The technology for hearing aids has changed vastly throughout the last century. With the advent of digital and electrical models, it appears as though we are now again on the brink of another major influx of technology for hearing aids. Even though the hearing aids of today are incredible, it is always important to see how far we have come in terms of hearing aid technology. That is why we are going to take a look at some of the most significant changes in hearing aids throughout the last century.
Vacuum Tube Hearing Aids
Before the mass production of hearing aids resulted in digital formats for hearing aids, there was the vacuum tube hearing aid. This hearing aid used a lot of parts from phone and speakers in order to draw in, convert, and amplify sound. Best of all was the fact that it was one of the very first hearing aids that was truly portable. It functioned by drawing in sound in the vacuum tube where it was converted to electrical sounds, and then sent out of the device at an amplified rate. Not only was this a great way for people to hear, it was also integral to convince investors to fund hearing aids.
Carbon Hearing Aids
Carbon style hearing aids were one of the types between old and new styles of hearing devices. They used many interesting parts such as a microphone, magnets, and a diaphragm to create a device for hearing. While this sounds like something that MacGyver would have created, it worked as the first amplification device. Sound would hit the microphone and then trigger carbon to fly across the magnet receiver and into the diaphragm. The sound would be louder, but the overall quality would not improve.
It also came with additional drawbacks such as the fact that the device was so large that it was never able to be taken with a person. Also, it had to be used in a calm, home environment.
Another one of the most important hearing devices that was ever used was the ear trumpet. It was not a technological marvel in any sense, but it showed people that hearing loss was something that could be treated. Using a hollow piece of wood or metal, one end of the hearing trumpet would be inserted into the ear or pressed upon it. Then, the other end would stick out towards the person to whom the user was speaking. The flared end would gather sound and send it directly to the inner ear. Again, this was not a very complex concept, but it was still a great way to start the hearing aid process.