Smartphones and mobile-enabled tablets are more popular than ever, as are the apps that may be used on them. Estimates range from 50 to 80 billion app downloads in 2013, with hundreds of new apps appearing on a daily basis. Among them are applications for health, fitness and other medical purposes, such as hearing healthcare. So, what kinds of hearing health apps are available?

Hearing Aid Controlling Apps

The most common type of hearing health app is one developed by hearing aid manufacturers that allows you to operate your own hearing aids. These apps allow you to use your smartphone to coordinate and modify your hearing aids.

Most hearing aids on the market now require a streaming device to connect to your phone or tablet through Bluetooth. However, new hearing aid technology now allows you to wirelessly link your hearing aids to your smartphone.

Controller apps provide access to the majority of the functions available on a remote, allowing you to avoid taking your remote around – one less thing to worry about. Using your phone or tablet to modify your hearing aids is also less noticeable than using other equipment, which many hearing aid users enjoy.

Hundreds of hearing-related smartphone apps are available on the market today. Many of them can assist you in simply monitoring and understanding your listening environment, testing your hearing and monitoring and controlling your hearing aids.

Decibel Detecting Apps

Most environmental sensor programs measure the noise level in your environment in terms of hearing. These apps cannot help you identify whether you have hearing loss; however, they can assist you in monitoring noises that may harm your hearing. The sophistication of these applications ranges from providing simple volume level measurements to more capabilities that give extensive information about the sound.

While these apps provide quick, easy information on sound levels, if you are worried about a specific area, such as a workplace that seems to be excessively noisy, it is necessary to contact a specialist to analyze that space more thoroughly.

Hearing Screening Apps

Some of the most popular hearing health apps available today might help decide if you need to see an audiologist. Screening applications, like decibel sensors, vary greatly in precision and functionality. The most basic apps will play a tone and ask you whether or not you hear it. Others attempt to assess your ears’ age by playing high-frequency noises that are only perceptible to younger people.

More experienced apps, which need the use of headphones, aim to simulate comprehensive hearing exams by playing numerous frequencies at varying volume levels. More advanced applications can even graph your findings. Hearing screening applications can help you think about your hearing, but they should never be used in place of a professional hearing check. If the results of these applications are unexpected, schedule an appointment with an audiologist for a complete test.

Amplifier Apps

Another type of hearing app is one that amplifies the noises around you. Basic amplifiers are compatible with standard headphones or earbuds, as well as smartphones and tablets. Amplifier applications use your device’s microphone to pick up noises around you and raise their loudness so you can hear more clearly.

There are several amplifier applications available. Some just raise the overall volume, while others include features like having an equalization for your ears. The applications let you focus exclusively on noises that are far away or near up. Some even promise to reduce background noise.

Amplifier apps may come in handy in a variety of scenarios. With a simple download, you could increase the loudness and address certain conversational issues. Apps like this might also be beneficial for people who are afraid to get hearing aids.

They can replicate basic hearing aid features and give insight into how you or a family member may benefit from hearing aids. However, these apps should not be relied on as a long-term solution to hearing loss. If you have significant hearing difficulties, get a hearing exam with an audiologist.

While hearing health apps continue to develop, keep in mind that they will never be as precise or thorough as a hearing exam or expert guidance and insight. If you have doubts regarding the utility of a certain app for yourself or a loved one, an audiologist can direct you to the services and technology solutions that are most suited to your needs. Call Imagine Hearing Solutions at (530) 392-4533 or book online today.