Next-generation trends for hearing aids have promised new solutions to common problems associated with current hearing aids, including low battery power and invasive surgery. There has been an influx of new innovations in hearing aid technology. Learn more about the newest trends!
Low-Power Hearing Aids
Engineers from the University of Texas at Austin have designed hearing aids based on the super sensitive auditory systems of flies. The specific type of fly examined in the study uses its super hearing to find prey.
What makes this hearing aid so important is that it relies on very little power compared to other hearing aids. This new technology will be used in the latest line of hearing aids for public sale and the hearing aids will be equipped with a flexible beam that is sensitive to sound pressure.
Oral Hearing Aids
In Nashville, Tennessee audiologist Elizabeth Welch of the Hearing Services of Franklin was able to fit a patient with a SoundBite Readers device. The device can function with no surgery needed and can be removed at any time.
A small component is worn behind the ear and another is attached to the upper teeth. The device doesn’t actually make the wearer hear through his or her teeth, but rather it relies on a small microphone that sends sound to the user’s functioning ear via bone conduction.
Supplementary Apps for Hearing Aids
The Tecnalia Centre for Applied Research has developed an app that can amplify sounds found in the home environment, such as a fire alarm or doorbell. The app is available for free at Google Play, under the name “MyEardroid.”
This app allows users to select the specific sounds that they want amplified and alerts the user via text, vibrate or screen imaging. Tecnalia is currently working to expand the types of indoor sounds that can be amplified.
Hearing Aids and the Brain
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have developed a method called two-photon microscopy that enables them to examine the brain patterns of mice in greater detail. The researchers exposed mice to sounds and also recorded the brain activity of mice that communicated with one another.
One goal of the study is to give scientists a better idea of how the human brain interprets language. The research could possibly lead to better treatment methods for people with cochlear implants.
High-Resolution Imaging and Hearing Aids
Scientists from Texas A&M University have designed a new 3D imaging technique that allows them to visualize different parts of the cochlea, a part of the inner ear. This high-resolution imaging can allow scientists to study the delicate vibrations of the cochlea without using invasive surgery.
The researchers found that different parts of the cochlea are responsible for different tasks, whereas before many believed that different parts of the cochlea had similar functions. Learning more about the exact workings of the cochlea can lead to more efficient hearing aids that contour to the inner ear.