Hearing Aid Technology
Hearing aids are a popular choice when it comes to treating hearing loss, although very few people are actually aware of their inner workings. These tiny devices are used to send amplified sound signals directly into the ear canal. Each hearing aid has some common basic parts that are common to all hearing aids, including a microphone, a speaker, and a battery.
Modern hearing aids differ in the manner in which they amplify sound, as well as the various shapes, sizes, and other advanced features. Even though most modern users prefer using digital hearing aids due to their advanced sound amplification capacities, analog devices are more cost effective.
Analog devices tend to have a more difficult time differentiating between various types of sounds and the sources of the sounds, which makes them less accurate when compared to their digital counterparts. Digital hearing aids have advanced features which enable them to remember individualized hearing preferences based on environmental settings, which are preprogrammed by the user.
While analog devices are easier to use, which may make them more popular with the elderly population, digital hearing aids are more popular with the younger generations that prefer being connected at all times. Digital hearing aids contain a microchip which automatically identifies the volume and type of sound that emanates, and automatically adjusts the sound settings accordingly. This provides a hassle-free, smooth hearing experience for the user. Furthermore, digital hearing aids also have additional features such as GPS and Bluetooth which enables users to stream calls directly to their hearing aids.
Digital hearing aids are also better at eliminating background noise to help provide an optimal hearing experience. They are smarter in sensing speech sounds and differentiating between background noises. With so many advantages, it’s no wonder that they are the more popular choice amongst hearing aid users today. Of course, all these advantages do come at a price, since digital hearing aids are significantly more expensive than analog ones.
Another type of assistive hearing device that can be used in collaboration with a hearing aid is a telecoil. These consist of small coils that enable further amplification of sound signals. These come in handy during telephonic conversations or at movie theaters.
Directional microphones are also important features in hearing aids. These enable the hearing aid user to select which direction they wish to amplify the sound from. For example, if the speaker is directly in front of them, the user can choose to amplify the sounds coming from the front, and vice versa.
Modern hearing aids come with feedback control to eliminate the annoying whistling sounds that result from the amplification of air sounds that get trapped into the hearing aids. Some users also prefer to buy rechargeable batteries for a more cost effective and environmentally-friendly option of using batteries. With so many wonderful features of hearing aids, it is a mystery why people wait as long as a decade before getting their hearing tested when they suspect hearing loss.