need to really advance our thinking if we want to get an accurate picture of how much more advanced modern hearing aids are.

Hearing Aids, Then And Now

It’s worthwhile to have some perspective concerning where hearing aids started to be able to better comprehend how sophisticated they have become. As far back as the 1500s, it’s possible to come across some form of hearing aid (though, there’s no proof that these wooden, ear-shaped artifacts were actually effective).

The first moderately effective hearing assistance apparatus was most likely the ear trumpet. This device was shaped like, well, a long horn. You would place the small end into your ear so that the wide end pointed out. Today, you wouldn’t consider this device high tech, but back then they actually offer some help.

When electricity was introduced, hearing aids went through a significant revolution. In the 1950s the hearing aid as we know it was created. They were fairly basic, relying on transistors and big, antiquated batteries to effectively work. But these devices signify the birth of a hearing aid that could easily be worn and hidden. Of course, modern hearing aids may share the same form and mission as those early 1950s designs–but their performance goes light years beyond what was conceivable 70 years ago.

Hearing Aid’s Modern Features

Modern hearing aids are a technological masterpieces, to put it plainly. And they’re always improving. Since the late twentieth century, modern hearing aids have been utilizing digital technologies in several profound ways. Power is the first and most crucial way. Modern hearing aids can pack considerably more power into a much smaller space than their earlier forerunners.

And a long list of cutting-edge developments come with increased power:

  • Bluetooth connectivity: Modern hearing aids can now communicate with all of your Bluetooth devices. You will utilize this function on a daily basis. For example, hearing aids used to have a tough time dealing with phone calls because users would hear significant (and sometimes uncomfortable) feedback. With modern hearing aids, you can just connect to your cellphone via Bluetooth connectivity and never miss a call. You will also use Bluetooth functions to participate in a wide range of other electronic activities. This means quick, feedback free connection to your music, TV, etc.
  • Selective amplification: Hearing loss does not manifest through all frequencies and wavelengths uniformly. Perhaps you have a harder time hearing high-frequency noises (or vice versa). Contemporary hearing aids are far more efficient because they are able to amplify only the frequencies you have a difficult time hearing.
  • Construction: Modern hearing aids feel more comfortable because they are made of high tech materials. While these new materials enable hearing aids to be more comfortable, it also allows them to be more heavy-duty. And by adding long-lasting, rechargeable batteries, it’s easy to see how not just the inside–but also the outside–of hearing aids have improved over the years.
  • Speech recognition: The ultimate objective, for many hearing aid owners, is to assist in communication. Many hearing aids, then, have integrated speech recognition software developed to isolate and amplify voices primarily–which can be pretty useful in a wide variety of situations, from a crowded restaurant to an echo-y board room.
  • Health monitoring: Modern hearing aids are also able to incorporate advanced health monitoring software into their settings. if you fall, for example, some hearing aids can recognize that. Other features can count your steps or give you exercise support.

Just as rotary phones no longer exemplify long-distance communication, older hearing aids no longer represent what these devices are. Hearing aids have changed a lot. And we should be excited because they’re a lot better than they were.

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