Type of Hearing Aids
Easily worn in the ear or behind the ear, a hearing aid is a small electronic device.
Every sound that an ear cannot amplify is made audible by hearing aids. A person with hearing loss can participate in daily activities and listen to sounds with the use of hearing aids. People's hearing and speech understanding are improved by use of hearing aids.
Evolution of Hearing Aids
The history of hearing aids (and assistive hearing devices) is surprisingly long and interesting. Although some people still associate wireless technology with cumbersome plastic blocks, the truth is that it has never been better, smaller, or lighter. The ultra-sleek wireless devices that we use today are the result of centuries of trial and adaptation. You might be astonished to realise how far things have come when you look at where they started.
The Early Years Of Hearing Aids
In the 17th century, devices known as hearing trumpets, the first hearing aids, were developed. Hearing aids were frequently observed by the 18th century's close. A British businessman named Frederick Rein began offering them for sale in London in 1800. His instruments enhanced sound in a manner similar to that of placing your hand over your ear.
However, although being transportable, they were somewhat heavy and awkward to handle. Speaking tubes, also referred to as conversation tubes, were beneficial to those who had hearing loss. In the earliest of these, which was developed in 1796, the listener inserted the other end of the tube into their ear while the speaker spoke into the other end of the tube directly. These were good in isolating a person's voice and removing background noise.
Hearing Aids Evolve
The development of the telephone resulted in significant advancements in hearing care. Because it was possible to regulate the volume and frequency, telephone technology was widely used. Miller Reese Hutchison, an American, created the Akouphone, which was the first gadget to utilize this technology. He introduced this device in 1898, and because it was more portable than earlier devices, it gained popularity immediately.
Modern Day Hearing Aids
Hearing aids of today are quite discreet. They are fully digital gadgets that fit within the ear canal. They are individually created for each person, ensuring a perfect fit and outstanding performance. These devices are available in three different configurations: receiver in the ear, fully in the canal, and unnoticeable in the canal.
Additionally, since 1956, behind-the-ear devices have been available. These crescent-shaped objects fit perfectly behind the ear. The device is attached to the ear canal by a tube. These are still discreet but a little more obvious than other contemporary gadgetry.
If you suffer hearing loss, talking with a hearing healthcare professional can help you determine which device is most appropriate for your unique situation. These gadgets come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colours thanks to their great degree of customizability.
The optimal type of device for you will depend on your level of hearing loss, the types of sounds you usually experience, and your hearing aid budget. Contact Connecting Ears now to learn more about how you can improve your hearing.
Types Of Hearing Aids
Analog Hearing Aids
Analog hearing aids operate similarly to a speaker and a microphone that are connected. Before the advent of the digital age, the only type of hearing aids that could magnify sound were analogue. A hearing aid captures the noises, amplifies them, and sends them out louder. While digital hearing aids will enhance sounds differently depending on the environment, analogue hearing aids can magnify all sounds identically. Analog hearing aids cannot distinguish between background and foreground noise or isolate a particular kind of sound.
Digital Hearing Aids
Digital Hearing Aids are developed to make better life anticipation. For a better understanding of the speech or sound, they utilize a digital signal processor, which reads the sound waves and amplifies and transmits the sound to the ear. Digital hearing aids customize and alter the sounds in accordance with the degree of hearing loss. Digital hearing aids are intelligent enough to communicate with other devices using Bluetooth Technology and employ microchip technology to tailor the sound amplification.
How Digital Hearing Aids work?
A microphone, an amplifier, a receiver, and a hearing aid battery make up a hearing aid. The microphone will absorb the sound waves, which will then be transmitted to the amplifier for amplification. Through the receiver, the enhanced sound waves will reach the ears.
As a digital brain, the amplifier functions. When the amplifier receives the sound waves, it cleverly enhances the sound quality and transmits it to the receiver so that they can be heard and enjoyed.
Features of Digital Hearing Aids
Additional advantages come with digital hearing aids. A digital hearing aid is essentially a tiny computer with the intelligence to respond to each user's unique hearing needs. The following are advanced features of digital hearing aids:
· Feedback Cancellation: Hearing aid users often have a complaint with the whistling sound of hearing aids which is called Feedback Sound. Analogue Hearing Aids cannot remove this feedback sound whereas Digital hearing Aid removes the feedback and makes amplified sound much better.
