Jennifer Esse, a doctor of audiology, discusses developments in hearing aid technology.
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Technology changes so rapidly. And with the advent of cell phone and bluetooth technology, things are just moving along more rapidly than ever. Things are getting smaller, more cosmetically appealing. Certainly, we still have the same styles of hearing aids we always had plus a few new ones. We definitely have many more options available to people than ever before. There’s virtually very few types of hearing losses that we could not fit with a hearing aid today. Whereas about five to 10 years ago, there were quite a few hearing losses we were not able to fit with hearing aid technology. I think hearing aids are probably the biggest area of stigma in the hearing health care world today. I think we’re still stuck in the idea or the notion that hearing aids are only for the elderly. And that is simply not true. We know that hearing loss occurs in every age from newborn up. So, I think it's something we need to breakthrough. And it's a barrier we’re still working on as a profession to make sure that people understand that hearing aids and hearing instrument technology is not just for somebody who is old. And it should not be made to make people feel any older. If anything, it's an improvement to quality of life. And your audiologist should feel very passionate about trying to improve your quality of life in every way that they can in terms of bettering your hearing. Providing lots of solutions, lot’s of options for your hearing aid technology is a start. And that will really show you that the size of hearing aids has changed so they’re not as visible, they’re light, they’re easy to maintain. Frankly, it's just a much easier process than it used to be. And we’re really trying to educate people that it's not scary, it doesn’t need to be an intimidating experience.