Brain Hearing Restores Optimal, Natural Hearing

One of the latest breakthroughs in hearing aid technology is finally being integrated into hearing aids. Brain hearing, as it is known, promises to be able to offer people with hearing loss a better way to go about getting more natural, substantial hearing results. This is a vast improvement over the old, clunky hearing aids that have not worked to keep up with all of the changes in technology over the last ten years. We will examine the benefits of brain hearing and how you can get one of these devices prescribed.

Brain Hearing

Brain hearing is one of the best new approaches to hearing loss that has only been able to become a reality in the last few years. While any other hearing aids focus on amplifying all of the sound in the environment and then pumping it into the ear, brain hearing takes a vastly different approach. Brain hearing only uses some of the sounds that are occurring around the listener to create a level of sound waves that are specific to the user’s hearing needs. In essence, they focus on meeting the needs of the brain to create successful hearing using a very precise amplification system.

How Do They Work?

Brain hearing aids work by taking in sound from the environment around the user, and then discarding all of the sounds that are not needed by the inner ear. For people that suffer from hearing loss, there are levels of sounds that they can still pick up and those that they cannot. That is why brain hearing seeks to compensate for that lost hearing in order to allow the hearing impaired person to hear without amplification and exhaustion, leading to several advantages.

  1. Spatial Recognition: the problem with most hearing aids is that they leave the person unable to differentiate which ear the sound came in. This is not the case with brain hearing, and the person can locate the source of the original noise

  2. Sound Filtering: brain hearing aids only bring in the necessary sounds and filter out extra sound that would act as background interference in other models.

  3. Speech Recognition: since improved conversations are a goal of every hearing aid, speech recognition is focused on with brain hearing aids by emphasizing the importance of the sounds that are associated with speech.

  4. Sound Focusing: even in a room with many sounds occurring, you can pick them out using brain hearing.

Brain Hearing Aids: The Reviews

There are many opinions on the benefits and advantages of the brain hearing aid, but who better to tell us how they work than the patients who use them? So far, brain hearing aids have a 95% approval rate with the people what use them. When you look at digital models, this number drops all the way to 79%, showing just how much the improvements have affected the people who choose to use them.

Where Do You Get One?

You can get a brain hearing aid by going to a licensed and certified hearing specialist. Since these devices require so much customization on a person to person basis, they need to apply the science to the device through programming before they can let you wear it. This means you cannot just go to a store and buy one, but when you do get one, you will hear the tremendous difference in hearing abilities.

How Cell Phones Are Revolutionizing The Hearing Aid Industry

Over the last decade; telecommunications developers have pushed the boundaries of technology in order to help produce a more refined product for every consumer. With each passing year the advances in technology allow us not only a much greater understanding of the various forms of hearing loss and hearing related issues, but it also allows companies to help develop new sets of tools to aid those with long term hearing afflictions. In recent years cellular phones have made leaps and bounds towards helping audiology and the hearing impaired. In the paragraphs below we will examine some of the ways that this new technology is impacting the lives of those with long term hearing loss.

Cellular phones – Dispelling the Myth

Even today there are many modern misconceptions regarding hearing aids and their compatibility with new-age technology. They range from the simple misconception that they simply don’t mesh well with cellular phones to the more complex misunderstanding of how radio frequencies interact with one another. The former could not be any further from the truth. By utilizing telecoils internally within hearing aids, or externally on a mobile device, a user can boost electronic signals to better allow them to hear. These telecoils are comprised of a thin copper wire, and are found in all behind-the-ear hearing aid, and some in-the-ear hearing aid. One of the other concerns is how the radio frequencies interact between hearing aid and cellular device. Fortunately there is an FCC mandated rating scale for cellular devices to show compatibility between hearing aid and mobile device. The scale gives the device a rating from 1-4 for the microphone interference (M 1-4) and telecoil coupling capability (T 1-4)

