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Hearing Loss



The right choice of hearing instrument type and technology is determined by the individual hearing loss and anatomical features of the ear. Hearingcare professionals and medical practitioners can advise you on the various possibilities available. The following explanations may be useful to you.

The basics of a hearing instrument
Every hearing instrument has one or more microphones which pick up sound from the environment. This acoustic signal is transformed to an electrical signal; it is amplified and adapted according to the individual hearing loss. The receiver (or "loudspeaker") then reconverts it to an acoustic signal which is directed down the
ear canal.

Digital, digitally programmable or analog?

Digital technology
Thanks to increasingly small micro-processors, digital technology has been applied to hearing systems. Digital hearing instruments are programmed by a hearingcare professional via a PC. Within the hearing instruments, acoustic signals are transformed at high speed and with great precision into a binary code.This allows much more complex calculations and adjustment of the amplified signal than is possible with analog technology. It gives greater flexibility in providing individualized solutions to hearing loss, and allows the addition of features which give the instruments higher value across a greater number of listening situations.

Programmable digital technology
This technology is a combination of analog signal processing and digital programming of the hearing system via a PC. It can be used in various combinations to meet individual needs.

Analog technology
Hearing instruments with analog signal processing are not programmed via a PC but are adjusted manually by a hearingcare professional using a fine screwdriver. Individualized settings are only possible to a certain degree since innovations such as multi-microphones, the suppression of background noise and convenient remote control operation cannot be integrated into the solution.

FM technology
Noise, reverberation, and distance: Whenever even latest-generation hearing instruments approach the limits of their capabilities, Phonak FM technology, combined with hearing instruments, significantly enhances the ability of hearing-impaired people to communicate in the most difficult listening situations. Barriers to clear hearing can be successfully overcome because speech and sound are transmitted directly to the hearing-impaired person's ears, without interfering noise.

Cochlear implant
A cochlear implant is an electronic device which is surgically implanted in the inner ear of a person who is profoundly or completely deaf. Unlike hearing aids, the implant does not make sounds louder or clearer. Instead, it stimulates the hearing nerve directly. A cochlear implant will give the hearing-impaired person a sensation of hearing. It is important to understand that it only provides a reduced sense of hearing, not a fully restored hearing sense. Therefore, it takes time, practice and patience to learn how to use a cochlear implant.


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