Hearing Aid Features

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  • During your hearing aid consultation, Dr. Li-Korotky will help you determine the most beneficial features for your hearing loss, lifestyle, and budget goals.
  • A discussion on how lifestyle and budget dictate technology needs can be found here.
  • Some of the primary features associated with digital technology are listed below.

Click on a Feature below to learn more:

Directional Microphones

Improve speech understanding in noisy situations. Among other things, this will help you understand conversation in a noisy restaurant. Directional  microphones contain dual microphones and have the  ability to focus one microphone towards the sound source while the other works to decrease background noise. Directional hearing aids improve speech understanding, especially when they are couples with with digital signal processing (noise reduction algorithms).

Noise Reduction

Subdues background noise so you can better understand conversation. Digital signal processing algorithms analyze and classify signals as speech, music, noise, or other sounds.  Once classified, these algorithms digitally reduce the level of  unwanted background noise. No hearing aid can completely eliminate background noise, but the noise reduction algorithms in hearing aids can make speech more assessable,  especially if they are coupled with directional microphones.

Feedback Management

Hearing aids will not make squealing sounds in public. Whistling (feedback) from a hearing aid occurs when some portion of  the amplified sound escapes from the ear canal and gets re-amplified  when it reaches the microphone. Digital hearing aids can reducing or eliminating whistling by determining and sending a signal opposite the feedback frequencies, thereby canceling each signal. Today’s advanced feedback management software cancels or eliminates feedback before it occurs without sacrificing performance.

Channels and Bands

Channels affect how a hearing aid operates, while bands affect how a hearing aid is adjusted. The number of channels and bands is most relevant when you consider your lifestyle and hearing needs. In general,  you will benefit from a greater number of channels and bands if you spend more time in noisy environments. If your lifestyle keeps you in quiet environments you may not need as many channels and bands. A discussion on how lifestyle dictates technology needs  can be found here.

  • Channels divide the frequency spectrum into separate sections which are independently processing by the hearing aid. For example, if  a hearing aid has eight channels, it will divide up the sound into  eight separate sections and each section can be processed separately  from the  other seven. This allows a hearing aid to automatically adjust to different sound environments. Depending on your hearing loss profile, Dr. Li-Korotky may change the channel configuration to better manage the input of loud sounds.
  • Bands are used to adjust the amplification profile of a hearing aid, and for fine-tuning the hearing aid to better fit a user’s particular hearing loss and  preferences. Hearing aids can have a band for each channel or multiple  bands per channel. Dr. Li-Korotky may adjust these bands to better fit your hearing profile and preferences.

Wind Noise reduction

Very important if you frequently need to communicate outdoors. Wind-noise reduction algorithms cancel out noise caused by wind  blowing across hearing-aid microphones.

Data Logging and Learning

Top-level hearing aids can track, learn, and automatically adjust to a preferred comfort level in different listening environments.

Bluetooth Technology

One of the most significant advances in hearing aid technology. Blue-tooth essentially turns hearing aids into wireless headsets for many electronic devices, including cell phones, TV, MP3 players, iPods, computers, GPS devices, FM systems, and more.

Open Fit Technology

The earpiece of an open fit hearing aid is a small, soft rubber or silicone cap, which is much more comfortable than the tightly fitting earpieces of more traditional designs.

  • Open fit keeps the ear canal unobstructed and eliminates the occlusion effect, which can feel like you are “talking in a barrel”.
  • Open-ear hearing instruments sit behind the ear like traditional BTEs but are extremely small and nearly invisible to an observer. They have a barely visible, clear, thin tube that extends from behind the ear into the ear canal for transmitting sound.

 

 

The Bottom Line:

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Click below for the previous or next topic:

Digital technology IconDigital Technology

We’ve come a long…long way since the “early days” of hearing aid technology. These aren’t the aids used by our grandparents..not by a long shot! Learn more, here

 

Desicions and Consequences 2Decisions and Consequences

Hearing aid benefits come with a price and technology features aren’t cheap…but there can be serious consequences for neglecting hearing loss. Learn more, here

 

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