Smart phones – The Next Generation

With the advent of the “smart phone”, the digital age has seen numerous applications created with the intent of improving the quality of life for everyone. The hearing impaired is not exempt from this. Developers with friends or family with hearing problems or who may be deaf themselves are banding together to create a world where hearing impairment is much less of a burden. Be it by applications that simply alert the user to high noise levels in an adjacent room, allowing them to preemptively change the settings on their hearing aid to avoid discomfort, or much more advanced applications that can transcribe phone calls in real time so that you can see a text representation of your conversation, thus allowing a much easier means of communicating. There is much untapped potential in the world of smart phones, and with more interest than ever in helping our friends and family with impairment, that potential is marvelous and limitless.

Electric Cochlear Implants: Functions And Benefits

Electric cochlear implants are looking to be the hearing device of the future. While the device was shunned in the early stages of development due to its need for surgery, it is now using new techniques and technology to make its imprint on the hearing health industry. Even though it is beginning to experience a greater level of success, many people are still unaware of the great benefits that are offered by the electric cochlear implant and how it functions. Here we will examine the overall benefits and functionality of this hearing device.

What Makes An Electric Cochlear Implant

There are five essential parts to every cochlear implant device. There are the microphone, the transmitter, and the speech processor on the outside of the human body. These devices have the first interactions with sound before turning them over to those which are implanted within the human body. These devices are the receiver and the electrode bundle. All of these parts have to work together in order to create the effective sound upon which the person using the device relies.

So How Do They Work?

These hearing devices have a very simplistic form of functioning when looked at from the outside. For example, the first step of the hearing process is sound being taken in by the microphone from the environment. After the sound is brought in, it needs to be transformed into other forms like magnetic waves. This occurs in the speech processing unit which makes the sound into very specific forms of wavelengths based upon the incoming frequencies. From this point, the sound is shipped off to the transmitter device. Using a special transmission device that is mounted on the outside of the skin, the transmitter sends the sound waves into the human body to the receiver, which is implanted through surgery. After this, the sounds go to the electrode bundle, taken there using a small pathway created during surgery. The electrode bundle is attached directly to an auditory nerve near the ear and by the face, which uses electricity upon these nerves to make the brain think that it is hearing sounds, the same ones that were originally picked up by the microphone.

Results

The overall result of this electrical cochlear implant is that the person using it has a sensation that is similar to sound as though it passed through the human ear. The benefit of this is that it did not need to pass through the human ear in order to function, meaning that damaged internal organs in the ear can be bypassed in people who have terrible damage or deformity of their ears. These devices have let thousands of people who had no hope before hear their family and friends talking to them. With the technology surrounding this device quickly evolving, more people are opting for this surgery to aid their hearing health.

Advancements in Digital Hearing Aids

The growth of digital hearing aids is amazing. While some digital devices are available with remote controls that allow the user to adjust various settings, others come with omni-directional microphones to detect sound from multiple directions. Most hearing aids manufactured today are digital and there are many reasons for that. Incredibly, it’s been about two centuries years since the first inventions that explored the science of personal sound amplification, with the introduction of ear trumpets in the early 1800s. One would think digital technology has been around longer than that, but not so. Now, these state of the art devices utilize the latest technology to provide filtration of background noise, connections to Bluetooth devices and provide automatic volume adjustment. Advancements have come fast and furious, progressing from analog to digital as we see it today.

Better Connections

With the influx of digital hearing aids, users can now utilize Bluetooth and other wireless technological services to make it easier to use the device. Users can also benefit from digital noise reduction, better frequency transposition, and increased range.

Self-Learning

It’s possible for your digital hearing aid to learn on its own! Self-learning hearing aids are integral to modern devices because they have self-learning or regulating tendencies. Digital hearing aids are great for adjusting settings like volume automatically after a period of time according to how the user prefers it. Control is put into the hands of the person wearing it, which is yet another advancement.

