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It’s Sync or Stream!

  August 02, 2016

By Courtney Parmley, AuD, CCC-A and Joanna Capobianco, AuD, CCC-A
Audiologists at the Central Illinois Hearing & Balance Center/Finn R. Amble MD, FACS, SC

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.

For more information about hearing aids or hearing loss, contact Dr. Parmley and Dr. Capobianco, Audiologists at the Central Illinois Hearing & Balance Center at 309-661-0232. They work in close partnership with Dr. Finn R. Amble, who is an Ear, Nose & Throat physician, to diagnose and treat hearing loss.

Photo credit: lisafx/iStock
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August 02, 2016

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