Unlike the common perception, hearing loss is not a matter of life getting the volume turned down across the board. Every hearing loss is individual. But why is that?
The ear detects sound across a wide range of frequencies.
From low frequencies, like the deep, rumbling sounds of large construction machinery, all the way up to high frequencies like birds chirping – or the gentle rustling of a paper candy-bag in a movie theatre.
With hearing loss
, not all frequencies are affected in equal measure.
When age-related hearing loss
occurs, the parts of the ear responsible for high frequencies are often the first to be damaged. This creates frequency areas in the users hearing range with reduced hearing ability – or no hearing ability at all. The latter are sometimes referred to as “dead regions.”Hearing aids
can compensate for this by using a technique called frequency lowering. This means that the hearing aid moves the sounds above a certain frequency to an area where the user is able to hear – usually at a lower frequency.
At Widex the frequency lowering technique is called Audibility Extender.
This feature moves sound by transposing it from the high frequencies while carefully retaining a natural sound quality. Recent articles suggest that when moving high frequency sound for people with no or very little hearing in the high frequency areas, the improvement in language understanding is more likely if the naturalness of the sound is preserved – something the Audibility Extender excels at.
On top of this, the newest hearing aids, WIDEX BEYOND
and WIDEX UNIQUE
, can transpose sound in a way that takes into consideration whether the hearing aid user has no hearing left in the high frequency area or still have some hearing left. This is important since recent studies indicate that the two hearing loss types
needs to be treated differently.
As our scientific knowledge about hearing and technology improves, so does our ability to create highly individualised and better fitting hearing solutions. This, in turn makes qualified hearing care professional even more crucial in the years to come.