Hearing loss is a common condition that affects the elderly. In fact, around 15 percent or 37.5 million people experience some degree of hearing loss. According to the National Institute of Health, “Approximately 28.8 million U.S. adults could benefit from using hearing aids, but only one in four U.S. adults ages 20 and over who could benefit from hearing aids has used them.”
Hearing aids got a bad rap some years ago. They were bulky and uncomfortable. People wearing them experienced extreme difficulty differentiating sounds due to background noise. When they spoke it sounded as if they were talking in a barrel and there was an annoying whistling sound, i.e. feedback. On top of that, the constant need to control the volume so that loud sounds were not deafening and soft sounds could be heard was irritating at best and a nightmare at worst.
Hearing aid technology in the last 10 years has changed the face, sound and function of these devices tremendously.
- Gone are the bulky, extruding ear pieces. In their place are lighter, compact varieties. The newer mini-BTEs (Behind-The-Ear) types are so small they are almost invisible. Others sit completely in the ear canal and are invisible to the outside world. In-The-Ear hearing aids are composed of a tiny piece that sits in the outer ear. While slightly more visible, many find these the most comfortable. Because ear pieces no longer block the ear canal and plug up the wearer’s ears, that “barrel sound” is now gone.
- The advances brought on by the advent of digital technology have revolutionized hearing aids. It gave scientists the ability to reduce both background noise and improve the clarity, including putting an end to that irritating whistle.
- Directional microphones have also led the way in helping to reduce background noise. The mini-microphones, now common place in hearing aids, amplify sounds that are in front of the wearer. They can also be programmed to increase sounds on the left or right side.
- Going high-tech with wireless connectivity has enabled wearers with Bluetooth capacity to answer the phone with their ear piece or turn up the TV without touching the remote.
- Gone are the days of adjusting the volume. This is now an automated function that automatically occurs as the noise in the environment fluctuates.
If you or a loved one is experiencing difficulty hearing and have not tried the latest in hearing aids, consider making an appointment with an audiologist to discuss the options.
Elderly Care Provider
If your loved one needs assistance with everyday activities, an elderly care provider can help. Not only do they help with daily tasks, but they provide transportation and accompany your parent on daily walks and to social events—making sure they stay active and engaged despite the physical changes associated with aging.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Lakewood, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare West Denver. Call today: (720) 263-6060.