We are excited to announce our new partnership with SOOADS. They are a center for helping people with hearing disabilities to find hearing aid providers in their area. SOAADS helps people with hearing disabilities both young and old. Accoring to the NIDCD website, a hearing aid is basically a small unit that is placed inside or around the ear. It generally consists of 3 parts: microphone, amplifier, and speaker.
The microphone picks up the sounds of the surrounding environment. The signal is the sent to the amplifier to be processes. The microphone’s quality and price can vary greatly and this is one of the primary concerns of most people buying hearing aids. You generally want to buy something that fits your budget, but will still provide a good quality sound.
The amplifier is by far the most interesting part of a hearing device. It takes the signal that is delivered by the microphone and digitally alters it to the preference of the listener. Much like how you can change the equalizer on your car radio to better suit your ear, or personal preference. Some people like more bass, other like more treble. This amplifier, however is far more complex. It does not any dials or knobs on it itself, but it can be plugged into a computer where special software can adjust the equalizer (EQ) of the device.
The goal of this is the, first, make sure that the person wearing the hearing aid doesn’t get overwhelmed. If they’ve never worn one before, it can be uncomfortable at first. The EQ can be adjusted at this point to be more quiet and less harsh sounding
After you have become accustomed to your device, the audiologist or hearing technician will then use the software to bump up the volume and run audio test to see what frequencies you prefer louder or softer. The aim it to make sure that speech is easily picked up on and made clear, while at the same time lowering background noise. According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), people in the second stage will tell you that the worst situation is to be at a loud restaurant and not being able to distinguish between the noise and the people who are talking to you. This is remedied by the third stage. This Google Doc about SOAADS has more info.
Now, the audiologist can fine tune your hearing device so that you can easily pick out people’s voices, not be disconcerted by crowds, and really enjoy your new hearing to the full. Check out the SOAADS Jimdo and About.me.
The speaker, like the microphone, can vary in quality and is something that is important to discuss your local Tampa audiologist.
We’re very happy to be working with SOAADS.org and look forward to helping them help all the people in Tampa who want to open up a whole new world of hearing. Hearing aids are not only giving hope to the hearing disabled. But, advances in hearing technology also benefits those with other physical disabilities.
The Miracle of Hearing