· Directional Microphone: Digital Hearing aids come with Directional microphone which has the ability to identify the sound source direction and it can help in the better enhancement of sound. They have the ability to read the environment around automatically.
· Music Programs: Some of the Advance hearing Aids also have a feature of detecting music and speech. They also find the differences between the speech and the Music and amplifies it accordingly.
· Noise Management: Noise Management is exclusively seen in Digital Hearing Aids which will eliminate the noises and amplifies only the speech sounds.
· Connectivity: Digital Hearing Aids comes with advanced connectivity and wireless feature. Bluetooth connectivity is a feature which will help in connecting with other Electronic Devices like TV, Music Systems and Personal Microphones etc directly with Hearing Aids.
Different Styles of Hearing Aids
A hook over the top of the ear and resting behind it is a behind-the-ear hearing aid. A plastic acoustic tube connected to the hearing aid, which is worn behind the ear, sends amplified sound into the ear tip or specially designed ear mould that is inserted into the canal. The paediatric (children) and geriatric (older adults) populations benefit greatly from this hearing aid.
· The hearing aid rests behind the ear and a plastic acoustic tube directs amplified sound into the ear tip or customized ear mould that is fitted inside the canal.
· Best for both children and adults.
· Easy-to-use buttons or dials
· Suitable for mild to profound Hearing Loss.
Instead of using plastic acoustic tubes, Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) hearing aids are inserted within the ear canal. It is an open-fitting hearing aid that is very easy to put on and take off. The receiver, which is outside the hearing aid and is connected via a separate receiver cable for a free passage of sound waves, is positioned outside the device.
· In RIC the receiver is inside the ear canal and thin electrical wires are used instead of plastic acoustic tubes.
· These are less visible when compared to a Behind the ear hearing aid.
· Telecoil options are available.
· Easy to adjust
· For mild to severe hearing loss
In-the-Ear (ITE) In-the-Ear hearing aids are discreet, made-to-order devices that fit snugly inside the ear canal. To the naked eye, ITE Hearing Aids are totally visible. These hearing aids can be used for mild to moderate hearing loss. For simple usability, ITE Hearing Aids offer a variety of manual feature options, including volume control, a programme button, and a telephone switch.
· Custom made
· ITE fills the outer ear, completely visible.
· These hearing aids have options for manual features such as volume control, program button or telephone switch.
· Easier to handle
· Larger battery for longer battery life
· Comes in different sizes and strengths
Custom-made, partially in-the-canal hearing aids are available. Due to their slightly larger size than CIC, they can be seen in part. ITC hearing aids are convenient and pleasant. Both cordless and telecoil options are available. For those with severe hearing loss looking for smaller-sized hearing aids, this design is ideal.
· Custom made
· ITC fits in the ear canal, partially visible due to the slightly bigger size than that of CIC.
· Perfect for people looking for smaller size hearing aids with severe hearing loss.
· Little longer battery life.
· Fit right inside the ear canal.
· Better usage in noisy environments and manual controls, like a volume wheel
Completely in canal (CIC)
Completely in canal Hearing aids are not visible and are placed inside the ear. The sound is amplified by a CIC Hearing Aid that is molded to fit within the ear canal and helps with hearing. Custom-made, snugly fitting CIC hearing aids are virtually invisible. It is the least noticeable and smallest size of hearing aid.
· Custom made
· Fits deep inside the canal
· Pick less wind noise.
· Very discreet
· 90% invisible
· For mild to moderately severe hearing loss
Invisible Hearing Aids (IIC)
Hearing aids that are fully invisible to the naked eye are known as invisible hearing aids. They are built to order and hardly noticeable. IIC Hearing Aids provide the most recent hearing technology and a discrete fitting. They are ideal for anyone looking for an incredibly discrete hearing solution because they are concealed deep inside the ear canals. Simple to use and suitable for every lifestyle.
· Custom made
· Smallest and most discreet hearing aid.
· Virtually invisible, no one can notice that you have a hearing aid.
· Fitted very deeply in the ear canal.
· Perfect for people looking for an ultra-discreet hearing solution.
· For mild to moderately severe hearing loss.