Woman with hearing aid outrunning her husband on the track.

Hearing aids, as with lots of other devices, are getting smarter, less conspicuous and more stylish every day, and just in time. The U.S. census documents that the average American is older as the population as a whole continues to age, and loss of hearing is, sadly, really common, particularly in older adults. Roughly 37.5 million American adults and rising say they have some degree of hearing loss.

The good news is hearing technology has had some exciting developments recently that will provide more possibilities for treating loss of hearing. Some of the developments now available are presented here.

Your Overall Health Can be Tracked by Your Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are equal to if not better than a fitness tracker at keeping track of several vital signs. Not only can it track the time in between heartbeats to help detect potential cardiovascular issues, but it also monitors calories burned, heart rate, step count, and the total number of steps taken. They’re also working on technology that can measure other significant vital signs like blood pressure and oxygenation of the blood. Hearing aids also often have other advantages, like the ability to help drown out tinnitus and will improve your social life by helping your general hearing. Actually, social involvement has been linked to your general health as well, so really it’s another health metric we should be looking at. Since hearing aids can now also sync with your smartphone so you can listen to your songs, who needs a smartwatch or fitness device?

Smarter and Simpler Streaming

As we get addicted to virtual assistants including Alexa and Siri, being connected and able to communicate with them is becoming more important. Even if you defy the lure of talking directly to these assistants, hearing aids that have Bluetooth give key features such as streaming music directly from a smart device like your phone or even streaming directly from a smart TV. 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 having the volume too high). You will be capable of managing your loss of hearing more discreetly and also appreciate your music, phone calls, and shows more by having them directly in your ears.

Automatic Adjustments

Have you noticed that you get ads from Goodreads and they seem to already know what type of books you like to read? Or how all your favorite kinds of items get promoted to you by Amazon? That’s because big data and artificial intelligence are very powerful. The latest hearing aids can also make adjustments automatically based on your reactions 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 detects you’ve entered the station (or any other circumstance with to much background noise). They are extending this technology to include crowdsourcing as well, enabling information from other people to notify your hearing aids that you’re approaching a loud zone. Over time you can quickly adjust to variations in the hearing environment because your hearing aid will make suggestions based on all the information it has collected.

You Won’t Need to Keep Replacing Those Little Batteries

Who wants to continuously struggle with hearing aid batteries? Rechargeable hearing aids are now on the market. While you can do a lot to help increase the life of your hearing aids’ batteries, let’s be honest…it’s still aggravating and costly. Better still, technology to recharge your hearing aids while they are still in your ears is being developed.