When it comes to the latest in high tech hearing aids, Dr. Michael Iliff with Hearing Consultants in Colorado Springs says, it use to be even the top of the line hearing aids could only be turned up or down in terms of volume. Now hearing aids can be fine tuned to specific frequencies. Hearing aids can now talk to each other, and your smartphone through Bluetooth.
One of Dr. Iliff’s patients Bill Petro, works for a tech company and lives a high tech lifestyle. Bill is tapping into the forefront of this hearing aid technology. He says, "Due to a life of motorcycles and rock and roll I started to suffer some hearing loss. Then some international travel with a cold, contributed to that quite a bit. I decided it was time to get hearing aids, because I do a lot speaking and listening, so it's hard to read lips if someone is asking me a question from the back of the room. My hearing loss is not extreme, it’s just in certain frequencies."
These days, Dr. Iliff says Audiologists can determine the exact the frequencies a person may be having trouble hearing. “We create a prescription for a patient everyone is a little bit different it's a fingerprint everyone is a little different so we create for that specific person and their specific hearing needs."
Being a high tech guy, Bill says he was interested in high tech hearing aids because not only could they help him hear better, but they could also better connected him, into his already highly connected life. "Now I can be listening to a YouTube video in bed at night, and not disturb my wife next to me. I can listen to Google maps give me directions as I drive, but not bother anyone else in the car. Now sometime my wife may try to talk to me at the moment I'm listening to Mrs Google in my ears, (laughs) so that is sometimes a small problem. I have a special program that allows the GPS on my phone (to signal my hearing aids) that I'm at home that will automatically change (the settings of my hearing aids). If I go to my favorite noisy restaurant my phone will geo-locate that, and change the program setting on my hearing aids to restaurant mode, without me having to touch my phone or my watch."
Not only do Bill’s hearing aids talk to his iPhone or iWatch, they talk to each through Bluetooth helping him hear better. Dr. Iliff says the hearing aid to hearing aid communication - allows them work in a way our own ears do naturally. "It also has an impact with the hearing aids communicating with each other so you have more of a replication of what happens with the brain in getting the information from both ears"
When it comes to cost Dr. Iliff says, while the newest high tech stuff is the most expensive, high tech doesn't always mean high cost depending on your insurance. When it comes to hearing aids there always a good, better, and best option, depending on a person’s needs and wants so hearing loss isn't something you should ever let cost, keep you from getting help with.