If you are one of the nearly 48 million Americans with hearing loss, chances are your audiologist has recommended the use of hearing aids. These complex electronic devices can help you hear sounds that you have not heard in years. Ever wonder how they do it?
Four Key Components of Hearing Aids
While hearing aids come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, they all have these same four components.
The microphone picks up sounds from the environment and converts them into electronic signals.
The amplifier takes these electronic signals and modifies them through filters and equalizers, thus increasing the power or loudness to a level that can be heard with your degree of hearing loss.
The receiver, also known as the speaker, converts the amplified electronic signals into acoustic signals that can be heard by the users.
The process of picking up and amplifying sounds requires a lot of power. The source of this power is a battery. Batteries come in a variety of sizes depending on your specific hearing aid. Newer models contain rechargeable batteries.
Additional Hearing Aid Components
While these four key components are in every hearing aid, the following parts depend on your size and style of device.
This custom-made piece sits in the ear and connects to the hearing aid. The piece is made from an impression of your ear to ensure it fits perfectly.
This plastic attachment connects to the hearing aid and loops over the top of the ear. The hook is attached to the hearing aid with a wire or tubing.
A hole is required in certain hearing aids to allow for air to flow in and out of the ear. This prevents infections and the feeling of a plugged-up ear.
This small filter catches earwax before it can get into the hearing aid.
As the name states, this control determines the volume of sounds. Some newer hearing aids do not have this option, but instead have a cellphone application where the user can adjust the volume, rather than a button on the side of the device.
Understanding how your hearing aid works can help you appreciate how complex the devices are and how they can help you hear better. To learn more about how hearing aids can help or to get started on your hearing journey, contact the experts at Evergreen Speech & Hearing Inc.