Hearing aids have long been in use for the last few decades. But what is the difference between the earlier devices and the future ones? The answer is quite obvious, yet fascinating. Listening devices have undergone a sea change in this modern generation of technological advancements. It is getting tougher day by day to choose between hearing aids, as each one has the potential to outshine the other. Therefore, it requires extreme patience and mindfulness on your part to choose the best hearing aid device.
With that said, it should also be kept in mind that you should always consult a trained Audiologist before taking any decision. You cannot decide for yourself which hearing aid would suit you the best - it is the job of the specialised professionals in the profession of Audiology. You should always keep one thing in mind that all devices would not benefit you. It depends on your hearing type and severity that which particular device would be the perfect one for you, and it is determined only by an expert Audiologist with many years of experience.
Digital hearing aids, the modern advanced version of listening devices, have seen such a wide variety of innovations since the past few years, and is still evolving every moment with new features. Since times immemorial, man has pursued ways to eradicate problems and obstacles as far as possible so as to lead a better quality of life. Digital hearing aids is the outcome of this long process of continuous pursuit. Previously when people suffered from hearing problems, they used to curl their hands around their ears to try to listen to the other person better. As this problem became popular among the population worldwide, the need for listening aids or devices expanded and people began to explore the new possibilities of emerging in the field of listening devices.
The 13th century saw primitive listening devices which were hollow shells or horns of sheep or other animals such as cows and rams, after which in 18th century came the ear trumpets. Although, these devices did not have the capability to amplify sounds, they could collect all sounds and delivered them via a narrow passage or tube. This method was quite popular until in the 19th to 20th century, when the first electronic hearing aids came into existence, after the telephone was invented. People with hearing loss soon realised that they could hear better via the telephone than in person. Therefore, a need for such a listening device became extremely essential which would have a carbon transmitter (used in telephones) that could amplify the electrical sounds and increase the decibel levels.
The years 1921-1952 saw the development of vacuum tubes, which are much better substitutes of carbon transmitters. With the introduction of the vacuum tube technology, hearing aids not only began showing much more effective results, but also began to reduce in size, and could be fit into small boxes. However, these devices were still much heavy and bulky, amplifying all the sounds, even the unimportant ones. Various researchers probe deep into the possibilities of improving these devices, and finding out effective solutions for these problems, until the invention of transistor technology in the mid-20th century. This advanced technology made listening devices more flexible and efficient, reducing their sizes even more. A major innovation in listening devices is that, these were the first devices that could be easily worn inside the ear canal, thus making them completely invisible. These devices paved the way for more advanced listening devices that was yet to evolve in the next few years - the digital hearing aids.
The major turnover in the history of the development of hearing aids is the transformation of analog technology into digital technology. The previous analog devices used to amplify all sounds without distinguishing between them. However, with the introduction of digital hearing aids, the digital technology could amplify only the speech by reducing background noise, thus increasing the flexibility of these devices.
Today, digital technology has reached much wider horizons, and this 21st century is the witness of the ever growing innovations in listening devices, such as connectivity technologies like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, FM and many more. Today the digital hearing aids could be easily connected to and controlled by smartphone apps. Also, these modern devices come with good battery backups and could be easily recharged from time to time, without having to worry about running out of batteries.
To sum up, we can say that analysts of digital hearing aids are continuously trying to open up new windows to new innovations so as to make more and more efficient and at the same time, aesthetic devices. That day is not far when modern digital hearing aids may wipe out hearing problems altogether.