Back in 1976, hearing aids were about $600 each, and there were only two styles to choose between. There was the body aid, which was a box and one or two cords attached to large receivers which were attached to custom, hard ear molds. The other, more popular style was a behind-the-ear type, but those too required a hard plastic ear mold with clear tubing attached to send the sound to the ear. The technology was called analog, and audiologists made adjustments with a tiny screwdriver.
In-the-Ear Hearing Aids
In the 1980s, in-the-ear hearing aids were introduced. These aids were less bulky than the behind-the-ear models and became very popular. In the 1990s, an even tinier hearing aid called the completely-in-the-canal aid was introduced, and these were custom made for each client.
Digital Hearing Aids
In 1996, a fully-digital hearing aid was introduced. These aids were programmed with software on computers in the audiologist’s office. The programming could be manipulated based on the client’s specific hearing loss.
Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids
Now, the most popular style is again the behind-the-ear style, but it is much smaller and incorporates a receiver in the client’s ear. There is a small and almost invisible wire connecting the hearing aid with the microphones and computer chip to the receiver in the ear. Most hearing aids today are Bluetooth compatible, which means they stream the conversation from a cell phone to both hearing aids simultaneously.
Hearing Aid Batteries Have Gotten Smaller Over Time
There has been a tremendous amount of research required for battery companies to reduce the size of the battery. In the 1970s, only a large 675 battery was used to power hearing aids, and it was revolutionary when the size 13 battery was introduced. When the completely-in-the-canal aids were introduced, an even tinier battery (size 10) was introduced along with it. Currently, the most common size of battery is 312. The digital hearing aids utilize energy doing millions of calculations per second and the most amazing thing is the increased battery life with smaller batteries.
Let our board-certified audiologists walk you through the full range of our top-of-the-line digital hearing devices. Call the number on this page or fill out our online contact form to make an appointment at our offices.