What is a Hearing Aid?
You’ve been told you need hearing aids but perhaps you’re not sure what you’re getting into.
That’s ok. Hearing aids have changed over the years, becoming more and more technologically-advanced as manufacturers pour more research and resources into developing better devices.
Before choosing a hearing aid, it’s always a good idea to understand how they work and what they do. With information and knowledge, you’ll feel more empowered to make a better more informed decision.
What is a hearing aid?
A hearing aid is defined as a small electronic device that is worn in or behind the ear. Contrary to misconception, hearing aids don’t actually make people hear better. Instead, hearing aids make sounds louder by amplifying them, enabling a person suffering from hearing loss to discern words better. Hearing aids have the capability to help people in either noisy or quiet situations.
What are the components of a hearing aid?
A hearing aid has three basic components: the microphone, amplifier and speaker. The hearing aid receives sounds through a microphone. The microphone converts the sound waves into electrical signals then sends them through an amplifier. The amplifier increases the power of the signals and then send them to the ear through the speaker.
Why are hearing aids useful?
Hearing aids are useful because they work to increase the size of the sound vibrations entering the ear. Individuals who have hearing loss suffer from the issue because the tiny hair cells in their ears have died. These hairs do not regenerate. The hair cells are responsible for receiving sound waves; when they die, there are fewer to receive the sound waves, resulting in hearing loss. Hearing aids work by magnifying the sound waves, making it easier for the fewer number of hair cells to receive sound.
That said, there are practical limits to the amount of amplification a hearing aid can offer. The more severe the hearing loss, the more amplification is needed. If there is too much damage, even large vibrations will fail to be converted into neural signals. In these cases of hearing loss, hearing aids would not be helpful.
Remember to talk more with your audiologist about hearing aids and which model, style and features would be right for you. Your audiologist will help you pick the right device for your particular lifestyle, hearing loss and budget needs.