Analogue Hearing Aids - A guide to Hearing Loss

These are the older, traditional type of hearing aids which work by converting sounds into electrical impulses which are then amplified and sent to the earphone on the hearing aid.

They are cheaper than the digital versions but are not as easy to encode to a specific environment. Plus they don’t discriminate between individual sounds which mean that all sounds – background, conversations etc are amplified.

This can make it difficult to understand a conversation in a noisy environment.

How does an analogue hearing aid work?

An analogue hearing aid works in a very similar way to a microphone and loudspeaker in that it uses a continuous electrical signal to produce sound. The hearing aid contains a small microphone which detects sound waves and converts these into electrical signals. These signals will vary according to the type of sound. These sounds are fed through transistors, which amplifies these sounds before sending them to the earphone. The earphone is the curved ‘bit’ on the hearing aid which sits directly near your ear drum and enables you to hear these sounds.

Some analogue hearing aids are better than others in that they have an ‘automatic gain control’feature which enables you to compress the sound. This means that you can intensify quiet sounds when you need to but can dampen down loud sounds.

The idea behind this is that you can prevent unnecessarily loud sound levels.

They don’t have as many features as digital hearing aids but they are cheaper.

Two types of analogue hearing aids include:

  • Bone conduction hearing aids
  • Body-worn hearing aids

Bone conduction hearing aids

A bone conduction hearing aid is designed for people who for whatever reason, are unable to wear a standard hearing aid.

It consists of a device worn on the body and a headband which has a vibrator or ‘bone conductor’ attached to it. The headband holds the bone conductor tightly against the head but this can become uncomfortable at times.

The difference between this and a conventional hearing aid is that rather than sound being passed through your ear canal to the ear drum it is passed through the bones of your skull instead.

These vibrating sounds pass through the bone conductor hearing aid to your cochlea via your skull. But this misses out the middle and outer ear which makes it less effective.

But if you are unable to have a conventional hearing aid because you are prone to ear infections, have a very small ear canal or part of your ear missing then this is a good alternative. A bone conduction hearing aid can benefit some people with conductive hearing loss.

Body-worn hearing aids

A powerful type of hearing aid which as the name says, is worn on the body.

It consists of a small box which is fastened to your clothes or can be put inside a pocket. This box is connected via a lead to the earphone. It can be easier to use than a conventional hearing aid.

Treatments : A guide to Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss

Medic8® Guides

© Medic8® | All Rights Reserved