Hearing loss can be due to a number of factors, some of which are congenital—such as complications during pregnancy or heredity. Some are affected by environmental factors—such as prolonged exposure to sounds at too high a volume; And some are due to age-related processes. As other human-specific disabilities, the manner and pace of their treatment have progressed in line with the pace of advances in medical science and technology.
Since most permanent hearing impairments do not have a satisfactory medical solution, attempts have been made to improve hearing using technologies—initially very simple and later very sophisticated like the hearing aids that you know today—this is the evolution of hearing aids:
What Are Hearing Aids?
Hearing aids are accessories or devices that are assembled on or inside a person’s ear and are designed to help him improve his hearing. Hearing aids include several basic units: a microphone (or microphones) that picks up the sound signals, an amplifier (a complete unit that contains the technological heart of the hearing aid – the chip) that performs the required processing of the sound signals and a speaker that amplifies the processed sounds. receiver”).
In the previous centuries, they used simple hearing aids that allowed the sound signals to be collected and amplified through the acoustic structure of the accessories. By the twentieth century, a kind of hearing aid had begun to appear, the amplification of which was carried out using technology of hearing loss. Hearing aids were about the size of a large box of cigarettes and the user carried them on his body. With the development of the tiny transistor, they began to develop smaller electronic hearing aids that could already be mounted on or behind the ear.
Another revolution occurred in the early 1990s, when hearing aids adopted digital technology – that is, sound sampling by the hearing aid and its processing were done digitally (translating the signals into literature on which sophisticated manipulations can be performed). Digital technology has enabled and enables an extremely wide range of advanced processing capabilities, updates and more in hearing aids. Digital technology has made it possible to minimize the hearing aids and “compress” the components into smaller and smaller.
Do I Need a Hearing Aid?
Diagnosis of hearing problems using a hearing test does not always identify the source of the hearing loss – for example, a behavioral hearing test will not detect electrophysiological hearing problems that originate in the brain stem or other neurological problems. Therefore, it is recommended to be familiar with the issue of hearing tests, to work only with experienced and quality professionals.
You must attempt to arrive in the most effective and focused way at the essence of the hearing problem and the optimal solution. Audiologists will help you with choosing a hearing aid and giving you the help that you need.
What You Need to Know About Hearing Aids
Today’s hearing aids have the ability to perform complex acoustic tasks at record speed. Today, prominent features of a hearing aid include: neutralizing (or attenuating) background noise, directional technologies that help reduce noise from unwanted directions for the user, wireless capabilities that allow hearing aids to exchange useful information and acoustic information, neutralizing beeps, custom amplification over a wide range of channels and more.
The tremendous technological development of hearing aids in recent decades has led to an increasing level of complexity of hearing aid fitting. Therefore, hearing aid fitting should be done in a professional hearing institute only, proficient in hearing aid fitting taps, updated with the latest technologies and can perform optimal fitting according to different needs. A hearing aid must also be looked after. This involves cleaning the hearing aid.
Learn how to clean your hearing aid.
Customize a Hearing Aid
Beyond the fact that the hearing aid should be comfortable to mount inside or behind the ear, and meets the patient’s aesthetic requirements, the hearing aid fitting process is based on hearing test findings—where here too it is crucial to work with a specialized and reliable professional.
As part of adjusting the hearing aid, the following parameters are taken into account:
- The patient’s personal and physiological characteristics, including the severity and type of hearing loss and the structure of the ear canal.
- The patient’s lifestyle – daily routine, work, situations in which one encounters communication difficulties, needs, priorities and so on.
- Adjusting the operation of the device to the patient’s abilities and preferences.
- Choosing hearing aids that offer technology that best suits the nature of the hearing problem.
We hope this article helped you understand hearing loss and the available technologies that exist to combat it.