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How do hearing aids work?

On a basic level, today’s hearing aids receive sound through a microphone and transmit it into the ear through a speaker.

When something is digital, it means that incoming signals (whether sounds or images) are converted into numbers that are then processed using complicated mathematical equations called algorithms. Instead of computer chips dealing with bulkier modes of information, digital signals can be broken down into minute parts that are manipulated much easier. For hearing aids, this means that when the chip in a device receives digital information, it uses complex algorithms to manipulate the sound. As a result, it’s possible for a hearing device to keep the sounds that are important and eliminate the sounds that are not. This technology is so complex that it can actually reduce background noise in the tiny pauses between syllables of speech. It also means that the hearing aid has multiple settings that can be changed. If someone’s hearing loss worsens, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to get a new hearing device; the existing one can be reprogrammed for the current hearing loss. Devices can also be programmed to adjust to a user’s different common environments.

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