Hearing aids were invented in the 17th century, although the first electric hearing aid wasn’t invented until 1898. Nowadays, hearing aids are much more complex and can even be computer programmed. Digital hearing aids can even connect to your mobile phone through Bluetooth. Digital hearing aids are designed to suit your needs and amplify specific sound frequencies that you are unable to hear. Despite digital technology taking over, most hearing aids still have the same basic hardware.
Hearing Aid Features
All hearing aids have four basic parts, the microphone, amplifier, receiver, and battery. Sounds are first registered by the microphone. The microphone also transforms sounds into electrical pulses that travel to the amplifier. The amplifier increases the power of these electrical signals and clarifies them. After the electrical impulses are amplified, they are converted back into audio signals. The receiver is responsible for delivering these amplified sounds back into the ear canal. All these processes are powered by a small battery. Hearing aid batteries can be rechargeable or disposable. But rechargeable batteries are available only for certain types of hearing aids. Disposable hearing aid batteries can last up to 20 days.
Types of Hearing Aids
Hearing aids come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Their power levels also vary, but some can help people who suffer from total hearing loss. You should choose your hearing aid based on the nature of your hearing loss and the number of features you need. Another important factor you should consider is the size of your hearing aid. Although smaller hearing aids are more discreet, they also have shorter battery life and use disposable batteries, so you’ll have to invest in purchasing batteries more often. This added expense usually motivates people to invest in a larger hearing aid that can use a rechargeable battery. Larger hearing aids also have more features.
There are seven types of hearing aids available on the market: Body hearing aids, Eyeglass hearing aids, Behind The Ear, In The Ear, Completely In Canal, Open Ear, Receiver In Canal. Body and Eyeglass hearing aids have almost become a thing of the past due to the advancements in hearing aid manufacturing. We’ll describe the four most popular hearing aid types in more detail to give you a better idea of which hearing aid is right for you.
Behind The Ear Hearing Aid (BTE): BTE hearing aids are the most common type of hearing aids. They are suitable for all types of hearing loss. They can also have rechargeable or disposable batteries. This type of hearing aid has the most features and can even be remotely controlled. Classic BTE hearing aids use small tubes to deliver the sound to your ear canal. They are custom-designed to fit your earmold. They can help enhance voices and environmental sounds. New styles of BTE hearing aids use open ear and receiver in canal technology. This means that the sound is delivered to the hearing aid earbud through small flexible tubes.
In The Ear Hearing Aid (ITE): ITE hearing aids are perfect for seniors. They are easy to navigate and fill the outer part of your ear. The earbud is located in a shell that is designed specifically to comfortably fit in your ear. The earbud delivers sound directly to your ear and amplifies it. This type of hearing aid uses disposable batteries.
In The Canal Hearing Aid (ITC): ITC hearing aids are very similar to ITE hearing aids. They both have custom made shells, but the difference is that the shells of ITC hearing aids have tubes that are placed inside your ear canal. These hearing aids are easy to use and don’t have many added features. They are powered by disposable batteries.
Completely In Canal Hearing Aid (CIC): CIC hearing aids are the most discreet hearing aids on the market. They are practically undetectable. The receiver is located in a very small shell that is designed to fit completely inside your ear canal. You can remove this hearing aid from your ear canal by pulling on a small cord. The downside of these tiny hearing aids is that they lack features like volume control. They can have small or bigger vents that give you an open ear feeling. They use disposable batteries.
Before buying a hearing aid, you should always consult a professional audiologist to determine what style of hearing aid would best suit your needs. You should also factor in your daily habits and budget. Although many hearing aids are expensive, it’s worth investing in a quality product. After all, hearing aids can help you achieve a better quality of life and maintain social relationships.