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How do hearing aids help?

Hearing aids improve the hearing and speech comprehension of people who have hearing loss that results from damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear, called hair cells. A hearing aid magnifies the sound vibrations entering the ear. Active hair cells detect the larger vibrations and convert them into neural signals that are passed along to the brain.

Are there different styles of hearing aids?

There are three basic styles of hearing aids: behind the ear (BTE), in the ear (ITE)in the canal (ITC), and completely in the canal (CIC). These styles differ by size, their placement on or inside the ear, and the degree to which they amplify sound. 

Do all hearing aids work the same way?

Hearing aids work differently depending on the electronics used. The two main types of electronics are analog and digital. 

  • Analog hearing aids convert sound waves into electrical signals, which are amplified. Analog/adjustable hearing aids are custom-built to meet the needs of each user. Analog/programmable circuitry can be used in all types of hearing aids. Analog hearing aids usually are less expensive than digital hearing aids. 
  • Digital hearing aids convert sound waves into numerical codes, similar to the binary code of a computer, before amplifying them. Because the code also includes information about a sound's pitch or loudness, the aid can be specially programmed to amplify some frequencies more than others. It also gives an audiologist more flexibility in adjusting the aid to a user's needs and to certain listening environments. Digital circuitry can be used in all types of hearing aids.

Which hearing aid will work best for me?

The hearing aid that will work best for you depends on the kind and severity of your hearing loss. Dr. Andrews will select a hearing aid that best suits your needs and lifestyle. You will want to wear your hearing aid regularly, so select one that is convenient and easy for you to use. Other features to consider include parts or services covered by the warranty, estimated schedule and costs for maintenance and hearing aid repair, options and upgrade opportunities.

What research is being done on hearing aids?

Researchers are looking at ways to apply new signal processing strategies to the design of hearing aids. Signal processing is the method used to modify normal sound waves into amplified sound that is the best possible match to the remaining hearing for a hearing aid user. NIDCD-funded researchers also are studying how hearing aids can enhance speech signals to improve understanding. Researchers are also investigating the use of computer-aided technology to design and manufacture better hearing aids. Researchers also are seeking ways to improve sound transmission and to reduce noise interference, feedback, and the occlusion effect. 

Doctors’ Hearing Center is the physician’s choice for exceptional hearing care. For the compassionate and experienced care of a board-certified audiologist, get in touch with us at 770.676.7208 or use our online Request an Appointment form to book your hearing test or dizziness and balance test. We welcome patients from Milton, Roswell, Johns Creek, Alpharetta and Duluth in Fulton County, GA.




I´m 61 years old and lost my hearing gradually over many years. Because my hearing loss developed so slowly, I never realized it was happening. But my friends and family sure did. Because of them, I decided to get my hearing tested. Dr. Andrews keeps working with you until you are satisfied. That´s what I like. I haven´t heard this well in years. ~ R. McGreggor