Technological Advances in Digital Sound Processing Hearing Aids

DSP hearing aids were first introduced in 1996 and forever changed the lives of people suffering with hearing loss.  DSP stands for Digital Sound Processing, and the devices differ greatly from older hearing aid models, which worked on the basis of analog amplification.

The basic difference between the two is that analog amplification works for people who have suffered a “flat hearing loss”, or an overall deterioration in their hearing as a whol; this means that hearing loss has reduced all sound on an equal measure.  These older devices effectively “turned up the volume”, making everything louder and therefore improving the likelihood that the wearer would be able to hear everything better.

Unfortunately, most people who are having problems with their hearing do not suffer from a “flat hearing loss”.  Instead, they have issues hearing certain sounds, whereas other sounds either stay the same volume or start to take over altogether.

The technology associated with DSP hearing aids allows hearing technicians to be able to actively target problem sounds, while ensuring others are not affected.  This means that hearing aids are being customized to suit the issues of the individual wearer.  As the hearing loss develops over time, the requirements of the hearing aid can be altered accordingly.

DSP hearing aids open up an entirely new world of noise to their wearers, most of it welcome but some of it not.  New users can experience what is known as sensory overload, which makes it difficult for them to filter out unwanted noises and listen to the ones that they want to hear.    Depending on how many years they have suffered, this huge shift from their more quiet world may be, at first, unwelcome.

Over time, new wearers will learn to filter out background noise and filter in conversation.  The ability to hear the rattle of dishes in a cafe or an announcer at a train station may be all well and good, but the opportunity to have a proper conversation with loved ones will be the most important benefit they will receive from a hearing aid.

If your loved one has a regular Caregiver as part his or her home care in Bethlehem, then ask that the Caregiver look out for any problems with hearing loss so you can plan to have a DPS hearing aid fitted to your loved one’s needs.


Posted In: In-Home care