Digital Hearing Aids
Digital and AnalogueDigital and Analogue refer to how the hearing aid amplifies and processes sound. Analogue Technology has been surpassed by digital technology. In Very Simple Terms what digital means is that sound is processed by a computer in the heariing aid. How sophisticated the computer is determines how effectively it processes sound and separates out speech from noise. The appearance of the hearing aid may look the same irrespective of the level of technology. In general the more sophisticated the computer, the better the result.
Hearing Aids Comprise:
- A microphone that picks up sound
- An amplifier that processes and makes the sound louder
- a receiver or loudspeaker, that delivers the amplified sound to the ear. All hearing aids use batteries to power the electronic parts. Sound enters through a microphone. It is then processed, amplified and delivered to a receiver. The output from the receiver is sent either directly to your ear canal if you are wearing in-the-ear hearing aids, or receiver-in-the-ear aids, or via tubing if you are wearing behind-the-ear hearing aids.
How Digital Aids WorkWith digital sound processing, the sound is registered mathematically. Sound is encoded as a series of numbers that measures its pitch and volume at a given instant in time. Processing the sound bit by bit is a much more precise method than previously used. The signal can be manipulated according to your hearing levels and listening needs. Digital sound has minimal distortion and, very importantly, has maximum flexibility, e.g. individual frequencies can be shaped to your hearing loss. Digital signal processing allows manufacturers to create hearing aids with enhanced processing and features thus helping a greater number of people who have a hearing loss than previously.
Are all Digital Hearing Aids The Same?All digital hearing aids are not the same- They vary from basic to very sophisticated.
Different laboratories or manufacturers can produce better hearing aids for particular types of hearing loss. You cannot tell by looking at the outside, or indeed the inside of a hearing aid, how basic or sophisticated it is. As an independent hearing aid audiology practice, not affiliated to any one laboratory, we fit the most up-to-date technology from all of the major hearing aid laboratories across the world. We do not rebrand hearing aids so that the identity is obscured by giving them another name, thus making comparisons difficult. You are aware at all times of the level of technology that you are being fitted with.
However, even the latest technology relies on professional skill and service if the wearer is to have the greatest benefit and this includes a detailed assessment, programming, fitting, adjusting, subsequent rehabilitation and ongoing maintenance of the hearing aids within their warranty period. Hearing aid fitting is never recommended unless indicated, and we clearly explain what benefit can realistically be expected, given the patient's level of hearing loss.