hearing aid

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hearing aid,

device used in some forms of deafness to amplify sound before it reaches the auditory organs. Modern hearing aids are electronic. They contain a tiny receiver and a transistor amplifier, and are usually battery powered. Some are small enough to fit into an arm of a pair of eyeglasses, or into the outer ear. The bone-conduction hearing aid, placed behind the ear, channels sound waves to the adjacent bony part of the skull, which then transmits the vibrations to the auditory nerve of the cochlea. The air-conduction hearing aid amplifies sounds and directs them into the ear toward the tympanic membrane. In recent years, a number of advancements have been made to hearing aids, improving the comfort, sensitivity, and aesthetic quality of the devices. Today, many hearing aids are customized to amplify only those noises (e.g., high frequency) that the user has difficulty hearing. Cochlear implants have been developed for use by certain totally deaf people. They consist of mechanical replacements for ineffective hair cells in the inner ear, which transform sound vibrations into electronic impulses that stimulate the auditory nerve.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hearing Aid


a sound-amplifying device used by persons afflicted with deafness or impaired hearing. The earliest hearing aids were purely acoustic devices, such as ear trumpets, whose narrow end was inserted into the ear. Modern hearing aids are electroacoustic devices consisting of a microphone, an amplifier, and an earphone. The sound enters the microphone, where it is converted into electric voltage. Amplified by electronic tubes or transistors, this voltage enters the earphone, where it is reconverted into amplified sound.

Hearing aids differ in design according to the nature of the auditory impairment. The standard earphone, inserted into the ear, transmits amplified sound into the external ear, and the bone conduction receiver, pressed against the mastoid process of the temporal bone, transmits sound into the inner ear.

Miniature hearing aids have a miniature earphone that is attached to an individually molded insert in the external ear. Some hearing aids are built into eyeglass frames or hair clips. Pocket hearing aids are manufactured as well. Hearing aids are prescribed by a physician and individually fitted in specialized laboratories after exhaustive hearing tests.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

hearing aid

[′hir·iŋ ‚ād]
(engineering acoustics)
A miniature, portable sound amplifier for persons with impaired hearing, consisting of a microphone, audio amplifier, earphone, and battery.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

hearing aid

a device for assisting the hearing of partially deaf people, typically consisting of a small battery-powered electronic amplifier with microphone and earphone, worn by a deaf person in or behind the ear
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Mr Grey doesn't hear what any of the women say - except when Jane offers "Tea?" - and Harriet deploys her ear trumpet to devastating effect.
Space Trumpet allows the viewer to climb into a shed on stilts, placed at the listening end of a giant ear trumpet.
security reasons and all that...' they whisper, as if Osama himself was sipping a lager in the corner armed with an ear trumpet.
There is not much wrong with the Gaffer's eyesight, but the old boy must need an ear trumpet because everyone else seemed to hear the nick Heath Streak extracted with the second new ball.
This huge space has needed something equally gargantuan to fill it for some time, and Mr Kapoor has, which his vast red ear trumpet design, more than answered the brief.
Then there was: ear trumpet, mellifluous, cascade, serendipity, cumquat, verisimilitude and contrapuntal.
My years in journalism have convinced me that there are some people you could shout information at down an ear trumpet and they still wouldn't get it.
As it was, I also had three of my old chums within shouting distance, though I would have greatly benefited from an old-fashioned ear trumpet, as sported by Evelyn Waugh.
An ear trumpet seemed like a good idea, to wave at people and tell them to - "speak up, young feller" but they are not to be found.
Helping Arliss realise his evil dream are a squad of faithful henchbabes and a second-string bad guy called Bloodbath McGrath, who has replaced an ear lost in battle with a small ear trumpet grafted onto the side of his head.
I can't think of anything he ought to wear, except perhaps an ear trumpet."