How Hearing Aids Work

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are about 466 million people all over the world that have a disabling hearing loss, and out of these, 34 million are children. Over 900 million people, almost doubled, will have a disabling hearing loss by 2050. When it comes to hearing loss in children, about 60% is preventable. Those aged between 12-35 years old are at high risk of hearing loss because of exposure to noise in recreational surroundings, such as parties, clubs and concerts, leaving 1.1 billion at risk. There is a recent estimate that indicates an 83% gap in hearing aid needs, where only 17% of those who could gain from the use of a hearing aid actually use one. Let us now take a look at how hearing aids actually work. Some of the main components of hearing aids include: microphone, digital chip, amplifier, receiver, battery compartment and a rocker switch. Microphone: sound enters the hearing aid by means of an enhanced microphone system, which concentrates the conversations and substantially improves speech and understanding in the existence of noise. Digital Chip: The digital chip is also known as the “brain” of a hearing aid. It evaluates and transforms sound to provide the optimal high definition digital sound quality. The chip uses various processes at the same time to create the best listening signal for each use, with the purpose of creating an audible and comfortable listening environment, reducing unwanted background noise. Amplifier: The amplifier examines and boosts the sound from the digital signal processor. The amplifier is what lets wanted sounds, like the voice of a loved one, to be augmented and provide a more natural listening capability. Receiver: The receiver, also known as the speaker, sends the processed and enhanced sound into the ear canal. This is an adjustable earpiece that is able to be tailored to fit in the ear of the canal with total comfort. Battery Compartment: Most hearing aids are powered by a zinc-air batter or NiMH rechargeable battery. The battery door acts as an on/off switch for the hearing aid when simply opened or closed. However, a majority of hearing aids today are powered by lithium-ion batteries, leaving out the worry of changing batteries. Rocker Switch: This is what controls the hearing aid settings, and it can be used in many ways such as adjusting volume, settings or the focus of the directional microphones. This gives control to the user who wants it, but a hearing aid can also be set up to function on its own as well. Over the years, hearing aids have become increasingly advanced, and we can’t wait to see what the future of technology holds in the hearing aid market. Article by: Hala Sanyurah

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