How Hearing Aids Work
Learning about how hearing aids work can help you understand the different hearing loss problems that you might suffer. While there are many different types of hearing aids, they all use the same basic elements:
- A microphone receives the sound waves that enter the ear and converts them into electrical signals, which are sent to the amplifier.
- The amplifier boosts the volume of the sound and it is sent to the receiver.
- A receiver/speaker converts the electrical signal back into sound waves and sends them into the ear. The ear drum receives those impulses and sends them to the brain.
- A battery is the power source that runs the entire hearing aid system.
How Hearing Aids Work: The Different Types Of Hearing Aids
- BTE: Behind-The-Ear hearing aids are larger, more reliable and robust than in-the-ear models. They rest behind your ear and a custom-made mold rests in your outer ear and ear canal. Many users prefer BTE controls because they are larger and easier to manage.
- ITE: In-The-Ear hearing aids are smaller and generally more comfortable and easy to operate. Their electronic components are built into the earmould. Some models feature volume controls and program buttons so users can adjust them as needed.
- ITC: In-The-Canal hearing aids are smaller than ITEs and so can be more difficult to manage. They can also be made with a volume control and program button.
- CIC: The smallest hearing aids are Completely-In-the-Canal. Due to their small size, CICs generally do not have manual controls (e.g. volume control). A “removal string” is needed to retrieve them from the ear.