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How Do Hearing Aids Work?

In the simplest of terms, hearing aids work by giving you audibility to a certain range of sounds that you may not hear due to hearing loss. How is this achieved? Well, let’s start with the basic components of the device. Take a look at the figure below before we jump into the intricacies of a working hearing aid device.

Hearing aids contain two microphones which are a front and rear microphone. Sound is first picked up by the microphone. This audio information is then sent to the amplifier via the speaker wire. Once the information has reached the amplifier, sound is thereby amplified and delivered to the patient’s ear canal. Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? Not quite. Programming has to be completed prior to you incorporating the hearing aid(s) into your daily life. So, what does an audiologist do?

The audiologist fits your hearing aid(s) to a prescription that is based on your degree of hearing loss. Why is this important? The goal of a hearing device is not to amplify everything. It is quite to contrary; your devices are amplified within a very confined range. In fact, your hearing aid(s) contains three prescriptions. The first prescriptions allow sound sounds (ie., whispering) to become audible to the hearing aid wearer within the prescribed range of hearing loss. The second prescription amplifies average speech in order to provide more clarity to the hearing aid wearing based on the prescribed range. The third prescription is in regard to loud sounds. I know what you’re thinking. If hearing aids amplify loud sounds, will it further my damage my hearing? Current research says ‘no’ as the device has a maximum output level which means if a loud sound (i.e., fireworks) is picked up by the device, the hearing aid will actually turn off.

Learning about hearing aids and how it will impact life can be difficult to grasp. That’s why we have experienced doctors of audiology to help you with your hearing needs. Contact Gardner Audiology today for a free hearing consultation with one of our experienced doctors. We will walk you through an often-complicated hearing aid world and help you determine if a hearing aid is right for you! You can contact us at 1 (800) 277-1182 or our website at gardneraudiology.com

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Ashley Brown, B.S., Gardner Audiology Doctoral Extern

Ashley Brown, B.S., Gardner Audiology Doctoral Extern

Ashley Brown, B.S., Gardner Audiology Doctoral Extern

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