Hearing aids are remarkable little machines that have had an enormous impact on the lives of thousands of Australians. These devices have the power to transform physical and mental health in a huge range of ways. Of course hearing aids provide the power to enjoy the lyrics of a favourite song or memorable lines from TV shows and movies, as well as listen to the first words of a child or grandchild or chat freely with friends and family. But they also battle the isolating effects of hearing loss, bringing those dealing with issues back into the fold.
Already know just how powerful hearing aids can be? Well, there's probably plenty else you don't know about these incredible accessories. From the early days of hearing technology to groundbreaking modern day features, here are seven hearing aid fun facts that could have you looking at this terrific tech just a bit differently.
Alexander Graham Bell is most widely known as the inventor of the telephone, and everybody learns in school that Thomas Edison was the main man behind the light bulb. But did you know these two giants of invention and innovation helped pave the way for the creation of the first hearing aids?
The methods Graham Bell discovered and developed to control and change sound while creating the telephone became a precursor to hearing aids. He also invented the audiometer, which is still used to test hearing today. Meanwhile Edison's carbon transmitter invention, initially created to further telephone technology, was another building block for hearing aid development. It is believed Miller Reese Hutchison used these breakthroughs to create the first electric hearing device just before the turn of the 20th century.
Plenty of huge personalities who have made massive contributions across the globe did so while dealing with hearing loss. There are plenty of famous historical figures with hearing loss, including the aforementioned Thomas Edison, famous German composer Ludwig van Beethoven and former Australian prime minister John Howard.
Think about how different computers, TVs and mobile phones are now compared to their predecessors from even just a few years ago. Hearing aids are no different. Digital hearing aids have improved leaps and bounds in recent years, and continue to do so. Similar to other electronics in the home, rechargeable hearing aids, hearing aids with bluetooth and hearing aids with smart technology can interact with apps and other smart home devices to make living life comfortably that much easier.
Hearing aid benefits are much more varied than simply amplifying the sounds around you. You know those big can headphones people wear on flights because it shuts out ambient noise? Today's hearing aids have similar powers. Not only that, but modern day hearing aids are so advanced that they can help crystallise voices of those with whom you're speaking while lessening background noise. That means you can better concentrate on what matters most.
Not only can hearing aids help you better enjoy unforgettable moments and make memories that will last a lifetime, but they can also be programmed to remember settings for specific locations you frequent often. Some makes and models of hearing aids have features that use GPS location-type tracking. Have a favourite cafe or other local you go to often? Once you configure your hearing aid to the right levels while visiting, your device can automatically switch to these settings each and every time you're there.
There are heaps of hearing aid benefits for those who love to get outside and work toward achieving fitness goals. Whether you love to lace up the shoes and go for a run, or clip into the pedals and log the kilometres atop your bike, hearing aids can enhance your exercise experience in a variety of ways.
Practically, hearing aids can of course help keep you safer and more aware of cars and other exercisers around you. But the technological powers of hearing aids can also potentially boost your performance. Hearing aids with bluetooth capability can sync to your mobile device so you can play your favourite workout playlists or podcasts while you get after it. Even better, there are some makes and models that are water resistant or come with coverings so you don't have to fear the forecast. It is best to check your hearing aid features to see how they can be beneficial to your exercise routine.
According to the World Health Organisation, 466 million people around the world have hearing loss to some extent, that's about 5% of the overall population. And in Australia, 1 in 6 people suffer from hearing loss. Despite a widespread increase in knowledge, better worldwide connectivity and advances in technology and design, only 17% of those who could benefit from the use of hearing aids actually use them. Early identification of issues and early adoption of hearing aids can be a great positive for those impacted by hearing loss.
If you believe you or someone you know may be experiencing hearing loss, take the Online Hearing Test and start your hearing health journey with National Hearing Care.