If you are experiencing the symptoms of hearing loss, it’s important to visit a clinic so you can get a professional assessment done. This hearing test will give you more information about your level of hearing health and if necessary, whether or not you will need hearing aids.
What are hearing aids and how do they work?
Hearing aid technology has come a long way so that the devices of today are more comfortable and convenient than ever. Typically, they are most helpful in cases where the person has sensorineural hearing loss. This occurs when the small cells in the inner ear (called hair cells) have become damaged in some way, whether due to an injury, the natural ageing process or another factor.
A hearing aid device works by amplifying the sound vibrations that come into the ear. The microphone component of the device receives sound waves from the individual’s environment and an amplifier magnifies their vibrations, so the surviving hair cells in the ear can pick them up. During the last step of the process, the hair cells work to convert these sound waves into neural signals to send through to the brain.
Different types of hearing aids
There are many different types of hearing aids available today, but they generally fall into three categories:
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) devices which sit behind the ear, connected to a mould inside the ear
- In-the-ear devices (ITE) are designed to be worn entirely inside the ear, so they are less immediately visible than their BTE counterparts
- The last type is called a canal aid and fits inside the ear canal itself. These are smaller and are usually more effective in situations where hearing loss is mild to moderate
If you think you might need hearing aids or would like more information about the brands and products available, make sure to talk to a qualified clinician for their professional recommendations.