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Hear, Hear! The Evolution Of Hearing Aids

15 February, 2017

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Today, hearing aids are almost indistinguishable from Bluetooth earphones. They’re small, comfortable and flexible, and they can be hidden from view if the wearer chooses to do so. But did you know that hearing aids were not always so user-friendly?


The first hearing aids were developed in the 1600s and had the look, size and feel of a trumpet! Yes, they were shaped like trumpets and it people had to insert the narrow end into their ears while the broad end would collect sound waves. Indeed, secrecy of a condition wasn’t of paramount importance- treating the condition was. Take for example the earliest artificial respiratory systems- a person using it would have to lie in the machine forever.


In the 1800s, hearing aids became considerably smaller but were still quite conspicuous. All of a sudden, society seemed to mind that hearing aids were being used at all, so the social stigma attached to them forced people to decorate them with designs, integrate them with their collars and try other accessorizing means that are almost inconceivable today. Indeed, it is believed that full beards took on in this era because it was a great place to hide things such as hearing aids! Kings and monarchs came up with something much more ingenious- they incorporated hearing aids into their thrones! Wires leading from the throne to their ears would then transmit sound.


In the 1900s, Bell invented the telephone, and with that came a wave of very unexpected hearing devices that used electricity to operate. Using the same principle as the receiver of a phone, the collected sound waves and passed them right into the human ear, allowing for smaller hearing aids.


Today, hearing aids are the result of some very sophisticated technological advancements. They are extremely light and invisible, can be worn throughout the day without physical discomfort, amplify and cancel noise based on your surroundings so you don’t experience ear pain, and can be worn throughout the day.


An ENT doctor is the best person to visit if you have begun having trouble hearing. They will diagnose the root cause and recommend a course of action for you. Sometimes, it may be a temporary condition. In some cases, a hearing aid may be required. In any case, you have nothing to worry about in this day and age.

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