Hearing aids are like superheroes in the world of hearing, bringing hope and power to those with hearing loss. They allow them to rediscover laughter, music, and the love of family and friends. So, how does this guardian of sound achieve the effect of hearing assistance? Today, let's explore it together!
The Core Components of Hearing Aids
Firstly, let's take a look at the 'Four Essentials' of hearing aids, which form the basic components of all digital signal hearing aids.
The microphone picks up sounds from the surrounding environment and converts them into electrical signals.
The amplifier filters and processes the electrical signals from the microphone, amplifying the meaningful sounds for the user.
Also known as a speaker, the receiver converts the electrical signals into acoustic signals that the user can hear.
The battery is the power source for the hearing aid, with a typical lifespan of 5 to 14 days. In recent years, with continuous breakthroughs in battery and charging technology, more rechargeable hearing aids have emerged.
Other Components of Hearing Aids
Due to differences in size and model, some hearing aids come with additional functional hardware. These are determined based on the user's lifestyle, needs, hearing loss, etc., after consultation with hearing experts. Here are some examples:
Ear hooks are common in behind-the-ear hearing aids, often in a crescent shape. They connect to the ear mold or earplug, serving the purpose of sound transmission and fixation.
Ear Mold (Earplug)
The ear mold is an acoustical plug crafted based on the user's ear canal and outer ear shape. It channels the output sound from the hearing aid's receiver to the ear canal. As each person's ear canal and auricle structure are unique, the ear mold needs to be customized.
Vent holes are usually present in custom hearing aids or ear molds. With this small hole, air can freely flow in and out of the ear, helping to prevent infections, avoid a plugged feeling, and reduce feedback.
The wax guard is a tiny filter at the sound outlet of the hearing aid. It helps prevent dust, earwax, and other debris from entering the interior of the hearing aid, avoiding damage to electronic components. It needs regular replacement.
Users can adjust the volume of the hearing aid through volume control buttons, although not all models have this feature. Nowadays, many hearing aids offer volume control through a smartphone app or wireless accessories.
Program Memory Control
Users can manually press this button to switch between pre-set program memories. Not all hearing aid models have this feature. Nowadays, many hearing aids allow program memory switching through a smartphone app or wireless accessories.
The telecoil is used to receive magnetic signals. In environments with alternating magnetic fields, such as sports stadiums or theaters equipped with induction loop systems, the telecoil transmits the sound to the hearing aid."