How Do Hearing Aids Work?

You may be wondering how do hearing aids work. Generally speaking, hearing aids amplify sounds that someone couldn’t hear so they can hear them. A hearing aid has at least one microphone that detects sound in the environment. That sound is then processed digitally to “optimize” the sound for the wearer. This “optimized” sound is then amplified through the receiver to the wearer’s ear. 

Now let’s dive into this with more detail. If someone has hearing loss, it means that there are sounds that are soft in volume that they can’t detect like someone with normal hearing sensitivity would. So we need to amplify these sounds so the person with hearing loss can detect them. We do that with hearing aids. 

This is where things get interesting. How does the hearing aid know how much it needs to amplify certain sounds over others to help the wearer the most? Simple. We have to program the hearing aid according to the wearer’s audiogram. When we test someone’s hearing, we test for their “auditory thresholds.” This is a fancy way of saying the softest (volume-wise) sound they could hear. With this information, we can tell the hearing aid how to amplify sounds it senses in the environment to help the wearer hear their best.

Want to know more? Oticon hearing aids has a great website on how hearing aids work. Click here to head straight to their page on the topic.

Hearing exams by Dr. Erin Rushing in Houma, Louisiana.

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