How Hearing Aids Work

Hearing aids do not promise perfect hearing, but they can make an amazing difference to your hearing and subsequently, to your quality of life and your ability to communicate. There are lots of different types of hearing aid out there, but essentially, they all work in a fairly similar way; they work to amplify sounds, which increases the chances of you being able to hear them.

Hearing aids contain an internal microphone, which picks up noises and amplifies them; the noises are converted into signals, which are transmitted to a very small loudspeaker; the loudspeaker makes the sound louder, which increases the chance of you being able to hear.

Wearing a hearing aid not only amplified sounds; it also makes it easier for you to filter external and background noise and improves your ability to communicate easily with others.

Analogue hearing aids are becoming less commonplace, as digital hearing aids offer more benefits and they are more sophisticated; they constantly process millions of different sounds that come into the ears and adjust the level at which they are mad louder. Digital hearing aids are able to determine which sounds around you need amplifying in order to make them easier for you to hear; this means that if you’re sat in a traffic jam talking to a passenger, the hearing aid can make their voice louder for you without amplifying the traffic noise around you. Digital aids can also be customised to suit your individual needs; they have various programmes and levels and they enable you to adjust your aid to suit the environment. This means that you’ll be able to hear clearly whether you’re enjoying a catch up with a friend over a cup of tea, you’re at a concert or you’re out shopping surrounded by crowds of people.

All hearing aids comprise of at least five key components: the microphone, the microchip, the receiver, the amplifier and the battery. The microphone is responsible for picking up noises as they enter the environment immediately surrounding the ear and changing sound waves into signals, which are then amplified by the amplifier. The signals are then processed and turned into vibrations, which are sent from the ear canal to the brain via the auditory nerve. The microchip enables your audiologist to adjust and programme your hearing aid.

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