How do Hearing Aids Work?

How do hearing aids work?

Have you been struggling to follow conversations, understand speech, or communicate with your kids? Maybe you’ve been having trouble talking to your coworkers. Or have you given up meeting friends for Saturday afternoon coffee since you just can’t follow what’s being said? You know it’s time to consider hearing aids, and you’re ready to take the next step. Before you decide on what hearing aid is right for you, it’s important to understand how hearing aids work.

How Hearing Works

To understand how hearing aids work, we first need to take a closer look at the auditory system. What we call sound is actually a kind of energy we know as sound waves. These sound waves vibrate in the air, moving the air molecules at different speeds. As the vibrations hit your outer ears, they funnel down your ear canal to your middle ear. Here, the sounds waves crash into your eardrum. The eardrum then vibrates and causes fluids in your inner ear to wash back and forth. As the fluid moves, it shakes tiny hair cells, called cilia. These hair cells detect this movement and send electrical signals along the auditory pathway to your brain. Then you are able to hear the signals as sound.

You can lose your hearing from exposure to dangerously loud noises that damage the cilia in your ear. This, in turn, makes it impossible for sounds to even reach your ear. Some hearing loss targets the brain itself, and with age-related hearing loss, the parts of your brain that are responsible for interpreting auditory signals don’t work as well as they used to.

Parts of a Hearing Aid

Now that you understand how hearing works, let’s take a closer look at hearing aids. All hearing aids have four basic parts that work together to help you hear. The first component is a microphone that picks up all the sounds around you. It converts the sound waves into electrical signals that can be manipulated. Next is the amplifier that makes sounds louder. The third is the speaker or receiver, which converts the altered electrical signals back into sound waves, and sends these into your ear so you can perceive the sounds around you. This process happens so quickly that you can’t tell anything has changed, and you instantly hear sounds more clearly. Lastly is the battery or power supply, either from rechargeable batteries or small batteries that you have to change every few days.

Digital Hearing Aids

Digital hearing aids are quite new, but they’re revolutionizing hearing aids of today. They’re like sophisticated mini-computers that work with the amplifier to help you hear better. With advanced software that features complex algorithms, they’re designed to manipulate the sounds around you in amazing ways. With digital hearing aids, you’ll experience greater listening comfort, clearer speech in noise, less feedback, and far more customization, with programs and settings tailored to match your exact hearing needs that automatically switch to match changing listening environments.

Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss

Hearing is one of our most important senses. It allows us to communicate with our loved ones, speak and listen with ease, and maintain a close network of family and friends. Hearing also provides a lot of enjoyment, from listening to the birds chirping in the park, to hear your favorite music on the radio. It is closely linked to job performance and job security, helping us follow instructions, concentrate on tasks, and collaborate effectively with coworkers. In addition, hearing even plays a big role in safety! You might not always see the car swerving around the corner behind you, but at least you’ll hear the warning honk and jump out of the way. And on the job site, hearing clearly could save you from serious accidents.

Hearing Group

If you’re experiencing hearing loss and are ready to get back to better hearing, visit us at Hearing Group to see how a hearing aid can work for you. After a thorough hearing assessment to test your hearing range and level of hearing loss, we’ll recommend the hearing device that will match your lifestyle, hearing needs, and budget. From traditional behind the ear devices to sophisticated hearing aids that are so small they sit in your ear canal, we have the perfect device for you, so visit us today!

Jesse Hidalgo, BC-HIS

Jesse is Board Certified in Hearing Instruments and has built over 25 practices during his business career starting in 1998. Using his training in Hearing Instrument Sciences he has helped thousands of patients across those practices hear better.
Published: July 23, 2018

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