Every hearing aid works in the same fundamental way, and each one is made up of the same basic components. A hearing aid is constructed using just four essential key parts: a microphone, an amplifier, a receiver and a battery.
The hearing aid has been revolutionised by the digital options that are now available. They allow for more sophisticated and technologically advanced hearing instrument features to be installed. The flexibility of digital hearing aids is truly remarkable, and it is something that is being improved upon all the time.
All modern digital hearing aids come with a computer chip fitted inside them which allows for rigorous programming and processing. This chip also enables very precise and accurate control of both the amplification and the sound conversion process.
There are countless new features of digital hearing aids available on the market today, some of which you may not be entirely familiar with. Here is a brief description of just some of the ground-breaking features that are accessible:
- Adaptive Feedback Cancellation
This feature is installed in nearly all digital hearing aids. It is installed to prevent that high-pitched squealing noise that sometimes radiates from the aid.
- Automatic Gain Control
Automatic gain control is basically a feature that compresses loud sounds. This is to ensure that the sound that is heard through the hearing aid is not too loud and uncomfortable to deal with. With modern technology, this feature can be programmed in a personalised manner to not exceed the comfort level of loudness of a particular patient.
- Wide Dynamic Range Compression (WDRC)
WDRC is used to adjust the incoming sounds to suit a patients dynamic range. The signal is always compressed at the point of entry into the hearing aid and not when the outgoing sound signal is being sent. The purpose of WDRC is to make soft sounds more audible, to make moderate sounds seem a little louder, and to keep loud sounds sounding loud (but not loud enough to make it uncomfortable.) A patient will not have to worry about adjusting the volume all of the time if adequate WDRC programming is installed in the hearing aid.
- Digital Signal Processing
Digital signal processing is used in the majority of modern digital hearing aids. It allows a patient to wear a hearing aid that is very specific to their needs and personalised to their own specific requirements.
These are just some of the modern and useful features that can be installed in hearing aids today. There are many more, and along with the ones mentioned above, they all contribute in making hearing aids more user friendly and less of a nuisance for patients. The hearing aid has come on leaps and bounds in the past number of years, and it’s new features can be described as both significant and outstanding.