How Do Hearing Aids Work?
Posted by Living Sounds
Hearing is an aspect of everyday life that is easily taken for granted. The process of capturing sound as quiet as soft rain up to a loud thunderclap requires a complex mechanism that is a marvel of natural evolution that rivals what human engineers can design. Hearing does not stop at awareness. The processes in the brain that analyze the sensory information, compare it to past experiences, and guide us to react or not is even more complex. How then can hearing aids improve hearing? How do these devices work with our natural way of hearing and processing sounds?
Beyond the basic junior high school anatomy lessons, there are a few details that can help us understand where to begin to appreciate how hearing works. The outer ears are tuned for the natural sounds of human speech. They have both a directional advantage and better sensitivity for sounds directly in front compared to sound from behind. This natural directionality helps us separate sound of interest, usually something or someone we are looking at, from sound we may not be as interested in. The sounds we are interested in are referred to as signals, and the other sounds are referred to as noise. The natural shape of our ears creates a positive signal to noise ratio favoring the sounds in front. Hearing aids can be designed to do the same.
How Hearing Aids Improve Hearing
People who have difficulty hearing and understanding speech not only have a sensitivity problem with the volume of certain sounds, but they are also having trouble sorting out the speech they want to hear from other sounds. Extra volume alone does not solve their problem. In fact it can make matters worse by distorting sound and making your experience uncomfortable. Today’s hearing aids are technologically sophisticated instruments. And when finely tuned by expert hearing specialists, they provide comfortable audibility and added processing to help wearers sort out the speech they want to hear from the noise. Artificial Intelligence and directional microphones work to reduce additional noise. Together these technologies improve the signal to noise ratio of the sounds they want to hear.
Types of Hearing Aids
Today’s hearing aids are available with rechargeable batteries and in a variety of styles. Some small devices rest behind the ear with a thin tube or wire to the ear canal. Whereas others are customized to fit inside the users’ ears. Many hearing aids today have bluetooth connectivity to allow direct connection to telephones.
Living Sounds is Here to Help
Still have questions about how hearing and hearing aids can help improve your life? We provide the highest quality hearing aids on the market. Starkey hearing aids include a range of top-quality devices made here in the United States. Contact us today to find the nearest location. Speak with a hearing specialist about the right hearing aid for you and your lifestyle.