There are many electronic devices that can be used by people with a hearing disability to listen to a variety of sound sources. These devices vary widely in cost, size and special features. They may be used by themselves or in conjunction with hearing aids. Some examples include group and personal FM amplification systems, induction loop systems, telephone amplifiers and TV audio amplification systems.
Modern digital hearing aids use advanced microprocessor technology to provide a more natural range of sound frequencies, while at the same time lowering unwanted loud, high or incomprehensible sounds. Digital hearing aids also offer a wider range of amplification to increase comfort in noisy environments.
Hearing aids have small microphones that collect sounds from the environment. They convert the sound waves into electronic code and are amplified before they are delivered to your ears via speakers, sometimes called receivers. A computer chip analyses the signals to adjust them according to your hearing loss, listening needs and the environment.
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids fit completely inside the outer ear bowl and are used for mild to severe hearing loss. These aids can be fitted with a telecoil, which reduces noise and makes it easier to hear on a telecoil-compatible telephone. They can also pick up signals from public induction loop systems that are found in a number of buildings and venues, such as churches and theaters. These are broadcast through a wire loop surrounding the seating area and detected by the telecoil program in your hearing aids.