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How Do Hearing Aids Work?

Hearing loss, if left untreated, is imputed to the risk of depression and reduced physical activity. Many people tend to isolate themselves from social exposure only because they believe that going with a hearing aid can be a matter of shame.

The good news is that the technology has evolved a lot over the years and you can actually get yourself a tiny hearing aid nowadays that either is invisible or isn’t as visible as it once was.

How does a hearing aid look from the inside?

There are basically five components of a hearing aid. 

  • Microphones– This component picks up the sounds from around you. The sound from the outside enters the ears and microphones convert sound waves into digital sounds
  • Microchip– The sound is analyzed by a miniature chip called a microchip.
  • Amplifier– The amplifier amplifies the power of the signals and then sends them to the ear through a speaker.
  • Battery– A tiny battery powers the hearing aid.
  • Receiver– The speaker converts the digital signals into vibrations that then transmit through the inner ear to the brain. This happens through tubing in an earmold in the ear canal or through a thin wire to a speaker in the ear. 

This is how hearing aids work and assist the brain in understanding the meaning of sound.

All hearing aids possess a similar structure and makeup. However, there can be significant differences in the quality of the hearing aid and speech understanding among different devices. Each device can be differentiated based on bandwidths, automatic volume regulation, noise management, and feedback suppression. These features can all offer a more natural listening experience depending upon your needs.

Do you need a hearing aid?

The first step to understanding that you need hearing aids is to get your hearing evaluated by a doctor or an audiologist. The purpose of the hearing test is to measure how loud a sound needs to be for you to hear it completely and how clear you need to understand the sound.

Normally a person can hear sounds less than 25 decibels (dB) without any difficulty. If the softest sounds you can hear are around 30 dB or more, you may be missing a significant amount of hearing and probably need a hearing aid. 

Hearing aids are a sort of amplifier that elevates the sound vibrations to help the person understand what is being said to them. Although, they do not help with sound clarification. In case you are suffering from clarity issues, you need to seek the help of an audiologist to learn ways to improve communication. 

Age-related hearing loss and hearing loss because of living in a noisy environment are different from each other. Hearing loss in one ear can be a result of an infection, tumor, stroke, etc, and require medical intervention.

How to choose the right hearing aid?

The modern-day world is connected through smartphones and digital communication devices. Just like you can rely on your digital GPS to guide you with directions while driving, you can now have access to digital hearing devices too! Hearing aid technologies have evolved up to an extent where you need not adjust your lifestyle according to your hearing aid. Rather, your hearing aid would be engineered at your convenience. Offering life-changing health benefits, digital hearing aids empower you to take charge of your hearing loss. Let’s have a look at the multiple benefits that these newbies provide you with.

  • Allow you to customize your hearing experience depending on the type and severity of hearing loss you’re suffering from
  • Give you an enhanced feeling of comfort and confidence
  • Can pair up with other digital devices (such as tablets and smartphones) for streaming calls, listening to music and other entertainment purposes
  • Leverage you (by pairing with devices) with discreetly controlling the sound without touching your ears
  • The smart look and small size makes them blend in well (almost invisible)
  • You can have access to multiple listening programs with little or no background noise
  • Listening programs can either be automatically or manually changed to switch between programs
  • Some digital hearing aids also come with the remote control feature
  • The omnidirectional microphone function directs one microphone in the aid towards the sound source while the other focuses on decreasing or cancelling out the background noise

How do digital hearing aids work?

Similar to how a computer converts binary digits into codes, these digital aids convert sound waves into numerical codes before amplifying them. Since this numeric code also consists of information about the pitch and loudness of sound, they can be specially programmed to amplify some frequencies more than others. Audiologists are enabled to adjust the hearing aid more flexibly to their patients’ needs because of the advanced digital circuitry that digital aids provide. These aids are programmed to focus on a specific direction of the sound source and are very comfortable to use.

Hearing aids involve a significant investment; especially when it is about health, you have to be extra cautious. To begin choosing the right hearing aid, you need to learn about the different hearing aid styles, beginning with the smallest, least visible in the ear. While looking for a hearing aid, keep in mind that smaller hearing aids may not be as efficient as the big ones, so carefully narrow down your choice.

Completely in the canal (CIC)

A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid is molded to fit completely inside your ear canal. It is good for mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

In the canal

An in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid is custom molded and fits partly in the ear canal. This device is also good for mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

In the ear

An in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid is custom made in two styles — one that fills most of the area of your outer ear and one that fills only the lower part.

Behind the ear

A behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid stays over the top of your ear and rests behind the ear.

Receiver in canal or receiver in the ear

The receiver-in-canal (RIC) and receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) styles are similar to a behind-the-ear hearing aid with the speaker or receiver that is stuck in the ear canal.

The hearing aid you need depends on the kind and severity of your hearing loss. We recommend that you should consult an audiologist to know which style suits your needs and lifestyle. 

The hearing aid care guide

DOs

  • Wear your hearing aids for a minimum of 10-12 hours a day, or as advised by your audiologist
  • Make sure that you open the battery door of your hearing aid every night to let the device air out for extending its battery life
  • Clean your hearing aids every day by gently wiping off the microphone and speaker (or receiver) with a soft cloth
  • If you’re a regular hearing aid user, keep a set of hearing aid batteries spare at your disposal
  • If you wear rechargeable hearing aids then ensure that they don’t run out of charge
  • If you’re facing any issues relating to your hearing, immediately contact your hearing healthcare professional

DON’T’s

  • Never wear your hearing aids while swimming or taking a shower
  • Don’t let others wear your hearing aid (not even for a trial)
  • Keep your hearing aid away from hair spray, gel, and dry shampoo
  • Don’t store your hearing aids in a bathroom or any other damp place
  • If you face some technical issues with your hearing aid, do not try to repair them on your own

If you have any questions in mind about how hearing aid works, do hearing aids really work, do hearing aids work for everyone, and how to use a hearing aid, please connect with us. – https://www.qualityhearingcare.com/contact-us/

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