How do we hear sound? Here is a quick overview of how our ears work:
Known as the pinna or auricle, this visible portion of the ear gathers sounds from the surrounding environment and sends it down the ear canal.
The vibration of the tympanic membrane (eardrum) transmits sound to the inner ear through three small bones (malleus, incus and stapes) that carry sound to the inner ear.
Made up of two main parts: the cochlea, a system of complex hair cells (sensory cells) and the vestibular system that sends sound to the brain for final processing.
A hearing aid basically consists of one or two microphones, an amplifier and a loudspeaker, also called receiver.
The microphone picks up the incoming sound waves and changes them into electrical signals. These signals are individually processed based upon the hearing loss and fitting parameters provided by the hearing care professional.
Complex algorithms in the hearing aids reduce harsh effects of loud sounds and also reduce background noise hindering speech perception. They are also able to enhance the fine nuances of music. All processed sounds are then converted back into electrical signals to deliver lifelike sound through the ear canal.
The necessary power needed by the hearing aid components are provided by batteries or rechargeable solutions.
Modern hearing aids feature also wireless systems to synchronize and optimize the processing of a left and right instrument and to establish a reliable, direct connection to external devices like TVs and smartphones.