Discover How Digital Hearing Aids Work

Are you becoming hard of hearing and wondering whether a digital hearing aid is for you?

The fact that there are so many people affected by hearing loss has given rise to new research into hearing loss. In the last decade, there has been a sharp increase in the range of hearing aids on the market, and the state-of-the art digital hearing aid improves the hearing capacity of the hearing impaired person.

A digital hearing aid is a device that receives sound and breaks the sound waves into minute units and amplifies the sound. The main difference between the old analog hearing aid and digital hearing aid is that while analog hearing aid magnifies the sound to amplify sounds, digital hearing aid breaks the sounds waves and amplifies it.

Generally, the digital hearing aids come in four styles: In-the-ear hearing aids; behind-the-ear hearing aids; canal aids and body aids.

While in-the-ear hearing aids are fixed in the outer ear, the behind-the-ear hearing aids fit behind the ear connecting to a plastic ear mould that fits inside the outer ear. Canal aids fit into the ear canal. Body aids are for those who are affected by profound hearing loss and they are attached to the pocket or belt and connected to the ear by wire.

How do digital hearing aids work?

Digital hearing aids convert the analog waveform into a string of numbers for processing. It receives the continuous sound wave and splits it into very small discrete bits of data. This process is called ‘digitizing the sound waves’. Most of the digital hearing aids follow this process to produce superior sound quality.

The latest digital hearing aids have sophisticated technology to amplify even the softest sounds. While processing the sound wave, this modern equipment filters the unwanted noises. Some of the modern digital hearing aids come with in-built intelligence that helps the hearing impaired people to pick up any sound signals. The algorithms that are written into these digital hearing aids allow the people wearing them to customize them according to their requirements.

Digital hearing aids have flexible gain processing schemes. This increases the audibility of the sounds without any irritating noises. Digital signal processing in these equipments provides better hearing by inputting signal-specific band dependence, an increased number of channels, and lower compression thresholds. Some digital hearing aids use compression processing which leads to increased clarity of sounds and decreased environmental noises.

Modern digital hearing aids use advanced feedback reduction schemes to control the feedback when using the equipment. It filters and considerably reduces the feedback, giving comfort of use for the user. Digital speech enhancement systems used in digital hearing aids sharply increases the intensity of the sound.

Sometimes, the microphones built into the hearing aids make circuit noises that may affect the hearing capacity. To avoid this, digital hearing aids comes with directional microphones that reduce circuit noise and enhances hearing ability.

Digital hearing aids may also mean that less supporting equipment is needed. They process the sound, perform loudness growth and threshold testing to provide better sound quality for the user. Day-by-day, new research is being done on digital hearing technology. This presents a better future for hearing impaired people. Sometimes people who use hearing aids complain that they hear their own voice very loudly or they hear a whistling sound. However, with a little practice on how to use these digital hearing aids optimally, they will no longer hear any extraneous noises.

Basically, the digital hearing aids use a microphone, receiver, hearing aid battery and computer chip. These components work together to improve the sound and to filter the noise. Getting used to these hearing aids takes time and patience. It is advice that the users must get familiar with its various featured under non-stressful situations. If one practices how to use the digital hearing aids well, you can overcome hearing loss.

These digital hearing aids can eliminate the difference between hearing impaired patients and normal people.

Copyright (c) 2007 Mike Jennings