Hearing Aids makes every minute sound audible that an ear fails to amplify. Hearing aids help a hearing loss person to listen to the sounds and helps them to participate in daily activities. It improves the hearing and speech comprehension in people.
Up until the 16th century, people assumed that individuals with Hearing Loss are a disability. Individuals were discriminated until a Spanish monk named Pedro Ponce disproved this theory by teaching the deaf son how to read, write, speak and do the math.
If we consider the evolution of hearing aids, there are 7 eras towards the development of the hearing aids.
Hearing Aids are in the shape of trumpets, funnels, or horns. Sounds get transmitted in long tubes to the patient's ears. They are popularly known as “acoustic headbands"
During early 20th-century Hearing Aids evolved in electric devices. Telephonic Technology was used for Hearing Aid. This Hearing Aid used to have a carbon granule microphone with speaker and a large battery.
Introduction of vacuum tubes in Hearing Aids were seen in this era. Large vacuum tubes along with batteries and a receiver are used to produce the sound to help a Hearing loss patient.
This is the time where a Hearing Aid is produced commercially. Transistors are incorporated into the Hearing Aid to streamline the sound into a small device which is worn on the ear or to eyeglasses.
Hearing Aids came out with a microprocessor. The size of the hearing aid is reduced and programmed according to the hearing loss of the patient. They are flexible and are worn around an ear.
Digital Hearing Aids are introduced which are able to transmit the complex sound with high degree precision. This is the era where intelligent Hearing Aids are introduced by reducing background noise control.
Digital Hearing Aids came out with Advanced Technology like Invisible Hearing Aids, Bluetooth Hearing Aids, Slim-fitting, Directional Microphones Speech Enhancement and many more. Digital Hearing Aids in the current era is coming out with extra comfort and customisable program.
Analogue Hearing Aids work similarly to a microphone hooked up to a speaker. Analogue Hearing Aid picks up the sound from outside and amplifies it accordingly and produces an output into a louder volume. Analogue hearing aids are programmable and offer multiple listening modes for different environment.
Digital hearing aids use Digital Signal Processor. It reads the sound waves, processes it and amplifies it according to the hearing loss condition. Digital hearing aids can amplify or eliminate frequencies and noise patterns and even shift sounds to more comfortable ranges. They can also interact with computers, phones, and many other devices and provides extensive comfortability.
A Behind-The-Ear Hearing Aid directly hooks over the top of the ear and rests behind the ear. 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. This Hearing Aid is perfect for paediatric (children) and geriatric (older adults) population.
Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) Hearing Aids are placed inside the ear canal and thin electrical wires are used instead of plastic acoustic tubes. It is an open fitting Hearing Aid that is quite comfortable to wear and remove. The receiver is located outside of the hearing aid which is connected by a discrete receiver wire for a Free flow of sound waves.
In-the-Ear Hearing Aids are discrete Hearing Aids which are custom-made and sits directly in the ear canal opening. ITE Hearing Aids are completely visible to the naked eyes. Such Hearing Aids are suitable for minimal to moderate Hearing Loss conditions. ITE Hearing Aids have various options for manual features such as volume control, program button or telephone switch for easy usability.
In-The-Canal Hearing Aid is custom made and fits partially in the Ear Canal. They are partially visible due to the slightly bigger size than that of CIC. ITC Hearing Aids are comfortable and easy to use. It has both wireless and telecoil option. This style is perfect for people looking for smaller size Hearing Aids with Severe Hearing Loss.
Completely In the Canal Hearing Aids fit inside the ear and out of our sight. A CIC Hearing Aid is moulded to fit inside the ear canal that improves the hearing by amplifying the sounds. CIC Hearing Aids are custom made, fits deep inside the canal and are almost invisible. It is a small and least visible type of Hearing Aid.
Invisible Hearing Aids are invisible Hearing Aids which are completely not visible to the eye. They are custom made and are virtually not seen. IIC Hearing Aids comes with discreet fitting and the latest Hearing technology. They are hidden deep in the ear canals and are perfect for people looking for an ultra-discreet hearing solution. Easy to use and fits the lifestyle.
Choosing the right Technology is very important. Digital Hearing Aids helps in adapting to the different kinds of environment. Choosing the technology according to the lifestyle will make life better. The technology in the hearing aid completely depends on the complexity of the listening environment.
Every Hearing Aid comes with a mould which fits into the ear for better sound enhancement and comfort. The ear mould is either plastic or silicone made custom-fit mould which is either protruding or tucked inside the ear/ around the ear. Ear moulds are selected based on the degree of the Hearing Loss.
Hearing Aid Batteries are Zinc-air, button-shaped disposable batteries. They are air-activated and factory-sealed which remain inactive until removed. Once the sticker on the battery is removed the oxygen will interact with the zinc and it will turn on.
Better care and maintenance of Hearing Aids will ensure optimal performance hearing aids and longer usability.
Use a hearing aid dehumidifier for storing the devices when they get wet accidentally.
Clean the hearing aids regularly with the help of dry cotton swabs or soft toothbrushes which will clear the ear wax or the debris.
Longer usage of the hearing aid batteries can damage the devices. And it is also advised to open the battery slot when not in use.
Keep them away from children and also from pets. Always hold them carefully and avoid dropping them on any hard places.
As we give our bikes to servicing even hearing aids have to be taken care of by the professionals. Schedule an appointment with Audiologist for every 6 months who take care of the devices completely.
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