Hearing aids (1)

These are the small devices that amplify the sound and help the one in hearing those sounds which would otherwise not audible. Moreover, it replenishes the normal hearing of a person.

Working of hearing aids

All hearing aids work on the same principle. They have the same essential components that transfer the sound from the environment to the ear of the listener.

  • Microphone

It picks up sound vibration from the environment.

  • Mini-chip

Amplifier with mini-chip amplifies the sound and transforms it into digital code. It processes the sound according to the degree of hearing loss, level of surrounding sound, and listening demands of a person.

  • Receiver or speaker

It transmits the digital code of sound from the microphone to the ears of the listener after converting it back into sound waves.

  • Battery

It turns on the hearing aid

  • Volume controller

It helps the person to control the volume according to the needs.

Hearing aids can be manual and digital. Most commonly used are digital aids. All are powered with batteries that are either replaceable or rechargeable.

Features of hearing aid

  1. Chaos reduction

Some hearing aids provide an extra feature that reduces the amount of noise and surrounding chaos. The extent of noise reduction varies in every hearing device. Some devices also lessen wind noise.

  1. Rechargeable batteries

Good quality hearing aids offer batteries that are rechargeable. This eliminates the inconvenience of replacing dead batteries to keep the device working.

  1. Directional microphones

These are attached to the hearing device. They specifically pick up the refined sound coming from in front and eliminate some of the noise or chaos coming from behind. These types of hearing aids are sound-focusing. They help a person by improving their hearing proficiency in chaotic areas.

  1. Telecoil

It enhances the hearing ability of a person while communicating on a telecoil-compatible phone. It picks up the signals from the hearing-aid-compatible phone and reduces the surrounding voices. It also takes sound from the public induction loop system, which is found in theatres and churches. It allows a person to hear music, movie, and play better.

  1. Wireless connectivity

It is an increasing trend to wirelessly interface the hearing aid with Bluetooth-compatible devices such as computers, music players, cell phones, and televisions. A person needs another intermediary gadget to accept signals from a phone and bringing them to a hearing aid.

  1. Remote controls

Some companies offer remote with hearing aid that allows the user to adjust the details according to the necessity. Some companies have launched their applications for cell phones, through which a person can set the features using his cell phone.

  1. Variable programming

This feature allows the storage of various programmed settings in hearing aid. The person then uses them according to his listening requirements and surroundings.

  1. Synchronization

Different companies provide synchronization features for those who need a pair of hearing aid. Any setting (program changes or volume control) made in one device automatically set the changes in the other one. This allows simpler control over the pair of hearing aid.

Types of hearing aid (2)

Hearing aids differ in size, price, special features, and the manner they are placed in the ears. Some common types of hearing aids are as follows:

  1. Completely in the canal CIC / mini CIC

Designers are trying to make as small a hearing device as possible. Wearing such hearing aids makes them less noticeable by other people. Completely-in-the-canal-hearing Aid is shaped in such a way that it fits the inside area of the ear canal.

  1. In-the-canal ITC hearing aid

An ITC is tailored according to the requirements and partly fits the ear canal. It can augment mild to moderate hearing problems in adults.

  1. In-the-ear ITE hearing aid

It is designed in two styles:

  • One that covers the full shell of the outer ear
  • Second that covers the half-shell of the outer lower part of the ear

Both are beneficial for people suffering from mild to severe hearing problems.

  1. Behind-the-ear BTE hearing aid

It is hook over the ear flap and remains behind the ear. The hearing aid is connected to the earmold (a custom art piece) via a connecting tube. This is appropriate for all ages and types of hearing aid.

  1. Receiver in the ear RITE or receiver in canal RIC Hearing Aid

Both styles are similar to BTE hearing aid. Its receiver rests in the ear canal. This receiver is connected to the hearing device through a tiny wire. It has a less apparent behind-the-ear portion, available with directional microphones. It includes rechargeable battery and has a manual control system.

  1. Open fit

It is a combination of RITE and BTE hearing aids. It keeps the ear canal widely open, which allows the lower sounds to enter after amplification and higher sound to enter naturally.

Manufacturers of hearing aid

  1. Unitron hearing aid

It is a brand of the Sanova Group. Swiss hearing aid manufacturers are setting new principles for manufacturing innovative hearing aids that are affordable.  People admire unitron because they can try to experience Technology levels through their flex trial system.

Its cost starts from $1600 and is available in Canada

  1. Widex hearing aid

The Danish hearing aid manufacturer is famous for its discreet and stylish hearing aids. It has representations in almost 100 countries.

Its cost starts from $1800 and is available in the UK

  1. Starkey hearing aid

It is an American hearing aid manufacturer. It consistently focusing on innovative ideas and customer needs.

Its cost starts from $1450 and is available in America.

  1. Oticon hearing aid

It is owned by the William Demant group. It is the leader in wireless connectivity and wireless streaming.

Its cost starts from $2450 and is available in Australia.

  1. Phonak hearing aid

It was found in 1947 and is owned by the Sanova group. It was the first company that launched rechargeable hearing aid.

Its cost starts at $1800 and is available worldwide.

References

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hearing-loss/in-depth/hearing-aids/art-20044116
  2. https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/hearing-aids#1