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Which of the Hearing Aids for Sale Is Best for You?

For centuries, scientists and doctors have sought ways to help those with auditory impairments. The earliest attempts made use of tubes, horns, and other simple acoustic devices to amplify incoming sounds. Unfortunately, it was not then known that impairment doesn’t affect all frequencies of sound equally. Thus, in practice, the indiscriminate amplification of all incoming wavelengths achieved with the use of these early devices amounted to little more than simply shouting loudly into a person’s ear. By contrast, the digital hearing aids for sale now can be adjusted to meet the individual needs of the wearer, based upon the findings of an audiological examination.

Although far more sophisticated than an ear trumpet or a speaking tube, these modern electronic units still rely on amplifying incoming sounds. These are detected by tiny microphones, which can be discretely concealed, while the amplification circuits are tuned to compensate for the loss of acuity at those wavelengths found, upon examination, to be most impaired. In addition, advanced microprocessors act to produce crystal clear sound while employing smart algorithms to distinguish between voices, music, and background noise, and even to pinpoint their direction. These are just a few of the capabilities of the hearing aids offered for sale today.

The science of audiology is a relatively new one and began its development during the latter stages of the Second World War. Its most important contribution has been to refine the process of detecting, quantifying, and determining the nature of hearing loss, and its main tool is the audiogram – a graphical representation of a patient’s auditory acuity measured at various frequencies known to be within the range normally detectable by the healthy human ear. Tones at the threshold of audibility and at various frequencies are delivered successively via an earphone, and their volume gradually increased until he or she confirms hearing them by pressing a button to register points on a graph.

The audiogram helps determine which of the hearing aids for sale will be most appropriate for a given patient and how it should be adjusted for optimal performance. For example, those models that are designed to be concealed entirely within the ear canal will only be of value to patients with mild to moderate hearing loss due to the performance limitations imposed by their extremely small size.

Other tests performed by audiologists include the Rinne and Weber tests. These employ a vibrating tuning fork to distinguish between conductive and sensorineural deafness. Both tests are valuable, as many of those with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss may be unable to benefit from hearing aids currently for sale, but rather from a cochlear implant.
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