Explore your hearing aids to understand and troubleshoot its technology.
Your hearing aids are full of small pieces of
delicate technology. By learning about the parts that make up your devices, you
can better understand how they support your hearing.
Hearing aids are delicate, yet incredibly powerful, electronic devices that assist your hearing by prescriptively amplifying the sounds around you. They’re packed with important technology and tools that not only make hearing easier and listening more enjoyable. But how do they work? What hearing aid parts actually make up your devices? There are many styles of hearing aids, but all can be categorized into three common types: Behind-the-ear (BTE), In-the-ear (ITE) and Receiver-in-canal (RIC) devices.
Miracle-Ear offers a range of models of each of these types of hearing aids, and a licensed hearing care professional can help you determine which style will work best for your lifestyle and hearing loss needs. No matter which type you wear, all hearing aids are made up of the same basic structures that help process and amplify sound. The biggest difference between styles is where these components sit in the ear and the power of these hearing aids parts.
Each of the three types of hearing aids, regardless of style, comes with four basic hearing aid parts: the microphone, the amplifier, the speaker and the battery. On the most basic level, here’s what the parts of a hearing aid do:
That’s a quick description. But there’s so much more to learn about the detailed mechanics and functions of these hearing aid parts. Let’s dig in:
Just as you use batteries to power other electronics, the batteries in your hearing aids keep your devices running as you wear them. Depending on the type and age of your hearing aids, your devices will feature either rechargeable or disposable batteries.
Many of the latest hearing aid models, including BTE and ITE hearing aids, use rechargeable batteries that recharge overnight. Before you go to bed at night, you place devices in a docking station to power up for the next day. A charge usually lasts for an entire day’s use or longer.
Disposable batteries are most commonly found in hearing aids for severe or profound hearing loss, because they require greater battery power. The size of these batteries depends on the level of power needed, the severity of the hearing loss and the size of the hearing aid itself. Size influences how long disposable batteries last, with smaller batteries having a shorter life than larger ones. Generally, non-rechargeable hearing aids have a battery life of anywhere from five to 14 days, based on 16 hours of daily use.
To ensure your batteries are ready for the next day and all of your hearing aids parts are able to perform at their best, it’s a good idea to create a nightly care routine. Everyday cleaning and maintenance are necessary to keep your hearing aids in good working condition (and to protect your investment in them!). Each night before going to bed, wipe down your hearing aids with a soft, dry cloth to clean off any debris from the components and check battery levels. Click here to find more tips for building a hearing aid cleaning routine.
Beyond the basic components that make hearing happen, hearing aids also include other features that create a more natural, easy listening experience and help you hear the sounds you enjoy most. Some of these hearing aid parts may look different depending on which model and type you’re wearing, but most devices include some form of these features.
This hearing aid part sits snugly inside the ear canal, creating a seal for the sounds your hearing aids are sending into the ear. Ear molds look slightly different for every wearer—their shape and fit depends on both the model of hearing aid you’ve chosen and the severity of your hearing loss. As the name might suggest, these hearing aid parts are molded to the specific contours of your ear to give you maximum comfort and prevent feedback from slipping out.
Due to the powerful amplification this piece provides, ear molds are typically recommended for users with severe hearing loss.
If you have a RIC type hearing aids , your hearing aids may have a dome rather than an ear mold. These hearing aid parts are small, bell-shaped silicone pieces that attach to the end of the hearing aid tubing and fit in the ear canal. Domes come in a variety of sizes to fit the unique contours of your ear canal, and your hearing care professional will guide you through fitting. If the domes are poorly fitted to your ears, sound can escape and create feedback in the hearing aid. When worn properly, these parts of the hearing aid shouldn’t be visible in the ear.
Domes should be cleaned on a daily basis using a soft cloth to wipe off any debris or ear wax. These pieces are easy and inexpensive to replace if anything goes wrong with them.
These hearing aid parts help maintain airflow through the hearing aid or ear mold to prevent congestion and discomfort and to avoid painful ear infections.
The size of the vents on your hearing aids will depend on the degree of your hearing loss. They are most useful for cases of mild to moderate hearing loss, where the venting of sound doesn’t reach the microphone and cause feedback. For hearing aid models designed to address severe hearing loss, there might not be a vent at all.