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These Are Not The Hearing Aids Of Your Grandparents!

Hearing aid technology has advanced beyond recognition since then, and so has hearing treatment. During your hearing aid consultation, a Doctor of Audiology will help you determine the most beneficial digital hearing aid technology levels for your hearing loss, lifestyle, and budgetary goals.

  • A discussion on how lifestyle & budget dictate technology needs can be found here.  
  • Some of the primary features associated with digital technology are listed below.

Directional Microphones

  • Improve speech understanding in noisy situations. Among other things, this will help you understand conversation in a noisy restaurant. Directional  microphones contain dual microphones and have the  ability to focus one microphone towards the sound source while the other works to decrease background noise. 
  • Directional microphones improve speech understanding, especially when they are coupled with with digital signal processing (noise reduction algorithms).

Noise Reduction

  • Subdues background noise so you can better understand conversation. Digital signal processing algorithms analyze and classify signals as speech, music, noise, or other sounds.  Once classified, these algorithms digitally reduce the level of  unwanted background noise. 
  • No hearing aid can completely eliminate background noise, but the noise reduction algorithms in hearing aids can make speech more assessable,  especially if they are coupled with directional microphones.

Feedback Management

  • Hearing aids will not make squealing sounds in public. Whistling (feedback) from a hearing aid occurs when some portion of  the amplified sound escapes from the ear canal and gets re-amplified  when it reaches the microphone. 
  • Digital hearing aids can reduce or eliminate whistling by determining and sending a signal opposite the feedback frequencies, thereby canceling each signal. 
  • Today’s advanced feedback management software cancels or eliminates feedback before it occurs without sacrificing performance.

Channels and Bands 

  • Channels affect how a hearing aid operates, while bands affect how a hearing aid is adjusted. The number of channels and bands is most relevant when you consider your lifestyle and hearing needs. 
  • In general,  you will benefit from a greater number of channels and bands if you spend more time in noisy environments. If your lifestyle keeps you in quiet environments you may not need as many channels and bands. 
  • A discussion on how lifestyle dictates technology needs  can be found here.

Wind Noise Reduction

  • Very important if you frequently need to communicate outdoors. Wind-noise reduction algorithms cancel out noise caused by wind  blowing across hearing-aid microphones.

Data Logging and Learning

  • Top-level hearing aids can track, learn, and automatically adjust to a preferred comfort level in different listening environments. 

Bluetooth Technology

  • One of the most significant advances in hearing aid technology. Blue-tooth essentially turns hearing aids into wireless headsets for many electronic devices, including cell phones, TV, MP3 players, iOS devises, computers, GPS devices, FM systems, and more.
Open Fit Technology
 
  • The earpiece of an open fit hearing aid is a small, soft rubber or silicone cap, which is much more comfortable than the tightly fitting earpieces of more traditional designs.
  •  Open fit keeps the ear canal unobstructed and eliminates the occlusion effect, which can feel like you are “talking in a barrel”.
  • Open-ear hearing instruments sit behind the ear like traditional BTEs but are extremely small and nearly invisible to an observer. They have a barely visible, clear, thin tube that extends from behind the ear into the ear canal for transmitting sound.

Let a Doctor of Audiology help you find the right hearing aids for your hearing loss, lifestyle, and budget!

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© 2018 Pacific Northwest Audiology LLC

Pacific Northwest Audiology

2205 NW Shevlin Park Rd., Bend Oregon 97703  

(541) 678-5698,  [email protected]

Doctors of Audiology  |  Board Certified Audiologists

The World

The days of uncool hearing aids are gone!

and the stigma of hearing loss is settling quickly into the dust of the past. That is because Apple, the symbol of cool consumer electronics, is working with hearing aid manufacturers to pair hearing aids with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch through Bluetooth wireless technology. That’s right…no wires…cool!

But what if you don’t use an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch?

Don’t worry! Similar technology can, or soon will achieve the same results with other operating systems, including Android and Windows. Whether it’s streaming audio from Skype calls, a TV, MP3 player, smart phone, or other computing device, or connecting directly to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can bring the world to your hearing aids…and that is cool!

How is this new technology changing everything?

Control! Traditional hearing aids offered limited user control because the electronics and buttons were restricted to hearing aids the size of a kidney bean. But that has changed with wireless connectivity, which allows hearing aid functions to be managed…without wires…by smart phones and other devices. Cool!

What does this mean to consumers?

Among other things, wireless connections allow users to view battery status, locate their hearing aids, change the settings of their hearing aids, and quickly apply an audiologist’s environmental presets when they enter different acoustic locations. With user controls outside the hearing aids, consumers can also listen to directions from a GPS while driving, participate in phone conversations, listen to music, and use a growing list of additional functions from iOS, Android, and Windows apps. Cool!

The Bottom line?

Pacific Northwest Audiology Is Leading The Way

Connection productsWhether it’s streaming audio from Skype calls, a TV, MP3 player, smart phone, or other computing device, or connecting directly to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch…we have a solution just for you.

Our Special Holiday Gift through December

 We Bring the WorldThe World in your hearing aids!

Whether it’s streaming video and audio from your TV, phone, or computing devices, or connecting directly to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch…we have a solution just for you.