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How Do Hearing Aids Work? How Effective Are They?

a hand adjusting a hearing aid on a stand

Hearing loss can have a real impact on your life. You can notice changes with your understanding, your speech and even the actions that you take when it comes to social interactions and environments. However, seeking help and advice from an audiologist can help you to improve the quality of life you have when it comes to hearing. 

One of the most common methods to improve hearing loss is using hearing aids. They can be extremely helpful to improve the sound and noise you hear and enable the brain to correlate what it is you are hearing. However, it is all well and good knowing that hearing aids could help you, but there might be some questions that you have including how do hearing aids work and how effective are they? With that in mind, here's a bit more information to help you be more informed when it comes to hearing aids. 

How do hearing aids work?

A hearing aid is a battery powered device that has been created to help improve hearing loss. They are small enough to be fitted behind the ear, on the outer bowl and in the canal, and they can amplify the sound that you are hearing. They are discrete and can be very comfortable to wear. In some cases, once you get used to them you will likely not notice that you are wearing them. Apart from the improved hearing and sound quality. Whether it is quiet or noisy, hearing aids should help you to hear clearer and because of that, they can improve the quality of life that you have. 

So how do they work? A hearing aid has three main elements that work together to help you to hear better. These include:

  • A microphone which picks up the sound around you.
  • An amplifier which makes the sound louder. 
  • A receiver that sends the amplified sounds into your ear. 

It is worth noting that not everyone with hearing loss will benefit from hearing aids. Most of the time they are for people who have damage to their inner ear or the nerve that links the ear to the brain. There are many ways that you can have damaged your inner ear. These include:

  • Disease
  • Aging 
  • Your work environment
  • Loud noises
  • Medications 

Types and styles of hearing aids

When you visit an audiologist and they have determined that hearing aids could help you, it is worth knowing that there are different types and styles that you may be offered or could consider. There are a few different things that could impact the choice of hearing aid that you have. These include:

  • The type of hearing loss that you have and also how severe it might be. 
  • How old you are
  • How well you can manage small devices
  • The lifestyle that you have
  • The cost can affect your decision

Digital hearing aids

The digital hearing aids convert the sounds into numerical codes. Which could be likened to computer codes. The code includes things such as the direction of the sound and also the pitch and volume. This makes it easier to adjust the sound into something that you can compute and understand.

It can also make them very effective in a restaurant, a quiet room and a stadium full of thousands. They often give better results than analog hearing aids. 

There are also three different types of hearing aids that you can get. These include:

  • In the canal (ITC): ITC hearing aids fit inside the canal making them very discrete. They can help mild to moderate hearing loss. They are very small but because of their size they can be difficult to adjust. 
  • In the ear (ITE): These hearing aids fit completely in the outer bowl. They have a hard plastic case that holds all the mechanical elements to the hearing aid. They work for mild-to-severe hearing loss. 
  • Behind the ear (BTE): These hearing aids sit behind the ears in a hard plastic case. A plastic earmold sits within the ear and sends the amplified sounds inside your ear.
  • There are also several different features that you can get when having hearing aid, such as Bluetooth, directional microphones, wireless control and multisettings.  

How effective are they?

Hearing aids are effective at treating hearing loss, whether it is mild or severe. The type and style will always be discussed with your audiologist. To learn more about Stanwood Hearing you can call us today at 360-502-4644.