Hearing Center Blog

The Digital Age and Hearing Loss

How Emerging Technology and Stylish Hearing Aids are Reducing Stigma

By Jennifer Dumke | Sioux Falls Woman

woman-girl-technology-musicJust take a short walk and you’ll likely notice the popularity of pedestrians wearing headsets, Bluetooth devices, wireless earbuds and other ways to connect to mobile devices or music. In fact, most of the general population has become accustomed to either wearing in-ear devices or seeing them frequent the streets and shopping malls. So, what’s the big deal about wearing a hearing aid? That question is getting asked more and more often making it easier for those who struggle with hearing loss to cope with the adjustment of wearing a hearing aid.

Bob Froke, MA, CCC-A is a licensed audiologist at Midwest Ear, Nose and Throat and has worked with patients for over three decades and sees first-hand the advancements made in hearing aid technology. “With the onset of the digital revolution, not only are we seeing improvements in communication and home technology but hearing aids have also come a long way.” Having personally worn a hearing aid for over 4 years, Froke goes on to say how integrating with technology to stream music and connect with mobile devices significantly reduces the stigma for those needing hearing aids. “In general, society has become acclimated to using and relying on external devices.”

And it’s only the beginning. Hearing aid manufacturers are just like any other form of technology; consistently trying to increase efficiency while providing a sleek, stylish device. Once known for being bulky, noticeable and often needing frequent adjustments and maintenance, today’s aids are smaller, trendier and require less work. But it’s not just about looks. These modern-age hearing aids come loaded with additional benefits such as apps that translate speech into text within seconds. Other companies tap into using laser light pulses that convert light into sound. Although these types of technology come at a price tag, even basic devices have become more streamlined and efficient while accommodating any budget.

“These improvements are having a significant impact on those who struggle with hearing loss. They have become more widely accepted and the advances in technology offer so many life-changing improvements,” says Froke. Because in the end, it’s about offering a way to live life to the fullest. “This newfound acceptance and reduced stigma enables the millions who suffer from hearing loss to lead an improved quality of life rather than suffer in silence.”