How Do Hearing Aids Work?

If you know or suspect that you have hearing loss, you may wonder about hearing aids. You may already know that hearing loss is not reversible, so it’s fair to wonder why hearing aids help at all. You might also already know that hearing aids make sounds louder. But isn’t it true that too much volume can increase hearing loss?

These are all fair questions, but the truth is, hearing aids do help many people with hearing loss. Understanding how hearing aids work is the first step in overcoming fear or suspicion about hearing aids and getting back to hearing more in your everyday life.

Understanding Hearing Loss

Before we dive into how hearing aids work, we need to review how hearing loss typically works. While there are multiple types of hearing loss, most people with hearing loss have suffered damage to the hair cells in the inner ear.

Healthy hair cells pick up vibrations of various sizes and transmit those signals to the brain, which interprets these audible sounds. But with hearing loss, there are fewer cells to do this work, so they can’t receive signals as well.

There are various causes for this kind of damage, including illness, injury and age. But whatever the cause, people dealing with this kind of hearing loss will benefit from using hearing aids. And the sooner you start, the more benefit you’ll hear.

How Hearing Aids Work

Hearing aids can vary widely in style, functionality and price. But at the core, they all have the same three parts: a microphone, an amplifier and a speaker. The microphone picks up the audio that’s near the ear and sends those signals to the amplifier. The amplifier then powers the speaker, which sends those same audio signals into the ear at a higher volume.

It’s also important to know that hearing aids don’t work exactly like traditional microphones (or healthy human ears). They don’t intend to pick up (or amplify) the entire sound spectrum evenly, but instead tend to focus on the frequencies most common in human speech. These are the frequencies most crucial to patients, after all.

Why Hearing Aids Help Improve Hearing Among Many with Hearing Loss

For people living with hearing loss related to damaged or dead hair cells, hearing aids can improve hearing and quality of life. Unless a person is suffering from profound hearing loss (deafness), some hair cells remain functional. These cells continue receiving audio as vibrations, but they tend to do better with larger (louder) vibrations.

By amplifying the sound coming into the ear, hearing aids turn natural sounds into larger vibrations, allowing users to hear more than they can in a natural environment. The more hearing loss a person is dealing with, the more amplification will be needed to produce a positive effect.

Take the Next Step with Almond Hearing

If you’re concerned about your hearing and aren’t sure what to do next, the team at Almond Hearing is here for you. We can analyse your hearing via a hearing test and determine whether hearing aids will help you. Contact us today to  book an appointment.