A hearing aid is an instrument or device that helps improve hearing, assists in treating hearing loss and protects the ears from damage. Hearing devices have come a long way since the invention of the early ear trumpets in the 18th century.
Over the last three centuries, various improvements have been made in the design of portable hearing aids. Now we have amazing programmable, easy-to-use hearing aids that can pick up, filter and amplify a wide range of sound signals. Here are some important events in the history of hearing aids.
In 1902, the first portable hearing aids were released to the market. These devices were light and easy for people to use. Instead of sitting at a table to use them, people could wear them. In addition, the technology was more efficient.
In these first models, the batteries and amplifier had to be hung on the neck, and the user had to hold the mic in their hand to hear clearly. Users drew plenty of attention from others. Depending on severity of hearing loss, the microphone had to be enlarged to make the device more effective until the transistor was invented.
The advent of the transistor changed the size and effectiveness of hearing aids. In 1947, the transistor replaced the valves that were used to amplify sounds. Transistors offered more powerful amplification, which allowed users to enjoy the use of their hearing aids for longer hours.
The first set of people to use transistor-driven devices for hearing had to carry them on their bodies. Within a few years, however, the hearing aids had become so compact that they could be installed behind the ear or above it.
In the 1960s, small in-the-ear hearing aids were created. Unfortunately, they weren’t as reliable as the larger, visible ones.
The use of digital technology to process sound brought about great improvements in the use and effectiveness of hearing and listening assistance technology. Eventually, all analog technology was replaced with digital processing of sound.
Digital hearing aids come with a programmable microcomputer chip that can process and amplify different types of sounds. They can also help protect users from loud noises and filter out ambient noise in a crowded environment. These hearing aids were first designed in the mid-80s. They became truly successful after about ten years when more powerful microprocessors where available to make them fully functional.
Today, digital hearing aids make a tremendous difference in the lives of people with hearing impairments. In fact, an audiologist can program these hearing aids to give precise amplification of different sounds based on the results of a detailed hearing test.
If you think you might need a hearing aid, choose Beltone. We provide exceptional hearing test services so we can come up with the best programmable hearing aids for each unique individual. Any device you get with us will be backed by a five-year warranty and lifetime free batteries. If you have questions or want more information about hearing aids, contact us right away or call us at (717) 763-1210.