Hearing Aids

People have been using hearing aids for decades.  There are many reasons why a person may develop a hearing loss.    It could be the result of an accident or perhaps some medication, an illness or they may have had hearing loss since birth.  Even exposure to constant, loud noises that pierce the eardrums can cause hearing loss.

There is hope for recovery in many cases using surgery or hearing aids or a combination of the two.  Complete recovery may not be possible. This is why hearing aids are so important.

Do you know how a hearing aid works?  Hearing aids work by using a small microphone to make a soft sound louder.  The device takes the soft sound that comes in and converts it to an electrical or digital signal.  This data is then sent to a speaker where it is again turned into sound.

The setting for these microphones are adjusted for the person’s usual environment and their hearing loss.  Here environment refers to how much noise and what kind of noise you are usually around.  The audiologist will ask questions about your environment and will adjust the setting on your hearing aid for your needs.

Basically, there are three types of technology that receive and convert the signals in hearing aids. The least expensive and least advanced type is the analog adjustable hearing aid.  With this type hearing aid the audiologist will adjust it for volume and other specifications.  Then the factory will custom make it for you.  You may control the volume, or the volume may be controlled automatically.

Another type is the analog programmable hearing aid.  These are better than the analog adjustable because they can be programmed by using a computer.   The audiologist will set different programs for sound capture and transmission for various listening situations.  Using a remote control, the user can select which program to use.

The most advanced type hearing aid is the digital programmable hearing aid.  This type hearing aid features digital sound processing or DSP.  A computer chip is used to analyze and process the sound data before it is amplified to the ear.  This hearing aid uses billions of digital number codes to identify and classify sounds and gives them the correct settings. Then the digital data is converted into sound and sent to the ear. In addition, these digital hearing aids have the capability to detect and eliminate feedback by identifying its frequencies.  Little adjustment is needed from the wearer since these hearing aids work automatically.

Some of the top hearing aid companies in the market include Beltone, Starkey, Siemens, Rexton, Phonak, Sonic Inovations, Sebotek, Unitron, Widex and the popular Miracle Ear.

A few extras usually come with the best hearing aids.  These include a good warranty, extra batteries, a storage case, instructions, the ear wax cleaning tool and a number to call for service.

Hearing aids have come a long way over the years.  If you have trouble hearing, there are many options available to help you hear better. There are even hearing aids that are specially equipped with features for phone transmissions.

Hearing loss is not restricted to the elderly.  Anyone at any time can suffer with a loss of hearing.  A hearing aid can help a hearing challenged person ease their stress level tremendously.