Hearing aids are high-tech devices that help you hear by amplifying sounds to a level the damaged ears can detect. Many boast features that can help you hear well with ease, even in complex listening environments. There are many parts that work together to accomplish this. We review these parts below.
The first step in the process of better hearing happens because of the microphone. The microphone picks up sounds in your environments and converts them into electric signals that the processor can understand.
There are two types of microphones in most modern hearing aids: directional and omnidirectional. Directional microphones pick up the sounds directly in front of the wearer, like your conversation partner at Cafe Pasquals. Omnidirectional microphones pick up noises all around you, providing a natural soundscape. Many modern hearing aid microphones boost important sounds, like speech, while minimizing distracting background sounds.
The next step in the hearing process occurs within the processor, sometimes referred to as an amplifier. The processor takes the electrical signals sent by the microphone and converts them into digital signals that can be altered to the exact specifications the wearer requires.
During this step, other features the device offers are added, such as wind noise reduction, background noise reduction, feedback reduction and tinnitus masking.
The processor then converts the digital signal back into an analog signal and sends it to the receiver.
The final part of the amplification process happens with the receiver, which delivers audible sound output to the wearer’s ears.
The receiver is located in different parts of the hearing aid depending on what style you have. For behind-the-ear devices, the receiver is located on the body of the hearing aid, which is worn behind the ear. Sound is then channeled via thin tubing to an earmold that is worn in the ear canal. For receiver-in-the-ear and in-the-ear devices, the receiver is worn directly in the ear canal.
For more information about the parts of a hearing aid or to schedule an appointment with a hearing aid expert, call Southwestern Hearing & Balance today.