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Child Development Topics..

You are here : home > Child Development > Speech, Language, Hearing and Vision > What are Hearing Aids?

What are Hearing Aids?

Problems in hearing can have a devastating effect on the sufferer. A person suffering from hearing problem will not be able to understand the views of others. Hearing aids help persons with hearing loss to hear loudly and clearly. Hearing aids are a boon for people with hearing loss. Hearing aids are now available in different shapes and styles. To know about the working of hearing aids, read on.

Hearing aid can be defined in simple terms like a miniature electronic device that is worn inside or behind the ear. It enhances the loudness of the sound to a level of frequency that is audible to the person suffering from hearing loss. It enables the person to listen more clearly and communicate effectively so that his participation in the regular activities social or personal is unhindered.

Hearing aids are designed to help the individual to effectively hear the sounds loud and clear in both quiet and noisy environments. It has been found that one out of every five people who use hearing aids actually benefit from it. The number is not cent percent because people are actually prone to avoid wearing them for whatever reasons.

The Basic Parts of the Hearing Aid:

  1. Microphone
  2. Amplifier
  3. Speaker

The sound is received through the microphone first. The sound waves are then converted into electrical signals and then sent to the amplifier. The power or degree of the signals is then enhanced after which they are sent into the ear through the speaker.

Styles of Hearing Aids:

Apart from the various shapes and sizes, the hearing aids vary in the manner in which they are required to be placed inside the ear. It affects the amplification of the sound. Some of them are:

BTE or Behind the Ear

It comprises of a hard plastic case that envelops the device and one needs to wear them behind the ear. There is a plastic ear mold that can well fit within the outer ear. The case housing the electronic parts are inside the case that is placed behind the ear. Now there is an open-fit BTE that can fit perfectly behind the ear and are preferred by people who are concerned about the buildup of earwax as the device can get damaged by such external elements.

ITE or In the Ear

This can fit entirely inside the outer ear of the individual. It is recommended for people experiencing mild to severe hearing loss. A telecoil is an added feature that is installed inside an ITE which is a tiny magnetic coil which designed to receive the sound through the circuitry of the hearing aid instead of the microphone. It is a great help for conversations over the telephone. They also have specialized sound systems like induction loop system that are equipped to work in public places like airports, auditoriums, churches and schools.

ITC or in the canal

This hearing aid type is customized to fit into the shape and size of the individual’s ear. It can be hidden within the ear canal. But being small it can be a problem to adjust and remove the device. The space allotted for batteries and other devices is so less that it can be a problem. The size limits also affects the power and volume and therefore is not considered to be very helpful.

Manner of Operation

Analog – Hearing aid function by converting the sound waves into electric signals which are then amplified. They can be customized to suit the requirement of the user. It is programmed by the manufacturer according to the specifications mentioned by your audiologist. They work on program/settings and can be adapted to various listening environment.

– This variety of hearing aid converts the sound waves into digital codes which is akin to the binary code of the computer prior to the amplification process. Information on the sound’s pitch/loudness is programmed in a manner that adjusts according to the requirement of the user. It is very flexible according to the user as well as the environment.

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ramani.5 years ago
Very good article. all articles in this site are very informative. there are many practical tips also.
Nehal Kothari.5 years ago
which type of hearing aid is suitable for a 6 year old kid? I want to buy one for my kid?
Shivam.5 years ago
good information. keep it up
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