Noise Filtration

Many manufacturers are implementing brand new technology through the use of digital magnetic wireless communication via chips in the devices that control settings like switch position and microphone modes. Today’s hearing aids can easily filter out that noise so that the user can hear words but not all the other stuff. Improvements in wireless technology have allowed for improved speech recognition and SNR, which stands for signal-to-noise ratio. Recent advancements mean hearing aids can actually communicate with each other, especially when it comes to left and right ear instruments. Many people says it’s hard to hear clearly with all the background noise, when using a hearing aid. Thankfully, the new digital ones can filter that noise easily.

Single Sided Deafness

Before the world saw all these big advancements in digital technology, individuals with single-sided deafness fell victim to greater background noise and were relegated to using their “good ear” to hear what was being said. Now, items like CROS devices and bone conduction devices, the good ear receives signals from the bad ear to improve on amplification.

DNR

Digital noise reduction technology surpasses that of directional microphones because it is based on the physical characteristics of noise and speech; on the flip side of the coin, they used to be based on the separation of space in terms of speech modulation.

The Outlook

For top-notch comfort and versatility, hearing impaired individuals can count on digital hearing aids to take advantage of innovative wireless technology and microelectronics to bring about more sophisticated abilities. The future for digital hearing aids is superior over other types, as the technology will only continue to grow as scientists make more discoveries.

The Many Functions of Digital Earplugs

There has been a change in how people wish to approach their hearing health, one of the latest being ear plugs. This is one of the most popular ways that individuals are beginning to protect and improve their hearing. That being said, ear plugs, like most technology, have evolved a lot over the last few decades. Today, digital earplugs assist individuals in many aspects of their lives to prevent hearing loss. In this article, we will examine how digital earplugs work and what benefits they deliver.

How Do Digital Earplugs Work?

Although there are many forms of digital earplugs, they mainly work within the same bounds of function. Digital earplugs, then, need to strike a balance between protection and function. The first factor that digital earplugs address when used is limit the range of frequencies filtered through the earplug by changing the frequency response. What does this mean? Well, only certain frequencies can affect your hearing, providing both safety but limitations as well. Digital earplugs have another advantage of providing a physical barrier between your inner ear and outside sounds.

Specific Uses of Digital Ear Plugs

Available in a variety of formats depending on the needs of the user, digital ear plugs provide many benefits with what they can offer. For example, some digital ear plugs can increase the ability to hear faint sounds within the immediate environment, which makes them particularly great for rescue workers and other first responders. In addition, they can protect hearing from loud, blaring noises and from sudden, loud blasts of sound such as those found in combat training and the lives of police officers each day.

Benefits of Digital Ear Plugs

Because technology is so deeply ingrained in the development and use of these ear plugs, they have been able to generate a number of novel effects. Many ear plug types can completely stop sound from entering the ear canal. Others utilize technology that allows users to hear certain levels of sound, or only at particular intervals.
Another benefit of the technology? Digital ear plugs help people hear speech more clearly even if they are in a crowd. Whether you work in an industrial environment with a great deal of noise or you need to hear some sounds but not others, a pair of digital ear plugs can certainly benefit you.

Examining the Efficacy of Hearing Loops

Hearing loops are designed to ramp up the listening experience for wearers of hearing aids. This is due to the technology that allows cables and telecoils to work in tandem to pick up on conversations without the added distraction of background noise. Two centuries ago, everyone was excited about the “state of the art” hearing trumpets, but today, it’s clear just how far the hearing impaired community has come. Present in a growing number of conference rooms, schools, churches, businesses and public spots, those with hearing impairments can now enjoy a higher level of hearing. This is great news for the millions of Americans who suffer from some degree of hearing loss. Although hearing aids on their own do an adequate job of amplifying sound individually, they’re not as efficient at filtering out background sound in crowded public areas or within meetings.

What Are Hearing Loops?

