Hearing loss is a common condition, affecting approximately 48 million people across the nation. But despite its prevalence, until recently, there were few options available to help people living with it hear and communicate better, aside from hearing devices. Here we review some of the latest innovations that will soon benefit people with hearing loss.
Apps that Resolve the ‘Cocktail Party Problem’
The ‘cocktail party problem’ describes difficulty filtering speech from background noise, a phenomenon many people with hearing loss experience. To help combat this, there are apps compatible with hearing aids, cochlear implants and earbuds in development that will be able to help you select and amplify the sounds in front of you that you want to hear and subdue the ones you don’t. These apps are expected to be available within the next five years or so.
Glasses that Convert Talk to Text
For people with both hearing and vision loss, glasses that provide amplification, as well as subtitles, are the perfect solution. Fortunately, there are some in development. They work by pairing with a smartphone app, which listens to conversations and transcribes speech into written text, then the text would be delivered to your eyeglasses, thus creating live subtitles. These could potentially be on the market within the next two to three years.
Drug Therapy that Regrows Sensory Cells
Sensorineural hearing loss refers to hearing loss caused by damage to the tiny hair cells within the inner ears that convert soundwaves into electrical impulses. As of now, this type of hearing loss is incurable; however, this may soon change. There are currently several human trials that are working on drug therapies to signal the body to regrow these cells. To learn more about drug therapy for hearing loss visit Frequency Therapeutics. Wherever technology may take us, we are here to help strategize a treatment plan that works for you.