Hearing Aids and Wireless Technology

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Digital hearing aids are continually being improved. They are becoming more powerful, lighter, interactive and automated for a better quality of life to the wearer. Digital hearing aids now deliver high sound quality, loud noise filtering, and soft noise pickup. Some hearing aid vendors are also offering wireless technologies to allow one hearing aid to "talk" to the other on the other side of the head.

Brain Compensation with Hearing Aids

The brain already compensates for sounds that arrive at one ear before they arrive at the other so a person who is listening never has to make allowances for the different arrival times of sounds. If a hearing aid wearer is wearing two hearing aids to compensate for loss in both ears, the brain will continue to do what it does: the hearing aids wearer never has to adjust for sounds arriving at different ears at different times, even though the differences may be measured in milliseconds.

Applications of Wireless technology in Hearing Aids

The first application of wireless technologies in hearing aids is that sometimes a person with hearing loss may be totally deaf in one ear, caused perhaps from firing firearms continuously or being around loud machinery, or as a result of an accident. Because they only have one "good" ear, they often can't tell if someone is talking to them on their bad side. Wireless technologies in hearing aids can help such persons. By wearing a special device around the neck and having a microphone and pickup in the bad ear that communicates sound to the good ear, the wireless hearing aid wearer can click on the neck device and allow the two hearing aids to "talk" to each other for a better listening experience, covering a 360º radius around themselves.

The second application of wireless technologies in hearing aids is to allow communications between a cell phone and one or two hearing aids being worn. By utilizing a standardized "Bluetooth" technology on a device hung around the neck, hearing aids can be tied in through the neck device to hear sounds from a cell phone or car phone. This application allows a "hands off" cell phone use while driving.

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This article was published on 2010/10/25