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Understanding How Hearing Aids Actually Work


Much like the other electrical devices in our lives, how hearing aids work can be a bit of a mystery. To demystify hearing aids, our hearing specialists at Hearing Healthcare Centers wanted to explain exactly how hearing aids work and how they can help you regain your hearing.

How Hearing Aids Operate

How a set of hearing aids work depends on the type of hearing aid. There are two types, analog hearing aids and digital hearing aids.

Analog Hearing Aids

Analog hearing aids are an older form of technology that is less commonly seen in modern hearing aids, which is still effective for some users. These hearing aids work by capturing a sound wave and changing it into an electrical signal. That signal is then amplified and sent on to the inner ear, to eventually reach the auditory nerve so it can be delivered to the brain for processing.

One of the drawbacks of the analog hearing aids is that they amplify all sound equally, as they lack more sophisticated processors. On the positive side, they can contain several hearing programs for different situations, and often, analog hearing aids are more affordable than digital ones.

Digital Hearing Aids

In contrast to analog hearing aids, digital hearing aids capture sound wave and convert the sounds into numerical code for processing. Once the sound has become a numerical code, the sound can be properly processed before it is amplified and sent to the inner ear.

As digital hearing aids can have sophisticated processors, much like a tiny computer you can wear in your ear, you can enjoy varied sounds at the appropriate levels. There are also often more features that come with digital hearing aids such as Bluetooth syncing so you can stream audio from your phone, TV, and other compatible devices directly to your hearing aids.

Digital hearing aids are what you will commonly find in our hearing clinics, though our hearing specialists can order in analog hearing aids.

How Your Hearing Works With Hearing Aids

So, how exactly do the different hearing aids work with your hearing? Well, say you were having a conversation, and a door is slammed. With analog hearing aids, the words your conversation partner would be speaking, and the door slam would be equally amplified, which can be quite overwhelming to your brain.

But if that same situation occurred while you were wearing hearing aids, the digital hearing aids can recognize the difference between a sound to be amplified (the words being spoken) and what sounds to lower the volume on (the door slamming). This more sophisticated type of hearing aid is often more comfortable to wear and allows for more natural hearing.

To take care of your hearing needs, whether you need a hearing test, hearing aids, or repairs to your hearing aids, you can contact us today to set up an appointment at one of our many hearing clinics.