Technological Advances in Digital Sound Processing Hearing Aids


It’s been twenty years since the invention of digital sound processing hearing aids (DSPs), and the technology surrounding the science of hearing is continuing to improve.

Before DSPs were invented, hearing aids simply served as volume controls, amplifying all sounds for the wearer.  Unfortunately, most people who have hearing problems don’t suffer from a ‘flat hearing loss’. If they did, then the old fashioned analog amplification, which turns up any and all sounds, would benefit them.

Most people, however, have hearing loss that allows them to hear some sounds better than others.  A simple increase in all volume would make every sound louder.  This doesn’t mean that sounds they couldn’t hear would be made clearer; on the contrary, it would make those sounds even more distorted.

The technology involved in DSPs has allowed hearing specialists to customize hearing aids, meaning they are perfectly matched to help a person’s specific hearing loss.  If a certain sound needs to be amplified, it is; if a sound can already be heard perfectly well, it is unaffected.

A DSP hearing aid can be tailored for a person’s specific needs and can even be altered throughout the years as the wearer’s needs change.

When people get their first DSP hearing aid, they’ll experience sounds that they had probably forgotten about years ago.  Some will go from a virtually silent world into one where their senses are almost overloaded.

It will take time, but users will again learn how to ignore certain sounds and start to focus on the more important ones, such as speech.  This new technology uses digital noise reduction to overcome unwanted noises.

These new developments have helped hearing loss sufferers to be able to hear better in noisy situations, such as sitting in a restaurant.  With older hearing aid models, background conversation noise, the rattling of dishes, the scraping of knives and forks might have made users avoid noisy situations altogether.  Thanks to DSPs, people with hearing loss can enjoy these environments again.

Hearing problems are treatable, and those treatments are now more effective than ever.  Look out for signs of hearing loss in your elderly loved one and encourage Caregivers, if he or she hasin-home care in Tacoma, to look out for them, too.  The sooner these problems are spotted, the sooner they can be solved.

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