All About Digital Hearing Aids

All About Digital Hearing Aids

DO I NEED HEARING AIDS?

Almost 14% of all adults in the U.S. suffer from disabling hearing loss to some detectable degree. This number increases with age steadily until once we are considering people aged 75 and older, more than half of them will suffer from hearing loss. The consequences of failing to treat hearing loss adequately are profound and impact every element of one’s overall health and reduce one’s quality of life. Yet sadly, studies show that more than 2/3 of those that suffer from hearing loss do not seek appropriate treatment. 

There are outdated stigmas around hearing loss. But as the overall population demographics age, more and more people will require treatment for hearing loss. So hopefully wearing hearing aids will become as normalized as wearing eyeglasses. And given the advancements in hearing aid technologies over the previous years, the most common and affordable options today have a greater impact than the top-of-line models from years ago. There are endless variations of models to choose from to fit exactly your condition, your preferences, your lifestyle, and your budget. So now more than ever, there is no excuse to not take action and responsibly address any condition you may suspect you have as soon as possible. 

HOW HEARING AIDS WORK

Hearing aids amplify sound to help people with impaired hearing. Hearing aids do not correct sound. The vast majority of hearing aids use the same basic components: the microphone, the processor, the receiver, and the battery. The microphone receives the sound from the environment. The processor translates these sounds into signals that the receiver delivers into your ear for your brain to decode into sound. The battery charges the whole thing. 

Hearing aid models differ according to their designs, their technology, and their special features. Depending on your lifestyle and needs, different hearing aids will be right for you. Most models are extremely tiny and discreet, hardly noticeable. Usually, they are centimeters long and fit behind your ear. Most contemporary hearing aids are digital, as opposed to analog. And most of the advancements in hearing aids over the previous years center around the receiver, the component responsible for converting the sound. 

What Makes Digital Different?

Analog hearing aids amplify all the sound they pick without distinguishing between what is likely the focus and what is the background noise. Many of them are programmable for different settings but are not much more versatile than this. 

Digital hearing aids, on the other hand, convert the sound waves they pick up into digital signals which analyze and distinguish between speech and background noise, increasing the clarity. This improved nuance allows people to program their hearing aids to more specifically improve their unique needs. No two people have the exact same pattern of hearing loss, so this greater individualized clarity makes a tremendous difference. 

Digital Hearing aids do everything the analog ones do and do a better job at it. They also offer all kinds of features beyond that which each person can mix and match to suit their individual preferences and needs. 

For example, directional microphones help with the psychoacoustics of recognizing sound sources spatially. Microphones point forward and boost that level while diminishing the sounds that come from behind. This is of course a great advantage in busy environments, such as busy restaurants or schools. T-coils, Bluetooth compatibility, and direct audio input work similarly to each other. T-coils connect your hearing aids directly to induction loops used in many churches, museums, or lecture halls. Bluetooth and direct audio input allow you to connect directly to devices such as your smartphone or television. 

No Reason to Wait!

These and many other features allow your choice of hearing aid to best address your unique pattern of hearing loss. You know better than anyone else what features would make a meaningful improvement in your life and which you would use less often. Make an appointment today with one of our specialists. They know the right questions to ask to help you determine what exactly is right for your condition, your circumstances, and your budget. Don’t waste one more day awkwardly missing the punchline of a friend’s joke, or losing the plot twist on your favorite show, or even missing your grandchild’s silly burp. There is no reason to wait. Make that appointment today.