Digital Hearing Aids - A guide to Hearing Loss

These are more advanced types of hearing aids which use a small microchip to process sounds. This ‘fine tuning’ means that it is easier for a person to customise the hearing aid to suit their particular type of hearing loss.

They are more expensive than analogue hearing aids but they do enable the wearer to tailor the sounds to suit their individual needs; such as being able to switch between different settings, depending on the type of environment.

In other words, you can adjust the settings to fit in with a particular location, for example at work, at home or a social occasion.

Some digital hearing aids will adjust automatically to a change in environment.

Advantages of digital hearing aids

These include:

  • Reduce background noise.
  • Reduce the ‘whistling’ sound that is a common feature of many hearing aids.
  • Customise sound to your type of hearing.
  • Hearing is comfortable in whatever type of environment.
  • Twin microphones.

Background noise can be a problem when trying to hear what other people are saying. This is even more of a problem for someone who wears an analogue hearing aid as they amplify all sounds – background and speech, which means that they tend to merge into the one. However, a digital hearing aid reduces any background noise which enables you to hear a conversation. They don’t allow you to hear every single thing in a conversation or identify individual voices but they are an improvement over analogue hearing aids.

Twin microphones and wearing two hearing aids can help in this situation.

The whistling sound that is common with many hearing aids and annoying to boot is basically ‘feedback’ from your hearing aid. Digital hearing aids have a facility called ‘feedback cancellation’ which automatically decreases this whistling sound.

A digital hearing aid can be customised so that it suits your type of hearing and no-one else’s. This means that you can hear different sounds at a level which is comfortable for you. Whether you are at home or in work, you can adjust your hearing aid so that you hear sounds at an acceptable level.

This type of feature is called ‘wide dynamic range compression’ and contains ‘channels’ that allow the wearer to adjust sound levels to a point at which it is just right for them.

Some hearing aids allow you to adjust sound levels but others will do this automatically.

Twin microphones are one type of microphone which is ‘multi-directional’in that it detects sounds from the front as well as the back and the sides.

Some hearing aids enable you to choose between all-round sound and directional sound.

Digital hearing aids tend to come in a range of shapes and sizes, which is much the same that analogue ones do. But, not all of these are smaller than analogue hearing aids. Your audiologist will be able to advise you further about the best hearing aid for your hearing loss.

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Hearing Loss

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