Hearing aids are small and complex electronic devices that help those with hearing loss communicate better. These devices aid in speech understanding, hearing and have even been shown to improve quality of life. Hearing devices come in a wide range of types and styles, but they all have the same basic components.
Four Key Components
There are four key components in any hearing aid:
Soundwaves from the environment are picked up by the microphone. These waves are then converted into electrical signals.
The electrical signals are then modified to increase their power and loudness. Filters and equalizers further adjust the signals to ensure only relevant sounds (such as speech) are amplified.
The updated electrical signals are sent to the receiver, also known as the speaker, to play the sounds for the user.
In order for the hearing aid to perform any of these complicated tasks, it must have power. Hearing aids use specialized batteries that can last anywhere from five to 14 days, depending on their size and the power requirements of your device. Newer devices have rechargeable batteries, which eliminates waste and streamlines the process.
Additional Hearing Aid Components
While the above four components appear in all hearing aids, the following are style-specific.
This plastic piece sits behind the ear and connects to the main part of the hearing aid through a wire or tube. This piece is found on behind-the-ear hearing aid models.
This piece is made from an impression of your ear. It sits within the ear canal and attaches to the hearing aid to keep the sounds within the ear. This piece is found in many hearing aid styles.
This hole in the earmold helps air flow in and out of the ear to prevent a plugged-up feeling and infection.
This guard protects the hearing aid from getting blocked up with earwax. The filter catches the earwax before it can damage the electronic components within the device.
These buttons on the side of the device allow the user to control the loudness of sounds. Many newer devices can be controlled via Bluetooth on a corresponding cellphone app.
These are just a few of the many parts of a traditional hearing aid. Understanding how the parts work together is especially helpful when you experience a problem. To learn more about hearing aids, contact the experts at Eastern Oklahoma ENT.