Most of us are familiar with what hearing aids are, but not many know how they actually work to provide their users with better hearing. Simply put, they selectively amplify sounds so that a person with hearing loss can listen, communicate, and interact better with the world around them. Here is an overview of how the various components work together in order to make this happen.
Most hearing aids work the same way and are made up of the same general components: a microphone, amplifier, speaker, and battery. The microphone picks up the sounds around you, then a computer chip with the amplifier converts these sounds into electrical signals. These signals are then analyzed and adjusted based on the other sounds around you and your specific hearing needs. Once the adjustments are made, the electrical signals are converted back into sound waves and played through the speaker in your ear.
Hearing aids use two main types of electronics, analog or digital, and work differently based on which type they use.
Analog hearing aids convert sound waves into electrical signals that can then be amplified to the user. They are programable to fit each person’s unique needs and can be adjusted for different listening environments — from a loud, crowded auditorium to a small, quiet room. Analog devices are typically cheaper than their digital counterparts.
Digital hearing aids, on the other hand, convert sound into numerical codes that can be processed more effectively before amplification. By converting sound waves into numerical codes, they can detect pitch and loudness, in turn giving more flexibility and customization to the user. They can be programmed to boost certain frequencies or sounds coming from a specific direction, but are usually more expensive than analog hearing aids.
Questions, Concerns, Appointments?
From your initial hearing test to selecting and maintaining your hearing aids, our specialists will help to educate you throughout the process and discuss every decision along the way.
If you think that you are experiencing hearing loss, it’s best to get your hearing evaluated by a professional. At United Hearing, we have almost four decades of experience in this field and our experts will help you to get on the right track to better hearing. If you have any questions regarding hearing aids or want to book an appointment, please feel free to contact us!