If you are or a loved one is in need of a hearing aid, here are 10 facts about them that might be able to help you understand them and their uses more.
1. Hearing aids vary in power, circuitry, and size. There are many models and sizes of hearing aids to help the hearing impaired. Today, a lot of digital hearing aids have been developed which generally offer more features and convenience for users.
2. An older type of hearing aid would be the body-worn hearing aid. This model was first designed by Harvey Fletcher who used to work at Bell Laboratories. However, with the advent of more advanced technology, this model of hearing aid is no longer frequently used. This type of hearing aid consists of a case that contains various components of application as well as an ear mold that is connected to the case with a cord. The said case is usually the size of one pack of playing card, worn on a belt or in a pocket. Since they are large in size, body-worn aids usually are capable of larger amounts of amplification.
3. There’s also Behind the ear aids or BTE which contains a small plastic case fitting behind the ear. It provides sound through air conduction via a short length of tubing. Delivery of sound is made possible by an custom made earmold, or a similar pliable fixture which contours to the ear of an individual.
4. Another type of hearing aids would be the in-the-ear aids, or ITE, which fits in the ear bowl. These hearing aids are at times visible when a user stands face to face with another person. ITE hearing aids are normally custom-made, allowing it to fit to the individual’s ear.
5. Yet another hearing aid would be the Receiver In the ear type or RITE. While this type is mistaken for a BTE aid, its speaker however is situated in the inner portions of the ear canal, while thin electrical wires take the place of the acoustic tube in a BTE aid.
6. Another type are the In the canal or ITC type; the mini canal or MIC; and the completely in the canal (CIC) type. The ITC type is smaller, fitting just the lower half of the ear. MIC and CIC aids on the other hand are not visible unless another person looks directly to the ear of the user.
7. "Open-fit", also known as "Over-the-Ear" or OTE hearing aids, meanwhile, are smaller types of behind-the-ear devices.
8. Bone Anchored Hearing Aids or BAHA, meanwhile, can be implanted through surgery. It makes use of the skull in allowing the sound to travel going to the inner part of the ear. Eyeglass aids became popular from the 1950s to the 1970s. It was built to support the temple pieces of spectacles.
9. Just recently, a new kind of eyeglass aid was put into the market. These hearing glasses have directional sensitivity, wherein four microphones located on each part of the frame efficiently work and serve as a couple of directional microphones. This allows discernment of sound from the sides, back, and front of the user.
10. Hearing glasses are able to significantly improve signal-to-noise ration through the amplification of the sound from the front, as well as the direction the user is facing, and the use of active noise control for noise from the back or the sides.
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