Originally intended to block sound, modified noise-canceling circuitry now helps people to hear
Of the estimated 36 million Americans who report some level of hearing loss, as many as 20 million have mild to moderate conditions, in which they struggle to pick out voices in cacophonous settings. Although the condition is common, treatment is limited. Custom-fitted hearing aids, which can be adjusted according to an individual’s needs, cost as much as $3,000. Users can instead opt for cheaper, over-the-counter amplifiers, but those simply increase the volume of all ambient sounds and do little to help in conversation.