This is a matter of fact technology involving cables that are laced through a room with signals that are detected and interpreted by individual hearing aids. Combining the technologies from hearing aids and that of cables, these loops are made possible by a cable running throughout a building or a room. They work in parallel with the hearing aids worn by hearing impaired participants, resulting in a crisper listening experience.

A Closer Look

The result of the hearing loop is an increased chance of hearing conversations in crowded, noisy situations. Even microphones can be brought into the equation for better performance. A t-switch present in most modern day hearing aids and cochlear implants is a big part of the telecoil technology that makes this all possible. The switch, able to detect the electromagnetic sounds funneling through the hearing loop, gives the user a better chance of detecting sounds more clearly without background distraction.
Circling the room, a hearing loop wire transmits ambient sound via electromagnetic signals that are detected by telecoil, originally used in assisting handset telephones retain their ranges and signals while disconnected from the base.

Implementation

The effectiveness of hearing loops has had a clear advantage to the hearing impaired community. You’ll now see more and more hearing loops available in city halls, conference rooms and in public transportation areas like airports. This is because more cities and nations are implementing laws that require their use in certain public spots.

Strategies for Getting a Hearing Loop Set Up At Your Favorite Theatre, Church or Other Venue

When you think about making public places accessible for individuals with disabilities, the obvious first thing that comes to mind are alterations for wheelchairs. But what about accessibility for the hearing impaired? Installing a hearing loop improves speech and other sound for patrons with telecoil compatible hearing aids, is less expensive than other modifications and will increase patronage. If you’re having a difficult time hearing the speakers at church, the dialogue at the local theater, or at any other place you frequent, it may be possible to have a hearing loop put in with a little effort.

Places of worship. While many mosques, synagogues and churches already have some type of hearing aid device, it might be outdated and inconvenient or the place you attend may not have one at all. If this is the case, let the congregation and worship leaders know of the benefits of a hearing loop, such as using a telecoil to hear the sermon clearly through your own hearing aid or implant. Introduce the idea in a newsletter or bulletin by explaining how a hearing loop works and how easy it is to install.

Theaters and gathering places. The guidelines for the Americans for Disabilities Act require that assembly areas have a method of audio amplification for their visitors and this requirement is filled with the installation of a hearing loop. Contact the general manager of the venue and ask for a meeting. Be prepared to explain the costs involved as well as the benefits to the patrons and to the venue. For example, these places will see an increase in attendance because people with hearing challenges will be able to participate.

Making your case. Whether you speak with the people in charge, write a letter or create a poster, it is important to share the facts to create understanding and awareness. Educate them in what a hearing loop is, how it works and how much it costs. Have a prepare list of benefits from the patron’s perspective and the venue’s perspective. Explain to them the benefits of their increased business. And most importantly, be a friendly and helpful resource for your community.

An Overview of Telecoil-Enabled Hearing Aids

The hearing aid you are wearing may be equipped with a telecoil, or you may be considering a model which has a telecoil installed. As its name suggests, a telecoil is a tiny coil of wire. It sounds simplistic, but it greatly enhances the functionality of your hearing aid. This article will explain the essentials of what a telecoil is and how it operates to improve your hearing ability.

Telecoils inside hearing aids detect magnetism. Conventional microphones and amplifiers in hearing aids boost all the sounds that they encounter, but a telecoil only transfers magnetically created sounds. The telecoil was first introduced to improve listening ability on the phone. Older phones used powerful magnets in their speakers, generating magnetic signals that telecoil-equipped hearing aids could detect. Contemporary telephone technology has done away with these magnets, but many telephones will include electronics which allow them to communicate with telecoil devices.

The use of telecoils began with the telephone, but now they are used in many ways. Many public places, including auditoriums, stadiums and movie theaters, are equipped with Assistive Listening Systems that employ telecoil technology. These venues will commonly supply headsets or receivers that the hearing impaired can use with their own hearing aids to pick-up the signals. Because these magnetic sounds are generally higher clarity than what you can hear acoustically, you may find that a telecoil can significantly improve your enjoyment of an event.

