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How do hearing
aids work?

Separating fact from fiction

It’s a common myth that hearing aids are just sound amplifiers that make things louder. But today’s hearing aids are sophisticated, technologically advanced communication devices that make sounds understandable, filtering out background noise and improving speech comprehension. When you have hearing loss, hearing aids can take some of the effort off of your brain and make listening easier. Keep reading to find out how they work.

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A look inside hearing aids

To understand how hearing aids work, let’s take a look inside a typical hearing aid. All hearing aids include five basic components:

  • Microphone

  • Amplifier

  • Speaker

  • Battery

  • Computer processor


The computer chip is programmed by your hearing care professional to ensure your hearing aid works according to your hearing loss and individual needs.

*Certain components of the hearing aid may differ due to style


How sound is processed in hearing aids

The reason why today’s hearing aids are much more than just amplifiers is because of the way they can selectively amplify sound. Having your hearing professionally tested and your hearing aids professionally adjusted is the best way to hear only the sounds you need to.


How a hearing aid works: step-by-step

 

1. Microphones pick up nearby sounds

2. Sounds are analyzed and adjusted by the processing chip customized to your type of hearing loss

3. Processed sounds are sent to the amplifier

4. Amplified sounds are sent to the speaker

5. Sounds are transmitted by the speaker into the inner ear, via tubing in an ear mold in the ear canal, or via a thin wire to a receiver in the ear

6. In the inner ear, sounds are transformed into electrical impulses

7. Electrical impulses are picked up by the brain, where they are processed into sound

All hearing aids have a similar construction and makeup. However, there can be significant differences in the quality of sound capture and speech understanding between different types of devices. Extra and special features like extended bandwidths, automatic volume regulation, noise management, and feedback suppression can all offer a more natural listening experience.



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Even more connections

Today’s hearing aids often offer even more advanced options to keep you connected. You can connect your hearing aids via Bluetooth to your mobile phone and control your devices, stream music and television, and much more. With new innovations in technology, you can connect and enhance your overall hearing experience.


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What can hearing aids do for your health?

Hearing aids help you understand sounds, so your brain doesn’t need to strain to comprehend them. This not only can help you hear better, but can also reduce other medical conditions.

Remember, hearing aids can’t completely restore normal hearing, but they can improve your ability to hear in many situations. Today’s hearing aids can also improve your comfort level and offer relief from some hearing loss symptoms.

Finding the right hearing aid for you

A hearing care professional can help you understand the different hearing aid options available, as well as the best solution for your type of hearing loss and lifestyle.

Find a hearing care professional

  • Get support

    Learn how to clean your hearing aid, change your batteries, replace domes and more

  • Check your hearing

    Think that you may have hearing loss?  Take the first step and complete this short evaluation

  • Ringing in your ears?

    What is tinnitus, why do some people get it, and what can be done to relieve symptoms?

  • Find a professional

    A hearing care professional can check your hearing and determine a treatment that is right for you