Have you utilized your ear trumpet lately? No? You don’t use one? Because that technology is centuries old. Okay, I suppose that makes sense. Ear trumpets are a bit… archaic.
The modern(ish) hearing aid, it turns out, was introduced during the 1950s–the basic shape, that is. And somehow, that’s the hearing aid which has become identified in our collective consciousness. But thinking of a hearing aid in this way isn’t accurate because those old hearing aids are antiquated technology. To comprehend just how much better modern hearing aids are, we have to unleash our imaginations.
The History of Hearing Aids
It’s worthwhile to have some perspective concerning where hearing aids started so that you can better comprehend how advanced they have become. If we trace the history back far enough, you can most likely find some type of hearing assistance device as far back as the 1500s (whether any of them ever actually helped you improve your hearing is probably unlikely).
The first moderately effective hearing assistance apparatus was most likely the ear trumpet. This device was shaped like, well, a long trumpet. The wide end faced the world and the narrow end was oriented inside your ear. At present, you wouldn’t consider this device high tech, but back then they actually offer some assistance.
Once electricity was introduced, hearing aids went through a real revolution. The hearing aid as we now know it was really developed in the 1950s. They were quite basic, using transistors and big, antiquated batteries to effectively work. But these gadgets signify the start of a hearing aid that could easily be worn and hidden. The hearing aids of the 1950s might have looked comparable to modern hearing aids but the technology and capability is worlds apart.
Modern Features of Hearing Aids
Modern hearing aids are a technological masterpieces, to put it plainly. And they keep making improvements. Since the later years of the twentieth century, modern hearing aids have been making use of digital technologies in a number of powerful ways. The first, and the most crucial way, is simple: power. Modern hearing aids can store significantly more power into a much smaller space than their earlier predecessors.
And a long list of sophisticated developments come with greater power:
- Construction: Modern hearing aids feel more comfortable because they are made of advanced materials. While these new materials allow hearing aids to be more comfortable, it also enables them to be more robust. It’s easy to see how hearing aids have advanced on the outside as well as the inside with the addition of long lasting and rechargeable batteries.
- Health monitoring: Modern hearing aids are also capable of incorporating advanced health tracking software into their settings. if you have a fall, for example, some hearing aids can recognize that. Other features can count your steps or give you exercise support.
- Selective amplification: Hearing loss does not occur through all wavelengths and frequencies equally. Maybe you have a harder time hearing high-frequency noises (or vice versa). Contemporary hearing aids are a lot more efficient because they will amplify only the frequencies you have a difficult time hearing.
- Speech recognition: The biggest goal, for most hearing aid users, is to enhance communication. Separating and boosting voices, then, is a principal feature of the software of many hearing aids–which can be pretty handy in a wide range of situations, from a crowded restaurant to an echo-y board room.
- Bluetooth connectivity: Your hearing aids can now communicate with other devices via wireless Bluetooth technology. You will utilize this function every day. Old style hearing aids, for instance, would have irritating feedback when you would attempt to talk on the telephone. With contemporary hearing aids, you can simply connect to your cellphone via Bluetooth connectivity and never miss a call. This is true for a wide range of other scenarios involving electronic devices. This means quick, feedback free connection to your music, TV, etc.
Just like rotary phones no longer represent long-distance communication, older hearing aids no longer capture what these devices are. Hearing aids have changed a lot. And that’s a good thing–because now they’re even better.