Patients with hearing problems require hearing aids that mimic functioning of the normal ear. In normal ear, when sound is produced, it is received by the ears and amplified. The sound in transmitted by sensory nerves and gets interpreted by the brain. The cochlea in the ear usually gets sound through the ear canal. It usually has chambers filled with fluid. They have membranes on which hairs vibrate depending on the sound frequency received. The sound waves that are processed are the sound waves transmitted to the brain by nerves.
In the same way, hearing devices receive sound from the environment and their major goal is to amplify this sound. Patients with hearing impairments usually fail to hear sounds of various frequencies. This is due to malfunctioning of their ears as they are unable to amplify sound. An Ear Hearing Aid usually contains electronic marvels to mimic the ear. This is due to amplification of sound electronically such that the patient will be in a position to hear with aid of these devices. The most advanced hearing gadgets are those that are implanted in the eye. They completely mimic the ear, though electronically. These devices are usually referred to as cochlear implants.
Electronic components usually comprise of a sound processing unit, digital signals, hearing nerves and electrode arrays. The sound processor usually picks up sound from the external environment. This sound is usually processed and converted into digital signals. These signals are the transmitted to the implanted device digitally. These signals usually mimic the auditory nerves which transmit sound naturally. These sounds usually induce hair cells to transmit sound to the brain. This whole process mimics the ear.
Sound frequencies usually vary a lot. The human ear that functions normally is usually able to detect all sound frequencies and differentiate them all. On the other hand, digital hearing devices also try to detect all frequencies. However, they are not perfect in differentiating all the frequencies. Thus, a human ear remains superior to manmade hearing devices. Hair cells in a normal human ear are usually responsible for distinguishing various sounds. In manmade devices, it is still hard to mimic hair follicles perfectly. In manmade devices, hair follicles are usually mimicked by silicon based technologies.
Scientists are still researching more on Ear Hearing Aid devices to make them mimic ears perfectly. There are studies being made whereby in cases where hearing impairment is due to dead hair cells in ears, surgical transfer can take place. This may involve removal of some brain cells and replace dead hair cells in ears. Digital signal processing is a technology being employed in designs of digital electronic gearing devices.
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