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Woman with hearing aid outrunning her husband on the track.

Like many other devices, hearing aids are getting smarter every day. They’re also less conspicuous and more stylish than they ever have been. The average American is older, reports The Us Census Department, as the whole population gets older, and hearing loss is, unfortunately, very common, particularly in older adults. About 37.5 million American adults say they have some amount of hearing loss, and these numbers are rising.

Fortunately more choices for treating hearing loss are available because of amazing advancements in recent hearing technology. Some of the inventions coming our way are presented here.

Hearing Aids That Track Your Overall Health

Hearing aids are as good if not better than a fitness tracker at keeping track of several vital signs. Not only can it monitor the time between heartbeats to help detect potential cardiovascular concerns, but it also monitors calories burned, heart rate, step count, and the total number of steps taken. They’re also developing technology that can evaluate other key vital signs like blood pressure and oxygenation of the blood. Hearing aids also often have other benefits, like the ability to help drown out tinnitus and will help you hear generally so that your social life will get better as well. Actually, social involvement is another statistic we should look at because it has been linked to your overall health. Since hearing aids can now also sync with your smartphone so you can listen to your music, who needs a smartwatch or fitness device?

Streaming Made Easier And More Intelligent

As we get addicted to virtual assistants including Alexa and Siri, being connected and able to communicate with them is getting more important. Even if using these assistants is not your thing, hearing aids that have Bluetooth allow you to stream sound from any Bluetooth device including your smart TV or phone. Imagine the advantages of this: You could hear the analysts in the next Super Bowl clearly over your family’s cheers (or at least steer clear of getting yelled at for turning the volume too high). The ability to directly stream music, phone calls, shows and more right to your ears not only helps you hear and enjoy them more, but it will also help you manage your hearing loss inconspicuously.

Automatic Adjustments

Did you ever notice how Goodreads seems to know what type of book you’d like to read? Or how Amazon seems to know which products to recommend? That’s because big data and artificial intelligence are very powerful. The latest hearing aids can also make adjustments automatically based on your responses in the past. It will remember that you turn down the volume when you enter the train station and do that automatically the next time it recognizes you’ve entered the station (or any other situation with to much background noise). They are expanding this technology to include crowdsourcing as well, allowing information from other people to notify your hearing aids that you’re approaching a loud zone. Over time the hearing aids analyze all this information to make suggestions and automatic corrections, so you can adjust quickly to variations in the hearing environment.

What? No More Tiny 312 Batteries?

Who wants to continuously wrestle with hearing aid batteries? Rechargeable hearing aids are currently available. Even though you can do a lot to help increase the life of your hearing aids’ batteries, truth be told…it’s still expensive and annoying. Better yet, technology to recharge your hearing aids while they are still in your ears is being developed.