Statistics show approximately 28 million Americans have a hearing impairment and only one out of five people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wear one.
But the little device has changed quite a bit over the years and some new developments have made them quite high tech.
It seems everything has gone digital nowadays, and now, hearing aids are part of that list. Believe it or not a small remote control can now wirelessly connect your hearing aid to many sources, from your cell phone, to your T.V. And the sound will stream directly to your ear piece.
"You can get up to five different channels, depending on the model you select and you can adjust the volume of the instrument and the particular response," explained Audiologist and owner of Escanaba Hearing Services, Michael O'Donnell.
Cost for the remote ranges from about $500 to $600. And even though the technology is now out there, O'Donnell says the remote, isn't for everyone.
"You know, the older the individual, the more difficult it's going to be to use the remote control," O'Donnell said. "If you're tuned into technology, then the remote control is definitely a bonus for you, but if you're a little older and want something simple, then the remote may not be that useful."
O'Donnell says the size of hearing aids have drastically changed as well. They're now more compact and more discrete.
But it's the technological advances that don't seem to show any signs of slowing.
"There have been one to two revisions or improvements every year by just about every manufacturer, to digital technology," O'Donnell explained. "We're just beginning to harness some of the new technology that's available to us."
For more information on advances in hearing aids, click here.