What are hearing aids for?
For many people across the world today experiencing hearing loss, hearing aids are often the best option to assist in their condition and to help restore balance to life.
Yes, hearing aids help people with hearing loss, but how exactly does this process occur? Are hearing aids suitable for all people with hearing loss? We will take an informative look at some of these frequently asked questions in this post.
What are hearing aids?
In a simple language, it can be said that a hearing aid is a prosthesis that amplifies the volume of sounds. Its main purpose is to transform the noise created by the source of sound into a signal that can be perceived by a hearing-impaired person with a sufficiently high degree of auditory sensation.
Hearing aids have different shapes and sizes, but all types attach to the ear, either in the external visible area of the ear or inside the ear canal itself. Common hearing aid device types include:
- Retro-auricular: it is fitted in the external superior part of the ear, and are the most used;
- Intracanal: it is fitted inside the ear canal and needs to be built from an ear mold;
- Deep intracanal: it is the smallest and newest style, being almost imperceptible, and also fitted inside the ear canal.
When did hearing aid come to be?
It can be said that hearing aids appeared in the 19th century, with the Industrial Revolution. The first models functioned as horns that people needed to hold to their ears. Then there were devices that were attached to the ear, leaving the user free to move their hands. At that time, the volume was only increased by 10 or 15 decibels.
Between 1890 and 1910 electrical appliances appeared, the result of inventions related to the telephone. They had a carbon transmitter and a battery. A short-coming was that they were quite big. Over time, technology has evolved and hearing equipment has become more modern, efficient, effective, and reduced in size.
How do hearing aids work?
Regardless of whether you choose a behind-the-ear or intracanal model, the devices for those with hearing loss are made up of a microphone, sound amplifier, and receiver. The sound waves captured by the microphone are transformed into electrical signals that go to the amplifier. This increases the signal strength and sends it to the ear through the receiver.
Together, these structures can amplify the sound up to 140 decibels, depending on the model. This more or less corresponds to the sound wave of a jet turbine. The best thing is that today the equipment is manufactured with digital technology, which transmits high-quality sound, with the least possible interference and distortion. In most models, there is also volume adjustment, enabling more customization.
Why consider using the hearing aid?
In addition to knowing how hearing aids work, it is worthwhile to better understand what the benefits of this technology are in the patient’s daily life.
The following are the main reasons why people who suffer from hearing loss ultimately choose to use hearing aids:
- Quality of life: One of the most worrying problems of progressive hearing loss, especially in old age, is isolation. Given the frequent need to ask people to repeat what they said, many individuals with hearing loss prefer to stay at home. The most difficult thing is that, due to this problem, more serious ones can appear, like depression and anxiety.
All of this results in a considerable loss of quality of life, and the sense of well-being while living among friends and family is lost. The use of hearing aids, in this context, represents much more than rescuing the ability to listen. It is, in the end, a solution that provides more confidence and opportunities for group fun and necessary social engagement.
- Greater independence: The resumption of sound audibility is the key to independence in the life of those who suffer from hearing loss, and the use of hearing aids provides this luxury to many people.
Listening means enjoying a fundamental sense that allows you to interact with the world around you. This is favorable not only in moments of fun, but also in times that require attention to ensure safety in everyday life, such as, for example, noticing a car honking, or the ringing of an ambulance, etc.
Can anyone use the device?
In general, yes. Children from three months old can already use hearing aids and there are models for adults and the elderly. Hearing aids help people with hearing loss ranging from mild to severe. To precisely diagnose your hearing loss and find a solution for you, it is necessary to look for an ENT (otorhinolaryngologist) or an audiologist and get these hearing tests performed. After identifying the degree of hearing disability you have, it is possible to have hearing aids designed to suit your needs and enhance the quality of your life.
Hearing aids are important to restore the quality of life of the population with hearing loss. They are adapted to different types of people and are easy to use, in addition to having different sizes that do not disturb everyday activity.