What are Hearing Aids?Hearing aids are small electroacoustic devices, which fit in or behind the patient’s ear. They are designed to modulate and amplify sound for the individual wearer, helping the person to listen, communicate, and participate more fully in daily activities.
A hearing aid can help people hear more in both quiet and noisy situations. Having said that, only about 1 of 5 individuals who might reap the benefits of hearing aids in fact use them.
Hearing aids are made up of three standard parts: a microphone, amplifier, and speaker. Hearing aids receive sound from the microphone, which transforms sound waves into electrical impulses and then sends the signal to be amplified. The amplifier boosts the strength of the impulse and transmits them to the ear by means of the speaker. Please let us know how we are doing with a review, thanks.
Hearing Aids: How They FunctionHearing aids are principally useful in enhancing the hearing and speech awareness of individuals who have hearing reduction as a effect of damage to the tiny sensory tissue in the inner ear, known as hair cells. This particular variety of hearing reduction is referred to as sensorineural hearing loss. The deterioration can happen due to aging, disease, or injury from noises.
Hearing aids increase sound vibrations going into the ear. Enduring hair cells identify the bigger vibrations and then transform them into neural information that is transferred to the brain. The more significant the damage is to the patient’s hair cells, the more serious the hearing loss, and additionally the greater the need for hearing aid amplification to bridge the difference.
There are functional limitations to the quantity of amplification hearing aids are capable of providing. When the inner ear is extremely damaged, even significant vibrations can not be transformed into neural signals. This is a situation where hearing aids would not be effective.
Hearing Aids: Make a Choice
The hearing aid designed to perform best for each patient depends on the type and severity of hearing reduction. Patients that have hearing loss in each ear, are generally recommended two instruments in order to provide a more organic signal to the brain. Hearing aids in both ears can help to increase speech understanding and identify the location the sound is origninating.
Choosing A Hearing Aid
The audiologist will suggest a hearing aid that provides the best match for individual needs and lifestyle. Price will be an important consideration since hearing devices range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Style and features both are have an impact on cost. In spite of this, patient’s should not use price alone to decide the best hearing aid choice. The fact that one hearing aid is higher in price than another doesn’t necessarily indicate that it will better suit an individual’s needs.
Hearing aids can not reestablish natural hearing function, but with practice they will improve awareness of sounds and their origin. Patients should wear hearing aids regularly, so convenience and easy of use are important factors. Other options to consider are:
- Parts and services included in the warranty
- Schedule and associated costs for maintenance and repair
- Options and upgrade opportunities
- The hearing aid company’s reputation for quality and customer service.
Hearing aids function differently based upon on the type of electronics used. There are two main types of hearing aid electronics: analog and digital.
Analog hearing devices transform sound waves to electrical impulses that are then amplified. Analog hearing aids are adjustable and programmed by the manufacturer based on technical specifications suggested by the audiologist. Analog hearing aids have multiple programs and settings. Using a computer, audiologists program the hearing aid, and then users can modify the program based on the listening environment. Settings enable patients to switch from a small, private room to a congested restaurant to big, open places, like stadiums or theaters. Analog electrical circuitry can be used in all styles of hearing device. These analog instruments are typically less pricey than their digital counterparts.
Digital hearing devices transform sound waves directly into numerical codes, comparable to the binary code of computers. The code includes information about the sound’s pitch or loudness, which allows the instrument to be specifically programmed to boost some frequencies greater than others. Digital circuitry provides the audiologist more versatility in adjusting the device to the patient’s needs and hearing environments. Digital hearing aids can also be set to emphasize sounds arriving from a specific direction.