Home > Lifestyle > Health tech > Health apps Updated 29 January 2015 Hearing-aid apps pump up the volume There are now smartphone apps that can link to hearing aids and it can double up the volume of the sound. 0 iStock Related Deaf and in love? The gift of hearing Types of hearing aids New smartphone apps that link to hearing aidsare helping people with impaired hearing to pump up the volume on their devices or to use them as headphones to stream phone calls, YouTube videos and music.Read: Causes of hearing impairmentAbout 36 million American adults have some hearing loss, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. But only a fifth of people who could benefit from a hearing aid wear one."People will always need really good hearing aids, but moving forward, what will differentiate competitors will be connectivity (to smartphones), and it will need apps," Lars Viksmoen, chief executive of GN ReSound, a maker of hearing aids based in Denmark, said in a telephone interview.How does the app work?The company's new, free app, ReSound Smart for the iPhone, turns hearing aids into headphones and allows users to remotely configure settings on their aids - such as volume, treble and bass. It also remembers particular settings for different venues."Let's say you're in a place you go to all the time, such as a coffee shop. You can make an adjustment and then it will geotag your location, so the next time you walk in, it will remember your settings," said Laurel Christensen, the company's chief audiology officer.In noisy locations, a selection on the app can convert the iPhone into a microphone, streaming conversation into the hearing aids for better clarity. It also helps people find their aids, if they misplace them."As you walk around your house, the signal bars get stronger as you get closer to them, and it's like a game of hot and cold," Christensen said.Read: Types of hearing aidsBeneficial but with some risks involvedOther apps connect hearing aids to smartphones through an intermediary device, including miniTek Remote App for Android which links to Siemens' line of hearing aids via a streamer.Steve Aiken, associate professor of audiology at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, said the apps were beneficial as they link hearing aids to other technology already integrated into people's lives.Still, there are some risks, he said."One is that people could damage their hearing further if they adjust the settings incorrectly. And the other is that they miss out on the benefits if they're not configured properly because it takes people's brains a while to acclimatize to sounds they haven't heard in a long time," he said.Read more:5 fitness appsWristband app tracks your health8 mobile apps to help you shake stress NEXT ON HEALTH24X Experience a contact lens that feels like nothing 2016-10-24 12:49 More: Health techHealth apps advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... From our sponsors 10 facts about diabetes and insulin you need to know How to care for your vaginal flora JHB - Free Caregiver Workshop with TENA experts - 15 February JHB - Free home visit and assessment with a TENA nurse advisor Live healthier Hello? » SEE: Interesting facts about hearing loss Earworms: Let it go Is it bad to sleep with earplugs all the time? SEE: Do women hear better than men? The reason why men often appear not to be listening could be because they actually can't hear you. Confident smile? » Acidic drinks can harm your kids' smiles The facts on bleaching your teeth Am I taking good care of my teeth? Why are my teeth stained? We know the rules – brush your teeth twice a day and floss to keep them healthy. But, have you ever wondered what causes those stains that sometimes appear?