hearing aid technology

Many people with hearing impairment rely on hearing aids to amplify the sounds within their environment. With advances in modern technology, today’s hearing aids are smaller, lighter weight and more customizable than ever before. Here’s how modern technology can help the hearing impaired.

Hearing Aid Styles

All hearing aids amplify sound. Over the years, hearing aids have evolved into the discreet, programmable devices available today. The hearing impaired can choose between models that rest behind the ear, in the ear (ITE) or in the ear canal (ITC). While each model has their own benefits, these small devices all consist of a microphone, amplifier, receiver and a battery.

The Digital Hearing Aid

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Before the digital age, analog hearing aids simply made sound waves louder. While analog hearing aids are not as customizable as their digital counterparts, analog hearing aids can be programmed for different listening environments. As environmental sounds change, those who wear analog hearing aids need to press a button to change their personal settings.

Converts Sound to Digital Data

While analog hearing aids convert sound to electrical waves, digital devices convert sound waves to a binary format. This gives digital hearing aids a strong edge over their analog counterparts. Since sound waves are converted to data, the output can be precisely controlled and adjusted to user needs.

Directional Microphones

Digital hearing aids are far better equipped to process complex sounds. A directional microphone allows sounds originating from a particular direction to be amplified. This can help a person understand speech easier because the sound can be enhanced and filtered from background noise.

Faster Processors

Today’s computers are faster than ever before because of their processing speed. Hearing aid processors are customized to user needs by connecting them to a computer for programming. Typically, the software to adjust a programmable hearing aid is provided by the product manufacturer.

Today’s hearing aids are quite intelligent and can adapt to the user’s environment as they go throughout their day, filtering wind and background noise effortlessly. The newest advances allow hearing aids to connect wirelessly to cell phones, computers and televisions through Bluetooth technology.

Hearing aids are more comfortable and more customizable than ever before. The advances in technology changed the way hearing aids process and deliver sound. Digital hearing aids allow for programming to individual needs. This is how modern technology can help the hearing impaired.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. The information in this article is credited to Whisper Hearing Services.

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