Senior couple walking and discussing how hearing aids work

How Do Hearing Aids Work? | Lexie Hearing

July 15, 2020

Hearing aids are powerful technological tools designed to make life and social interactions easier for you. But, to get the most out of your hearing experience, it helps to know how hearing aids work. 

If you are reading this, you’ve probably become the proud new owner of a hearing aid. In this day and age when technology evolves and improves at such a fast pace, hearing aids are designed with many different styles and features. This article will help you to better understand what a hearing aid is, how it works, and we share some quick helpful tips. 

Who manufactures hearing aids?

Several hearing companies are responsible for the development and distribution of hearing aids. Commonly known manufacturers include Oticon, Starkey, Phonak, Widex, and Signia. 

Hearing loss is a complicated issue, especially the spectrum of people it affects. That is why these companies dedicate their efforts to producing quality hearing aids. The hearing aids meet the needs of a wide range of people with hearing loss

What is a hearing aid?

It’s all in the name, hearing aid – your “ear assistant.” A hearing aid is a small electronic device designed and programmed to assist with different degrees of hearing loss. It has a microphone that picks up sound, an amplifier that modifies the sound, and a speaker that sends the signal to the ear. The hearing aid battery plays a vital role as it helps power-up the whole process. (Read “Five Tips to Take Care of Your Lexie Hearing Aids” to find out more about batteries). The general parts of a complete hearing aid include:

  • Slim tube or earmold (right/left) – this part is attached to the hearing aid and fits into the ear.  The sound travels through the tube into the ear.
  • Battery door – which opens and closes to allow for battery charging, or in most modern hearing aids, allows for the hearing aid to be switched on and off. 
  • Volume control – helps you control the level of loudness.  This can be an optional button.  
  • Program button – to help switch from one listening program to the next. This can be an optional button.

What are the different hearing aid types?

There is a wide range of hearing aid types, from practically invisible to filling the entire part of the outside of your ear. There are three main hearing aid types:

  1. Behind-The-Ear (BTE): Suitable for people of all ages and all degrees of hearing loss. This kind of hearing aid fits comfortably behind the ear. They are attached to a custom earpiece molded according to your unique ear shape and size. They can also use a slim tube and a dome that comes in a variety of lengths and sizes.
  2. In-The-Ear (ITE):  These are custom-made to fit completely in the outer ear. They are more suitable for certain degrees of hearing loss.
  3. In-The-Canal:  These hearing aids fit the size and shape of your ear canal. These hearing aids are dependent on the degree of hearing loss of the user. 

What is the technology behind hearing aids?

The latest hearing aids make use of wireless technology and telecoils, which pick up magnetic signals and process them as sound into your hearing aid. If you have a hearing aid in each ear, wireless technology helps them communicate with one another, so that they work as one hearing system. 

How do hearing aids help you?

Hearing aids help people with hearing loss improve their hearing and communication ability. Remember, it’s all in the name – hearing aid – your “ear assistant.” Your “ear assistant” makes certain sounds louder. This helps you understand conversations and communicate with other people. 

Manufacturers have developed more sophisticated devices that meet the demands of modern life. Some hearing aids can connect to your phone via Bluetooth. Some can also connect to devices around your home, like TVs and your mobile phone. Some include programs for various listening environments, like restaurants, stadiums, and transportation. 

Quick facts

Remember that hearing aids will only amplify sound and NOT restore your hearing to “normal”. You may still experience communication difficulties, particularly in increasingly noisy situations.

  • Hearing aids have an adjustment period; it takes time to get used to new hearing aids. 
  • Hearing aids improve the quality of life and connect you to the world you live in.
  • Hearing aids SHOULD NOT BE SHARED. They are custom-made and programmed to suit the hearing needs of the wearer.
  • Your hearing healthcare professional, or Lexie hearing expert, will help you choose the right hearing aid.

How do Lexie Lumen hearing aids work

Lexie Lumen hearing aids are true hearing aids autofitted to your hearing needs. Once you get your Lexies, you’ll connect them to the Lexie app via Bluetooth and take a hearing check. Your Lexies are tuned according to the results of this check. A team of Lexie hearing experts is available via voice or video call to assist you should your hearing aids require further fine-tuning. Lexie hearing aids offer an impressive range of features, like:

  • Directional hearing
  • Noise reduction
  • Telecoil functionality
  • Crisp phone calls
  • Crystal clear sound
  • Advanced battery power
  • Sweatproof technology.

You can read more about Lexie hearing aids, here

Image of post writer Katlego Mogapi.

Written by Katlego Mogapi

B. Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

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