Hearing Aid Technology Has Brought Forth Changes Essay

Hearing Aid Technology Has Brought Forth Changes Essay

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The continuing development of hearing aid technology has brought forth changes in many areas but especially in the way hearing aids process sound. This upgrade in technology has allowed for the digital signal processor to monitor acoustic feedback. According to Dillon (2012), “feedback literally means that some of the output of the hearing aid manages to get back to the input [microphone] of the hearing aid (i.e., it is fed back to the input)” (p.118). Whistling or squealing of the hearing aid occurs when there is continuing oscillation or looping of amplified sound that is greater than the amount of attenuation from the receiver to the microphone. Many physical changes can be made to the hearing aid to manage feedback such as changes in vent size and making a tighter fitting earmold.
Chung (2004) explains “Acoustic feedback can arise from various different sources include, user characteristics, such as the amount of ear canal resonance, the shape and the size of the pinna, and mandibular movements; physical characteristics of hearing aids… changes in the acoustic environment, such as talking, chewing, yawning, receiving a hug, placing a telephone handset close to the hearing aid; and hearing aid or earmold malfunctions and defects”. (p.126)
Once we’ve resolved physical issues that can cause feedback such as vent or tubing cracks and tube leaks we are left with the digital aspect. With the higher level of technology hearing aids now have, we can access and manipulate digital processing features to reduce feedback by using notch filtering, feedback phase cancellation, feedback path cancellation, and adaptive feedback reduction.
One technology that can be used to reduce feedback is with notch filtering. A notch filter systems, the...

... middle of paper ...

...he market on fire. Second, many patients who have severe hearing loss have large air-bone gaps. These people need all the gain they can get. Phase-cancellation technology improves our capacity to provide them with higher levels of amplification and tremendous improvements in word understanding without feedback. Just remember, most of the improvement will be in the higher frequencies (2000-5000 Hz). Third, many people are much happier if we can give them large vents. In the past this was difficult. The instrument would go into feedback too easily if we tried to provide significant gain while venting. Now, improved hearing and improved word understanding are possible because we can often give patients the best of both worlds: comfort—provided by large vents—and increased gain in the high frequencies—made possible by phase-cancellation technology.
• (Martin, 2006. p.56)

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