What a year it was for breakthroughs in hearing care! Here are some of the highlights:
Achieve Study Results Release
This study by researchers at Johns Hopkins was designed to determine if treating hearing loss in older adults could reduce the loss of thinking and memory abilities, or cognitive decline, that can precede dementia.
Researchers determined that hearing intervention slowed down loss of thinking and memory abilities by 48% over 3 years in older adults with an increased risk of developing dementia.
This result is consistent with findings from other studies published in the last few years, including that of the Lancet Commission which identifies hearing loss as the #1 modifiable risk factor for dementia.
Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids in the US
2023 was the first full year that OTC hearing aids were available in the US. There was a lot of media attention and several manufacturers introduced product into the market, with models ranging from $99 – $999 available online and in big box stores. Despite the buzz, the public’s response was lackluster. Sales were lower than expected, and return rates were high, indicating that people still need and want the hearing care that audiologists provide with more traditional devices.
Bluetooth Low Energy Auracast
Bluetooth has announced the development of its new Auracast audio broadcast system, which will revolutionize the way we connect to audio. It will likely replace the telecoil / loop system some people with hearing loss use in places like train stations, theatres, and places of worship.
The first hearing aids to be compatible with Auracast were launched this fall. GN Resound’s Nexia family of hearing devices are ready for broadcast technology when it is widely rolled out over the next few years.
We look forward to seeing what new and exciting developments are coming in 2024! If you would like to learn more about any of these technologies, call or come in to Beck Hearing for a chat!