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Hearing Aid Evolution

The enhancements made to hearing aids in the recent past have targeted more than just the ability to hear better in any environment – they’ve also taken into account easy maintenance, the convenience of wireless technology, the user’s comfort, and even the different tastes and lifestyles of wearers.

There are three types of technology used in hearing aids today:

Conventional analog: Although some adjustments can be made to suit the user with this type, these essentially amplify all sounds in the same way. This technology is the least expensive, but can be appropriate for many different types of hearing loss.

Analog programmable: A big step in the evolution of hearing aids, these are able to be programmed to adapt to different listening environments. For instance, with this technology, it’s possible to adjust the instrument to suit a restaurant, where sound is close and all around; or to a theater where the sound is from a single distant source; or to a quiet conversation at home.

Digital programmable: An even bigger step toward perfect clarity for the hearing impaired. Digital models have all the features of analog programmable ones, but use digitized sound processing (DSP) to convert sound waves into digital signals. This means that the aid is able to discern whether sound is either noise or speech, and then automatically adjust accordingly to provide the clearest signal possible.

This technology is the most expensive, but the advantages are numerous:

  • They are more programmable
  • They have greater precision in fitting
  • There is better management of loudness discomfort
  • There is more control of noise reduction
  • Learn more about the advantages of digital hearing aids.

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