Plug Back into the World with Modern Hearing Aids

It’s technically true that hearing aids are designed to amplify sound. Modern hearing aids, however, use computer technology and digital processing to provide a wide array of improved sound-amplifying features that simply weren’t possible in the past. Also, many are small enough to virtually disappear when worn.

With so many choices available, choosing the best fit for your hearing loss can get rather confusing.

Voted the best hearing center in the Northwest for five years in a row, Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat has a stellar reputation for the patient-focused approach to medicine provided by our specialists. Our award-winning audiology team can help you select the right hearing aid for your circumstance and hearing needs.

Hearing basics

Hearing is a complex process that starts when sound travels down the outer ear canal and strikes your eardrum, making it vibrate. The middle ear, which is the space behind the eardrum, has three small bones (ossicles) that amplify these vibrations and send them to your inner ear.

This creates movement in the fluid filling your inner ear (cochlea) and causes tiny hairs attached to nerve cells within the cochlea to flutter. Their motion creates electrical signals that journey up the auditory nerve to the brain.

The brain interprets and transforms these electrical signals into the sounds you hear.

The fundamentals of hearing aids  

The basic goal of a hearing aid is to make sounds in your environment louder so that you can hear them better. In the 17th century, individuals with hearing loss used bulky handheld devices known as ear trumpets to amplify sound.

Thanks to modern technology, today’s hearing aids have tiny microphones that collect and send soundwaves entering the ear canal to a computer chip within the device which contains an amplifier.

After the computer chip converts the “noise” to digital code (that it analyzes and adjusts according to your type of hearing loss and the volume of sound in your environment), it changes the code back into soundwaves. The chip then transmits these amplified signals to your middle and inner ear via internal speakers.

Modern hearing aid styles and features

Modern hearing aids come in a wide variety of styles and types that include different features. 

For instance, some types fit completely inside your ear and are essentially undetectable to the casual observer. These tiny devices, however, may not include certain sound-enhancing capabilities and are typically recommended for individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.

Other types include models that rest behind the ear and connect via a thin wire to an earmold inside the ear canal. Newer, streamlined versions of this type are also barely visible. These hearing aids work for mild-to-severe hearing loss.  

Features available on certain types of hearing aids include:

Hearing aids can significantly enhance your ability to hear even soft sounds in your environment. Which is most effective depends on the type and level of your hearing loss.

To find out more about our hearing aid services, schedule a visit at Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists today. Call 231-487-3277 to book your appointment at any of our three offices in Petoskey, Gaylord, and St. Ignace, Michigan.

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