Technological Advances in Digital Sound Processing Hearing Aids


In the twenty years since 1996, digital sound processing (DSP) hearing aids have continued to advance the technology available to those people who suffer from hearing loss.

Before 1996, the technology available to help people with hearing conditions was very limited.  Electronic analog hearing aids had been around since the late 1800s, but they relied on a technology that had been used to treat hearing loss since the 1600s.

We’re all familiar with black and white films, where a person who is hard of hearing puts an ear trumpet to their ear to hear what is going on, usually for comedic effect.  However, this is actually a technology that was used.  The science behind it was that it amplified sound; in other words, it turned the volume up so the person would be more likely to hear.

This was the same technology used in electronic analog hearing aids.  They had a volume control which you could turn up or down.

The problem with these devices was that they amplified all sounds, and people who suffer from hearing problems generally don’t experience flat hearing loss.  Instead, they find that they have issues hearing certain sounds while others remain unaffected.

Imagine someone who has difficulty hearing conversation, but no difficulty hearing a truck driving past.  If they had an analog hearing aid and turned it up, it would increase the sound of the truck, further distorting the sound of the conversation.

DSP technology allows hearing professionals to program hearing aids to target the specific sounds people struggle with while leaving the sounds they have no problem with alone.  Each hearing aid is set up to benefit the individual wearer.

As the wearer’s needs change over time, the hearing aid can be reprogrammed.  This makes the device virtually future-proof.

Wearers of DSP hearing aids can now join in on conversations regardless of their location.  For example, if they are standing by a busy road, then the hearing aids can target the conversation and filter out the noise of traffic.

Speak to your family or, if you have in-home care in Greensboro, your Caregiver for more details about digital sound processing hearing aids.  You should take advantage of this technology as soon as possible!

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