There have been many changes from the first sound amplification devices to the hearing aids available today. The future also brings aids for hearing impairment to a new level. Below you'll learn about the first hearing devices, new improvements in hearing aids today and what researchers are working on for the future.
Hearing Aid History
An ear trumpet was the name of the first type of hearing amplification device. Users who had trouble hearing would place this cone shaped device to their ear to magnify sound waves. After Alexander Graham Bell unveiled the telephone in the late 1800s, many people realized that the telephone receiver enabled them to hear sounds more clearly.
In the 1920s, hearing aid clarity was getting better; however, these improvements did have a downfall. Although these devices allowed users to hear better, they were about the size of a small refrigerator and weighed over 200 pounds.
In 1938, hearing impaired individuals could finally wear a hearing aid in their ear. Hearing aid users were now mobile because they attached an amplification device to their clothing. A wire ran from this device up to the earpiece. To power this type of hearing aid, the user attached a battery pack to the top of the leg.
Hearing glasses were all the rage in the 1950s because the electronic components of the hearing devices were placed inside of eyeglasses and the aid was worn right beside the ear. Through the next several decades, behind the ear hearing aids became smaller and more advanced. By the 1990s, users were able to program the new digital hearing aids.
Hearing Aids Today
Today, hearing devices are smaller, more effective and smarter. By using an application on your smart phone, you can adjust the settings on your hearing aid by remote control. Other things that you can do to improve your hearing experience include:
- Regulate the volume and fine-tune your hearing device to perform its best in various settings.
- Find a misplaced hearing aid because it's equipped with a wireless connection.
- Hear the voice of a telephone caller in both ears due to a built in microphone.
- Take a shower or swim with your hearing aid inside of your ear.
- Wear a transmitter in the ear that has hearing loss and hear the sound in your good ear.
- Filter out background noise and wind with special microphones that pick up directional sounds.
Instead of a one size, fits all device, hearing aids made today are computer customized to function with each person's degree of hearing loss.
The Future Of Hearing Aids
The advancements in hearing aid technology continue to improve as researchers go forward with their studies. In the future, the use of lasers and mimicking the natural hearing capabilities of a fly will allow hearing impaired individuals to hear more clearly.
A yellow species of fly finds crickets just by listening for their chirping sounds. Due to the advanced hearing capacity of these flies, they can figure out the exact location of a cricket. By imitating the natural instinct of this fly, researchers are working on a highly sensitive microphone that allows users to choose only the sounds they want to hear.
Another future hearing device attaches to the eardrum and it receives a laser signal from an external component of the hearing aid. The device creates a vibration from the laser inside the ear while greatly improving the frequency range.
If you're wearing an older model hearing aid, consider purchasing one of the newer types that's available at stores and clinics like The Hearing Clinic today. When you purchase hearing aids, a professional can help you choose a type that works the best for you.