By Courtney Parmley, Au.D., CCC-A and Joanna Capobianco, Au.D., CCC-A, Central Illinois Hearing & Balance Center

Wireless hearing aid technology has continued to improve over the years. A huge benefit of wireless hearing aids is that individuals with hearing loss can “stream” from any audio source, such as phones, iPads, computers, television, or radio, directly into the hearing aid. For example, in the past, hearing aid users had to remove their hearing aids in order to accommodate the earbuds for music, but Bluetooth technology makes that obsolete.

One might ask, what is Bluetooth technology? A Bluetooth compatible device uses radio waves instead of wires or cables to connect to a phone or computer. A Bluetooth product, like a headset or watch, and now even hearing aids, contains a tiny computer chip with a Bluetooth radio and software that makes it easy to connect to your personal Bluetooth compatible devices, such as iPhones, iPods, computers, or televisions.

The use of Bluetooth-enabled streaming with hearing aids has significantly enhanced hearing aid wearers’ experiences. Patients are now able to stream phone calls directly into their hearing aids without holding the phone up to their ear. This is particularly useful while driving in the car for hands-free phone calls. Further, multiple devices can be paired to one stream, so a person can easily switch between different devices. For example, you can be connected to your cell phone while you’re streaming a movie from your tablet. If you receive a phone call, it will pause the audio on your movie and your cell phone will ring into your hearing aids. Streaming and Bluetooth technology provide many opportunities that were previously unavailable to hearing aid users.

There are several ways in which wireless hearing aids can communicate with other Bluetooth electronic devices. An audiologist can help you determine the specific set up that will work best for you.

This article was originally published in the August issue of Healthy Cells Magazine. To see the original article, please click HERE.