How do Hearing Aids Work?

How do Hearing Aids Work?

Kevin Dee, BC-HIS Hearing Loss

Kevin Dee, BC-HIS

Hearing aids have only become truly popular in the hundred years. The first hearing aids, for which a patent was registered, was worn by Queen Alexandra of England in 1901. You can imagine that hearing aids have come quiet a way since then. Even If you remember the hearing aids your grandparents may have used, which buzzed and squealed with feedback, then you may be surprised by the advancements in hearing aids in the past decade! 

Modern hearing aids the most up to date digital technology to amplify sound clearly and quickly. It is just amazing to understand how these state of the art digital sound processors work!

Modern Hearing Aids

Modern hearing aids powerful computers, which are designed and personalized to each user’s specific hearing needs. When you have your hearing tested an audiogram will determine exactly which tones and pitches you struggle with and to which degree. We will program your hearing aids to amplify only the sounds, which are required, allowing you to avoid overstressing your remaining healthy hearing capacity. 

Some hearing aids now offer features, which automatically access the listening situation of your environment and can adapt and change. This gives you the easiest, stress free listening experience. In addition, the latest hearing aids strive for comfort and style while suppressing background noise, suppressing feedback and helping to clearly amplify speech.

The Basic Components of Hearing Aids

Despite how far hearing aids have become they still have the same basic components of the hearing aids of the past. This includes three main parts: A microphone, a processor, and a loudspeaker. The microphone detects acoustic signals in your listening environment and sends them to the processor. 

The processor in turn, amplifies the sounds, converting them into electrical signals. The loudspeaker, also referred to as the receiver, sends the signal to the hearing aid user’s ear to be heard clearly with their existing hearing capacity.

Hearing Aids are Not Just Amplifiers

When you struggle with hearing loss, sounds don’t just sound more quiet than before. In many instances the tiny hairs of the inner ear become damaged diminishing certain tones or pitches. This can make it hard to hear someone who speaks deeply or has a high-pitched voice. It can also make certain consonants to be diminished affecting ability to follow conversation. Hearing aids don’t make sounds louder but clarify by amplifying just the sounds you require to follow and understand conversation.

Discerning volume

Your hearing aids will work for you to make sure that you only amplify the sounds you need. If every sound was amplified you may actually risk damaging your ears further. For instance, if an emergency siren were amplified as loud as the pitches you need to certain aspects of conversation, the volume would be unbearable. Adaptive technology can make sure to also protect your ears by keeping the amplification of your modern hearing aids at a safe level to avoid further hearing damage.

Suppressing Background Noise 

Every listening environment is different. When you are in a quiet room vs. out on the street you will require different amplification from your hearing aids. For instance, if you are in a busy store and trying to hear the cashier amongst countless other conversations this can be a huge challenge. 

One way that modern hearing aids achieve this is by filtering out background noise. They strive to improve speech comprehension in different situations by detecting the listening environment and adapting hearing features. 

For instance many hearing aids now come equipped with the ability to cancel out noise that is not coming from directly in front of you, making it easier to hear a person you are looking at while blocking out other distracting conversations. They may also have refined listening programs for helping navigate street noise or the nuances of music if you are a musician.

Other technological aids

Today’s hearing aids are also being designed to interface and interact with other forms of technology we use regularly. Many hearing aids can wirelessly connect to your Smartphone or TV to send audio information from your favorite media directly to your ears. This eliminates the need to turn up the volume. Often hearing aids can even be adjusted directly from your smartphone making it possible to make adjustments to your hearing aids without having to visit the office.

Explore the Future of Hearing

Find out just what hearing aids have to offer these days. If you are a first time hearing aid user or it’s time for an upgrade contact us to discover your options and find out exactly what your hearing aids can offer you.