The Evolution Of Hearing Aids

Hearing aids have proven themselves to be some of the very best items ever created for hearing health. They allow people to live a life that is as close to normal as possible, and have even brought hearing to people who would not have had it otherwise. Looking forward, it appears that we are going to continue to develop new and wonderful additions to hearing aid devices as technology continues to improve. Let us take a brief look at the forms of hearing aids that we would have seen in the past, so that we can better appreciate this bright future.

Ear Trumpets

The first and most primitive type of hearing aid was the hearing trumpet. These devices were used by people for at least a thousand years prior to the invention of digital hearing aids and had a very simple premise. Essentially, the listener would put a tapered piece of metal or wood in their ear and have the larger end open to the world to gather sound. This would bring more sound waves directly into the ear where it would have a better chance of being understood. The limitations to this device made it necessary to use burgeoning technology for improvements.

Vacuum Type Hearing Aids

Vacuum tube hearing aids were an invention in the middle of the 20th century. They featured a vacuum tube that would be used in conjunction with telephone technology in order to produce sound that was amplified and much more clear than before. This used a phone transmitter and receiver to pick up sound, turn it into electrical impulses, and then make it come through to the individual in a loud and concise manner. With the magnified sound, the individual could hear many more ambient noises, and came with the bonus of being portable. It also helped to convince the public at large to use technology for medical purposes for hearing loss.

Carbon Microphone Hearing Aids

While these hearing aids predated the vacuum tube hearing aids, they were still very valuable due to their integration of novel technology in their design. The hearing aids used a carbon microphone as well as a battery and magnetic receiver. When sound hit this diaphragm, it would propel the carbon across the magnetic receiver, causing sound waves to make louder noises than what was originally put out. This allowed people to listen better than before, but came with many restrictions. First, the sound quality was extremely low because of the moving carbon pieces. It was also much too bulky to be moved around the room successfully, so the user had to remain rather immobile. Yet, it was still a better option than the ear trumpet in many respects.

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