Hearing is our gateway to understanding. It allows us to share stories, laugh, and be part of a community. Whether a large family gathering, a night out, or a concert with friends, the time we spend with others is what brings joy into our lives. But for the more than 52 million Americans impacted by mild-to-moderate hearing loss, it can oftentimes be challenging to get the most out of these experiences. Luckily, new hearing enhancement technologies enable us to hear all those sounds and voices that make life worth living, while blocking out the noises that get in the way.
Strong relationships are critical to our health and happiness
Think back to one of your most cherished memories. Were you together with people you care about? If so, experts suggest that that experience – and many others just like it – contributed positively to your health and happiness. In fact, some studies have found that the frequency of experiences we share with friends and family can often be a strong positive indicator of our overall health and well-being – even stronger than, for example, physical activity, heart rate, or sleep. Part of the reason for this is that having strong relationships means we’re less likely to experience frequent isolation and loneliness, as well as all the negative health effects that come along with it.
Hearing and listening are the foundation of good relationships
Maintaining healthy relationships takes effort and attention from all parties. But at a more fundamental level, healthy relationships require communication. Whether sharing the happy news of a new family member or lending an ear to a friend who needs to vent about a bad day at work, this back and forth is crucial to building an emotional connection and creating meaningful shared experiences.
But for those with hearing loss, this can be a particularly challenging part of maintaining relationships. In 2009, one study on how hearing impacts relationships showed that 44% of UK adults with hearing loss reported that their relationships with their partner, friends, or family had suffered because they cannot hear properly. 69% even said that hearing loss hinders their ability to take part in daily conversations with family and friends.
These findings are supported by a recent Jabra survey. When asked about their hearing in various situations, respondents reported that being aware of what is going on around them, feeling engaged in conversations with others, and being able to focus on the sounds they want to hear were the three most important factors. In short, if we want to get the most out of the activities of our everyday lives, we need to actually be able to hear the people we’re sharing them with!
Cutting out the noise
The world is incredibly noisy. And for people living with mild-to-moderate hearing loss, excessive noise is one of the biggest hindrances to hearing clearly. For example, though sitting and chatting with a friend in a quiet room might not be particularly difficult, hearing that same friend tell a story from across the dinner table in a noisy restaurant can be near impossible.
However, short of staying at home or carefully curating where you go and when based on how loud it may be, there aren’t many solutions to address this problem. Luckily, new advancements in hearing enhancement technology now allow you to cut through the noise to hear only the sounds that you want to hear, even in the noisiest environments.
Innovating upon the traditional hearing amplifier, they actually allow a user to personalize the various frequencies that enter the ear. With binaural beamforming microphones, these earbuds can locate the source of a sound and form a “beam,” which amplifies the desired frequency in that particular direction. At a loud restaurant and having trouble hearing your friend? Just turn up the device’s high frequency reception capabilities. The microphones will then be able to focus in on the person speaking and compress noises outside of that frequency range – the loud 70’s disco music, the bachelor party at the bar, or the server dropping a tray of plates – so you can focus on sharing the experience with those you came to share it with.
Smashing the stigma
As we can see, new hearing technologies can enable us to share our favorite moments with our favorite people. Unfortunately, however, there is still often a stigma associated with hearing loss that pushes many people away from seeking assistive hearing technology. But with the rise in popularity of wireless earbuds, there are new hearing enhancement technologies that blend the best of both worlds.
The Jabra Enhance Plus is a hybrid hearing solution that not only sharpens your hearing capabilities, but also provides incredible music and call quality, and at a size 50% smaller than our current smallest earbuds. In other words, they’re not a traditional hearing aid, but they’re also not a traditional earbud. They’re a sound and hearing enhancement powerhouse that can do it all. So, not only will they allow you to strengthen your relationships by personalizing sound at social get-togethers, but also keep you connected to your favorite people and experiences no matter where you are.