For first time users and people who are not well aware of the functions of the hearing aids, it may be a daunting task to absorb all the information about them and the accompanying terms that are an inevitable part of the understanding of hearing loss and hearing devices. Nevertheless, an appropriate place to start is to get acquainted with some basic technical terms that will help in comprehending the elaborate functions of your hearing aid and make you more confident about its usefulness and its irreplaceable role in providing a better quality of everyday life.
What are the common Hearing Aid Technical Terms?
Some of the terms that every hearing aid wearer should be aware of in order to get the most of their hearing device and make the right choice are feedback control, background noise reduction, directional microphones, memories and T-coil.
Feedback is an undesired high pitch sound that comes from the hearing aid as a result of a returning processed sound back to the microphone. When feedback occurs, the wearer is exposed to a whistling sound that is usually disturbing and unwanted. It appears due to internal issues with the hearing aid circuitry. To fix the problem, many manufacturers engage in improving the quality of the wiring and include feedback blockers to catch these sounds and eliminate or at the least subdue them.
Background noise reduction
Noise is of a particular problem for hearing aids wearers as it mixes up with other sounds and makes it difficult to recognize the important ones clearly. Thus, many hearing aids are equipped with a feature to filter through noise and amplify speech. While noise cannot be completely eliminated, it can be reduced to levels that will not make it bothersome.
Most of the modern hearing aids are equipped with directional microphones to pick the sound from different directions and subsequently deliver it clearly and comprehensibly to the listener. The main advantage of directional microphones is that they can be programmed to collect sounds from the front and thus neglect noises from the back and focus on conversational speech. In addition, they can be adjusted to put less emphasis on several sounds simultaneously or catch sounds while moving.
Other technical features include various memory modes for different situations such as noisy public places or quiet environments, and T-coil that allows the hearing device to connect to other audio equipment such as a phone or a stereo system and process the sounds coming from it.