What does a hearing aid do?

Simply put, a hearing aid is a device specifically designed to improve hearing by making sound more audible to someone with hearing loss. A hearing aid is actually considered a medical device in most countries and is regulated by the appropriate agencies. 

Technically speaking, hearing aids have come a long way in the last hundred years or so. In the early days of hearing aids, individuals would use “ear trumpets” to amplify the sound going into their ears. The objects varied in size, but most were actually trumpet shaped and quite large; often, almost like holding a roadside cone up to your ear!

The modern hearing aid

Modern digital processing has revolutionized hearing aids. It enables scientists, technicians and manufacturers to write smart software and develop sophisticated algorithms that lead to a plethora of new benefits a hearing aid can offer, such as:

  • Improved understanding of speech in noisy areas
  • Increased gain with no feedback
  • Enhanced speech perception and listening comfort
  • Ability to personalize instrument settings to the user’s specific needs
  • More precise directional capabilities

The basic components make an amplifier for your ear

In their most simple form, hearing aids act as a miniature public address system. There are four basic components:

  • Microphone
  • Amplifier
  • Speaker (receiver)
  • Power supply (batteries)

Regardless of the size or style of the hearing aid, they all consist of these four components.

Microphones and receivers are transducers - this means they convert energy from one form to another. Acoustic energy (sound) is gathered by the microphone and is converted into an electrical signal. The receiver gathers electrical signals from the amplifier and converts them back into acoustic energy (sound).

The amplifier is located between the microphone and receiver. Its function is to increase the amplitude of the microphone’s signal, transmit it to the receiver, then send it to your inner ear. That is the basic function of all hearing aids.

Today’s hearing aids - modern and capable

Even if it’s been a few short years since your last new hearing aid, there have been a few advancements in the meantime. In 2018, we released our Livio AI hearing aids that revolutionized what a hearing aid can do! Our latest technology is designed to:

  • Track brain and body health: Livio AI is the first hearing aid ever to proactively manage your health. Using integrated sensors it can track steps, activity, social engagement and active listening.

  • Detect falls: Livio AI can detect if you’ve fallen and send an alert message to selected contacts, giving your loved ones peace of mind.

  • Translate 27 languages as you hear them: Easily communicate with people who speak other languages using Livio AI and the Thrive Hearing app.

  • Stream phone calls, music and messages to your ears: Talk and hear any media from your smartphone directly to your hearing aids.

  • Play audio from your TV (so you don’t have to blast the volume): With our latest TV accessory, you can stream sound directly from your TV to your hearing aids. You can actually listen to the TV without anyone else hearing it.

  • Privately notify you of incoming calls, texts or reminders: Receive a call, text or alert notification directly in your hearing aids. (They can even be set so that Siri can read them to you!).

  • Adjust hearing aid volume and settings with your smartphone: You don’t have to take off your hearing aids or struggle with tiny controls.

  • Automatically adjust to the sounds in your busy life: Improve your detection of speech and minimize background noise anywhere you go, in even the noisiest places - restaurants included!

  • Provide tinnitus relief: You can offset annoying ringing in your ears with customized soothing sounds.

  • And so much more!

Needless to say, today’s hearing aids do a lot more than simply amplify sound. In fact, they make many aspects of our lives easier and much better. 

Contact a hearing professional today and request a demonstration - call 1-855-970-2990 or click here and we can help you find one nearby!

By Starkey Canada