Woman with hearing aid outrunning her husband on the track.

Hearing aids, like many other devices, are getting smarter, less conspicuous and more stylish all the time, and just in time. The average American is older, reports The Us Census Department, as the population as a whole ages, and loss of hearing is, unfortunately, extremely common, particularly in older adults. About 37.5 million American adults say they have some amount of hearing loss, and these numbers are increasing.

Fortunately hearing technology has had some exciting breakthroughs recently that will offer more possibilities for treating loss of hearing. Here are just a few of the enhancements that are now available.

Your General Health Can be Tracked by Your Hearing Aids

Did you realize that hearing aids can keep track of several key vital signs as well or better than a fitness tracker? Not only can it monitor the time in between heartbeats to help find potential cardiovascular problems, but it also tracks calories burned, heart rate, step count, and the total number of steps taken. They are even developing technology that can measure blood pressure, oxygenation of the blood and other relevant vital signs. Hearing aids also often have other advantages, 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 interaction is another metric we should look at because it has been linked to your general health. Since hearing aids can now also sync with your smartphone so you can listen to your tunes, you won’t even need a smartwatch or fitness device?

Streaming Made Simpler And More Intelligent

As we become more dependant on 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 with Bluetooth permit you to stream sound from any Bluetooth device such as your smart TV or phone. Consider the advantages of this: You could hear the analysts in the next Super Bowl clearly over your family’s fun (or at least steer clear of getting yelled at for having the volume too loud). You will be able to manage your hearing loss more discreetly and also appreciate your shows, phone calls, and music more by hearing them directly in your ears.

Automatic Adjustments

Have you noticed that you get ads from Goodreads and they seem to already know what kind of books you enjoy reading? Or how all your favorite kinds of things get promoted to you by Amazon? This is the power of artificial intelligence and big data. Modern hearing aids harness this type of intelligence and use it to make changes based on your past reactions. It will remember that you turn down the volume when you go into the train station and do that automatically the next time it detects you’ve entered the station (or any other situation with to much background noise). They are expanding this technology to include crowdsourcing also, enabling information from other users to notify your hearing aids that you’re entering a loud zone. Over time the hearing aids analyze all this information to make suggestions and automatic corrections, so you can adjust quickly to changes in the hearing environment.

No More Little Batteries to Replace.

Why would you want to constantly wrestle with hearing aid batteries? You can now get rechargeable hearing aids. Even though you can do a lot to help increase the life of your hearing aids’ batteries, let’s face it…it’s still irritating and costly. Better yet, technology to recharge your hearing aids while they are still in your ears is being developed.