How Do Hearing Aids Work?

Hearing is an aspect of everyday life that many people take for granted, but the process of how our brains recognize sound is actually quite complex. For those with any level of hearing loss, it begs the question of how hearing aids actually improve hearing. How do these devices actually work with our natural way of hearing sounds and processing them?  

Understanding Hearing

Understanding how hearing aids work requires a basic knowledge of how your hearing works. First, your outer ear is uniquely designed and shaped to capture sounds coming from all directions, and channel them into your ear canal.

As sounds travel down your ear canal, they hit your eardrum and make it vibrate. These vibrations are detected by three tiny bones — the anvil, hammer and stapes (stirrup) — in your skull. These bones then pass the vibrations to the snail-shaped, fluid-filled cochlea which is lined with tiny, sensitive hairs called cilia.

The vibrations from those sounds make the cochlear fluid move around which agitates the cilia, prompting them to send signals to the brain. These electrical signals are what your brain processes as different sound frequencies.

How Hearing Aids Improve Hearing

Today’s hearing aids are technologically sophisticated instruments that provide a finely-tuned electrical solution to a problem that increasingly affects people as they age. In its simplest form, hearing aids can be classified as amplifiers of sound.

The basic components of a hearing aid are the microphone, amplifier, loudspeaker and battery. There are all housed in a discreet package that is designed to be worn either behind the ear or inside it.

Types of Hearing Aids

A behind the ear (BTE) hearing aid is actually two separate pieces with one resting behind the ear and one being inserted into the ear. Behind the ear, in plastic casing, is the loudspeaker, microphone and amplifier. An ear mold is linked to this housing and worn inside the ear. The sounds that are picked up from the components in the housing outside the ear are funneled into the ear via a tube.

A completely in the canal (CIC) hearing aid contains all the same parts as mentioned above but they are contained in a small plug that is inserted inside the ear canal itself. In the canal (ITC) hearing aids rest partially in the outer ear as well as in the canal. An in the ear (ITE) hearing aid is worn in the canal and the outer ear. However, this type does not rest behind the ear like a BTE hearing aid.

How U.S. Hearing Solutions Helps

Still have questions about how hearing and hearing aids can help improve your life? At U.S. Hearing Solutions, we provide the highest quality hearing aids on the market, which are always backed with our lifetime service warranty. Audibel hearing aids have provides a range of top-quality hearing aids that are made in America. Contact us today to find the nearest location so you can speak with a hearing specialist about the right hearing aid for you and your lifestyle.