Hearing aids have come a long way in the past few years. Now more than ever they are packed with technology that allows you to hear more naturally than you thought possible. In order to truly appreciate all the work your hearing aids do for you, you should understand what’s going on inside them.
How Do Hearing Aids Process Sound?
No matter the style of hearing aid, they all utilize the same basic parts to help you hear. Small microphones collect sounds from the environment, then a computer chip with an amplifier converts the incoming sound into digital code. The hearing aid is programmed to analyze and adjust sound based on your unique hearing loss, then the amplified signals are converted back into soundwaves and delivered to your ears through little speakers called receivers.
The Parts of a Hearing Aid
Below is a more in-depth breakdown of the different components of hearing aids and exactly how they work together to help you hear.
The microphones in a hearing aid work just like regular microphones you’d see used on stage. They pick up sounds in front of them and transform them into electrical signals that the processor can understand. The microphones in hearing aids are extremely small and precise in order to pick up sounds as clearly as possible.
The processor is the most important part of the hearing aid, and varies most from model to model. It does most of the work by transforming electrical signals based on the exact programming of your device in order to compensate for your unique hearing loss. The quality of the processor determines the features of your device.
The cable is the small tube that holds the wiring of your hearing aid. It feeds from the processor to the ear canal, transmitting sound via wire.
The sound signals travel down the cable to the receiver, where they are transformed back into regular soundwaves. The receiver plays the processed sound directly in the ear canal.
The battery, obviously, is used to power your hearing aid. Most hearing aids utilize disposable zinc batteries, but some models use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
The casing is the plastic shell that protects the technology within the hearing aid. Casings come in a variety of shapes and colors to match your aesthetic preferences. Many are treated with water-repellent coating to protect your devices from rain or sweat.
For more information about hearing aids or to schedule an appointment with an audiologist, call Timpanogos Hearing & Balance today.