Hearing loss is a very common issue amongst a wide range of our global populace. The loss of our natural ability to hear simple speech can be problematic on various levels. Fortunately, no matter the magnitude of your loss of hearing, help is available. This assistance comes in the form of hearing aids, which are immensely beneficial to your day-to-day activities.
With the help of hearing aids, no longer does an individual have to rely on others to repeat themselves. The feeling of retaining sound as normal is a huge boost to your well-being, but how do hearing aids work exactly? Read on to learn about their overall mechanisms and understand how hearing aids work:
How Hearing Aids Work
In a nutshell, hearing aids work by amplifying your ear’s natural ability to hear sound and audio. A microphone is placed into your ear by your provider at first. Then, the microphone receives sound and transforms it into a digital signal.
What happens next can be considered to be a metamorphosis of sound itself. The amplifier that the microphone has increases the digital signal’s strength. At this point, the speaker provides the basis of the amplified sound being transmitted into the ear. As such, you will be able to hear sound again!
Hearing Aids Components
As mentioned previously, hearing aids generally are comprised of various parts. Each component of the device has its own respective function, but they all contribute to your ability to hear sound again. For the most part, hearing aids have three main apparatuses.
First, there is the microphone as described earlier, which provides the basis for the hearing aid to work. The next most important part of the device is the amplifier. The speaker follows this component, allowing sound to transmit from the device to your ear in a natural way. No matter your environment, be it noisy or quiet, these parts work together to allow for better hearing.
Aiding in Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be a tricky health issue to navigate. It stems from a wide array of various foundations, such as old age. However, sometimes it can be the cause of an individual’s failing immune system. In any event, hearing aids work in a very meticulous manner, designed to help with many unique situations.
Although it is not universal, hearing loss can generally be the result of damage to sensory cells in one’s ear. These devices work by prodding the surviving cells in a sense. Sound is augmented so that neural signals in the brain can detect the vibrations created by the device. The process is grandiose; hearing aids work in tandem with your receptors so that sound can be reproduced!
Hearing Aids Styles
Hearing aids have one main principal purpose; to provide you with the ability to hear sound again. However, although they have one singular goal, they also come in various formats. Each format works differently, in regards to how they are outfitted on your ear.
Behind-the-ear, or BTE, hearing aids are exactly as described. They are worn behind your ear, with the electronic component being housed in a case. In-the-ear hearing aids fit completely inside your ear, and are commonly associated with those who have moderate cases of hearing loss. For the most part, young children do not typically use this variation of the device.
Canal Hearing Aids
Another type of hearing aid, entitled canal aids, are designed to fit entirely inside one’s ear canal. They come in two variations; in-the-canal, or ITC, and completely-in-canal, or CIC. Both are used for those who have unique circumstances, and are outfitted accordingly.
ITC hearing aids work by matching the individual’s actual ear size, so that it has a comfortable and appropriate fitting. CIC hearing aids, in addition, are very small, and are generally hidden from view. Both of these canal hearing aids are not recommended for those with severe hearing loss, as a result of their reduced size and power limitations.
Analog Hearing Aids
Most hearing aids also come in different formats, depending on the type of electronics being used. Analog hearing aids are one of two formats, and work by converting the nearby sound waves themselves.
After this transformation, and depending on how the device was itself designed, the sound waves are then repurposed as electrical signals to be sent to the ear.
Digital Hearing Aids
The other type of hearing aid structure is one that is digitally designed. Sound waves are converted into numerical codes, similar to the binary structure of computer programming. Depending on the aid’s manufacturer, this code can be programmed to amplify or decrease nearby sound as a result. Better flexibility is a great incentive for those who require this type!
Although it may seem like magic, hearing aids are just devices that capitalize on nearby sound signals. By working together with the inner parts of your ear, hearing sound at a normal level has never been easier. If you require an aid, try to speak with a health care provider or audiologist, to see what is best for your situation.