The Evolution of Hearing Aids
Technological and scientific development over the last few decades has been staggering. In fact, some of the technology today borders on science fiction. We can print a dolphin a new tail using 3D printing, wear watches that don’t need batteries, charge cellphone devices wirelessly, play games in virtual reality, and even drive cars that run on “autopilot!” Luckily these types of revolutionary changes also occur in the medical field and have been applied to hearing aids.
Let’s have a quick look at the history of hearing aids. In the 1700s they resembled trumpets and were made from animal bones, glass, and later copper and brass. In the 1800s modesty resulted in efforts to conceal the hearing aids by hiding them in hats and collars. Up to this point they were purely a form of acoustic amplification.
The discovery of electricity in the 1900s and the invention of the telephone were the next catalysts for improvement. Some people noticed they could hear speakers easier on the apparatus than in person, which led to a carbon transmitter that amplified the signal by 15 (db). This was followed by the invention of vacuum tube technology, which could control the flow of electricity better. The mid 20th century saw the advent of transistor technology, which makes it possible to stop and start the flow of electrical current as well as volume, enabling the use of multiple settings on a hearing device.
Finally, in the late 20th century we moved to digital technology. Digital hearing aids have a microphone that acquires noise signals, which are digitized in real time, manipulated according to preset instructions and pushed through the hearing aid receiver in analog form. You can ask your audiologist in Simi Valley about the latest hearing aids.
Today hearing aids can vary greatly from invisible aids in the ear canal, to small devices situated behind the ear with a tiny clear electrical wire linked to a speaker inside the ear. Hearing aids now rely exclusively on digital technology, and with the impressive capability of microprocessors, hearing aids are getting smaller and providing better performance. Get information on options for digital hearing aids in Simi Valley and find out how the transformation of hearing aids can improve your life.