Advanced digital technology has enabled us to be more connected to friends and family all over the world in unprecedented ways. Texting, video calls, and social media empower us to communicate with each other in a manner we couldn’t have imagined just a few decades ago.
The unfortunate rise in the coronavirus pandemic has only highlighted how important and useful these technologies can be for all of us, especially those of us who have a hearing loss. For those folks who are experiencing hearing loss-related complications, there is perhaps no more important time to be aware of and understand the empowerment that connectivity-based hearing technologies can provide you!
Stay connected with Bluetooth technology
Back in 2006, the first Bluetooth-enabled hearing aid was released, and was hailed by Time as one of its “Best Inventions of the Year.” What made Bluetooth-compatible hearing aids so exciting? Well, most importantly, it made the act of streaming audio directly to hearing devices possible. Streaming, for those unfamiliar, is the wireless transfer of audio or video data (or both) for immediate processing or playback between compatible devices. Netflix and Spotify, for example, are companies that specialize in the streaming of video and audio, respectively. With Bluetooth-compatible hearing technology, one can — through the use of a smartphone, tablet, or computer — stream the audio from these or similar applications directly to their devices.
One of the number one complaints we hear from couples and families who are seeking our care is what we refer to as the “volume wars,” where watching television together becomes a difficult activity to share together, because the person who is experiencing a hearing loss must watch the television at a volume that is not comfortable or tolerable to others involved. Without properly addressing the situation — through testing, treatment, appropriately fit technology, and education on how to properly use these Bluetooth devices — further discord can occur in relationships, feelings of isolation and depression can set it, and hearing is further damaged by watching the television at an unsafe volume.
Bluetooth-compatible devices can help bring couples and families together, get the technology wearers back in touch with the music, movies, and television shows they love, and even make experiences like phone calls more enjoyable because they are no longer straining to hear the conversation.
Stay connected to loved ones with video applications
If you’re a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer user and are interested in (or already wear!) Bluetooth-compatible hearing technology, then you can take advantage of video conferencing technology to keep in touch with friends, family, and even colleagues.
Available applications differ, depending on your phone, computer, or tablet’s operating system. For instance, Apple products come standard with their FaceTime “videophony” application, whereas non-Apple or Android devices may not come standard with any specific video conferencing applications, but are compatible with a wide range of options, including Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, Microsoft Teams, and many others. (Note that many of these apps are also compatible with Apple products.)
For families that are spread across the United States or even internationally, these video communication tools are the next best thing to in-person communication. These tools, when paired with properly fit hearing technology for those who need it, have absolutely revolutionized our ability to remain connected to the people and the things that we love.
Stay connected to your medical professionals
Though the privacy and HIPAA-related laws can differ by state, and are also currently being amended and updated on a near-daily basis due to the coronavirus pandemic, many medical professionals currently provide (or are in the midst of developing) telehealth solutions (also referred to as “telemedicine”) to assist patients with mobility issues, who are in rural or underserved communities, or, like many of us today, are advising by stay-at-home orders in order to slow the spread of the virus. No matter who you are or where you live, the odds are pretty good that you or a loved one might need some medical advice.
Telemedicine solutions are designed to safely and securely give you and (certain, but not all) medical professionals remote contact in order to garner certain types of medical care, advice, education, and other clinical services.
We recommend visiting the website associated with your primary care physician to learn about what telehealth services they provide and whether or not they are right for you.
Stay connected through the best in hearing healthcare!
If you or a loved one could benefit from hearing healthcare and from some or all of the other technology solutions we’ve described above, then we would encourage you to contact our practice today. For decades we’ve been helping people understand their hearing health. We strive to provide tailored solutions that reflect the lives you want to live. Just imagine what a life with better hearing — and deeper connections — could mean for you!