The advancement of technology has been a blessing for many of us. It not only helped us in achieving the best abilities but also to overcome our shortcomings. A hearing aid can be one of the beaming examples. It helped many to overcome their hearing difficulties and let them achieve their full potential. In this article, we are going to briefly discuss digital hearing aids and the promise it possesses.
In the early 1980s, a research group at Central Institution for the Deaf engineered the first wearable digital hearing aid. Within this time, the computing devices started getting smaller. And this helped this technology largely. In a digital hearing aid, the sound waves are converted to a digital signal. Then it’s broadcasted to the ear as a mechanical signal. It helped a lot in terms of canceling unwanted noises, and self-calibration. Until then, the hearing aids were significantly large and mostly came with a bodywear receiver. With digitalization, the size got significantly shorter, and now it can be installed simply on one’s ear even completely in the ear canal.
Difference Between Digital and Analog Hearing Aids
There is much difference between analog and digital hearing aids. Some of them are,
- An analog hearing aid amplifies all the sounds. Where a digital hearing aid processes the sound first and transmits it according to the setting of the user.
- A user with varying degrees of hearing loss struggles with a varying degree of frequencies. An analog hearing aid cannot give any solution to such a problem. But a digital hearing aid can process the sound by converting it to a digital signal and process it to the degree of the hearing difficulty for the user.
- The analog hearing aids are larger in size and the user often has to carry a receiver with him. While a digital hearing aid is smaller in size and can work well in complicated situations.
Moreover, there are several advantages of using the digital hearing aid. Like,
- A digital hearing aid can recognize speech. It helps the user greatly
- It can significantly reduce noise. It ensures the comfort of the user in a noisy and crowded area.
- It can provide frequency-specific amplification according to the user’s hearing characteristics.
- A digital earpiece reduces acoustic feedback, therefore the whistling sounds get significantly reduced
- It can adapt according to the environment. Therefore the user doesn’t have to constantly adjust its volume.
- It can connect to other digital devices and help the user greatly.
- These devices are rechargeable.
Promises of a Digital Hearing Aid
With the invention of digital hearing aids that are rechargeable, there came significant blessings. The user experience has been improved quite dramatically. There is still room for further development. But it has been quite a progress, to be honest. Here are some significant promises listed below.
Self Calibration: A digital hearing can calibrate itself according to the user’s difficulties. It helped many to adjust to their device quickly and effectively.
Self Adjustment: With rapid digitalization, a hearing aid can automatically adjust itself to the environment around the user. Shortly, one may not need to visit an audiologist or a doctor frequently.
Wide Bandwidth: With wider bandwidth, the sound becomes clearer and helps the user get a richer tone
Digital Programmability: This function helps the user determine how the sound should be heard through the hearing aid.
Internal Storage of Digital Programs: With a data storage unit, the user can easily find the best fitting control for his hearing aid for a certain situation. That helps him blend in with the crowd effectively.
Output limiting: This feature effectively helps the user to cancel away the noise. This can significantly improve the hearing experience for the user.
Losing one’s ability to hear can be pretty frightening. It impacts hugely on one’s social life and alienates him from having a good time. But hearing aids have gifted hearing-impaired folks a great opportunity and a second chance at life. And digital hearing aids made the experience better. There are researchers working day and night to betterment these devices. We can hope that in the near future, hearing difficulties won’t cause any problem for its user. And they’ll be able to hear just like they could with their biological ear.