The abilities of the telecoil inside a hearing aid will vary with the type, size and age of the instrument. The telecoil function is more prevalent in larger hearing aids, including those that rest behind the ear. Older hearing aids can be switched between telecoil and microphone modes using a physical switch on the device. Newer models allow the wearer to change between program modes with the press of a button.

Interference may be an issue when using a telecoil, but it is not common. Interference is most commonly experienced as a buzzing sound and is usually associated with electronics such as CRT monitors and fluorescent lights.

The chance of interference is a minimal price to pay for the many advantages offered by telecoil-equipped devices. You’ll find that the price of a telecoil-enabled hearing aid is only marginally higher and well worth the added capabilities.

Why Choose a Hearing Aid that Offers Multiple Listening Programs?

Hearing a person speaking in a hushed room is very different from trying to hear a conversation in a packed restaurant. In order to keep up with variations in your listening environment, most digital hearing aids come with a variety of listening programs. Being able to use various listening programs makes it easy to hear better in many different conditions.

Your hearing professional will initially set up your multiple listening programs by using an external device. This device allows him or her to fine-tune a number of individual processing characteristics into several distinct programs. These programs can be accessed manually when you start wearing your device, or they may automatically change to match your current listening situation.

Today’s hearing aids are quite powerful, and many are capable of running a wide variety of listening programs. You can access programs that reduce feedback, help shift high frequencies to lower ones (making them more comfortable to hear), help block out unnecessary background noise, and help make speech patterns in quiet environment clearer. These are just a few of the possibilities–your hearing care professional will work with you to choose which ones are most appropriate based on the condition of your own hearing and the situations you encounter most often.

The method you use to access these different programs varies from device to device. Your hearing aid may include a small external device (similar to a remote control) that allows you to change programs and access additional features. Other devices may be controlled by a small switch, while still others may automatically determine which program is best suited for your situation.

Hearing aids with multiple listening programs can be especially useful for young children. These programs allow parents to quickly change their child’s listening settings to find the most comfortable choice. This helps hearing instrument specialists narrow in on what settings will give the child the best listening experience possible.

The additional flexibility and convenience that come with multiple listening programs helps hearing aid wearers achieve a more comfortable listening experience.

What’s So Great About Hearing Loop Systems?

Any time a hearing aid user attempts to tune in to a speaker in a crowded area, the amount of background noise can easily become daunting. Sizeable, open spaces such as auditoriums, places of worship, movie theaters and concert halls can be especially troublesome. The good news is that hearing loop systems make it possible for people wearing hearing aids to readily focus on the sounds they want to hear – presentations, sermons, music and movie dailogue – without any undesirable distractions.

Hearing loop systems work together with the telecoil feature found in many hearing aids. Originally, the telecoil feature was used primarily to pick up on magnetic signals created by telephones. People who had a telecoil could enjoy a clear phone conversation without having to worry about background noise. Hearing loop systems take this concept a few steps further by creating a larger magnetic field for telecoils to pick up on.

The first part of a hearing loop system is an audio input, often from a PA system or a dedicated microphone feed. This audio signal is fed into a hearing loop amplifier, which drives a current through a cable (or series of cables) looped around the room. If the loop is set up correctly there will be no dead zones or dropouts, allowing everyone in the loop with a telecoil to clearly hear the transmitted sound.

There are newer forms of technology (such as FM transmission neck loops) that have established themselves in many venues, but audio loops are still common and offer a number of advantages. The fact that hearing loop systems are reliable, relatively easy to set up and work with the telecoils already installed in many of today’s hearing aids makes them popular with facility managers as well as with guests. Listeners also appreciate their more subtle nature, which allows them to enjoy a concert, presentation, or worship service without the self-consciousness that can accompany wearing a neck loop.

While hearing loop systems require some initial investment in terms of equipment and set-up, they are a proven way for venue owners and managers to offer a high-quality listening experience to as many visitors as possible.