I think today's modern, digital, connected hearing aids are amazing. I have seen lives transformed by new hearing aids. But as far as deciding who needs Bluetooth enabled aids and who doesn't is not always so black and white.
Some people don't even know what "Bluetooth" is, but when you explain it to them, they love the idea behind it. Here are some suggestions for whether or not Bluetooth technology in your hearing aids is "needed":
- Do you frequently talk on the phone, especially in the car? If so, Bluetooth technology can act as a "hands-free" system which, in some states, is required to legally talk on a cell phone while driving.
- Do you like to listen to music through an iPod or other MP3 player but don't because of your hearing aids or fear you won't be able to if you get hearing aids?
- Do you use Bluetooth technology with your other high-tech devices, such as laptops, televisions, etc.? It would only make sense that you would carry this technology over to something as important as your hearing aids.
- Do you watch TV? It sounds like a silly question, but if you watch TV and wear hearing aids, even with high-end technology, you will likely still struggle to hear certain people and programs on television. Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids can allow you to use devices such as the GN ReSound Unite system www.gnresound.com/unite to wirelessly stream television to your hearing aids for optimal TV-watching, all without disturbing others.
Many of my patients, already in sticker-shock from the cost of hearing aids, balk at the idea of spending more money for Bluetooth technology. This is understandable, and certainly not for every hearing aid wearer. Communicate your concerns with your Audiologist. Most Audiologists got into this profession to help people. This technology clearly helps people.
Please do not hesistate to contact me with any questions you may have about Bluetooth technology. if I don't know the answer, I will certainly find someone who does know.