The week of September 15th through the 21st marked Hearing Aid Awareness Week in the United States. The invention of the hearing aid has helped millions of Americans maintain their quality of life by improving their ability to hear the world around them. Today we will be dedicating this blog post to the hearing aid and the promotion of healthy hearing.
The History of Hearing Aids
The first hearing aid was invented in the 17th century as a large metal device that was made to be put over the ears. Over time, technology evolved and today's hearing aids come in a variety of styles, some of which are contained completely within the ear. Electronic hearing aids paved the way for the hearing aids that we know today. The very first electronic hearing aids were designed after the telephone in 1876. The technology utilized by the telephone increased the ways in which acoustic signals could be altered, changing the way the loudness, distortion, and frequency of sounds could be controlled. This technology was taken from telephones and put into hearing aids.
With the introduction of transistors in the 1960's and the introduction of microprocessors in the 1970's, hearing aids became even more effective and portable. Then, the creation of high-speed digital-array processors allowed for additional technological advances in digital hearing aids. Hearing aids are now digitally programmable and regulate sounds on their own, without the need for an external control.
Hearing Aid "Fun Facts" and Statistics
While the history of hearing aids is quite intriguing, there are some fun facts about these phenomenal devices and interesting statistics that many people aren't aware of. Sharing these facts and statistics is an important part of hearing aid awareness.
Did you know?
- One out of every 10 Americans has suffers from hearing loss.
- Three of every 1,000 children are born with hearing loss.
- The majority of people with hearing loss are below retirement age.
- More males suffer from hearing loss than females.
- Sitting in front of the speakers at a rock concert can expose you to 120 decibels, which will begin to damage your hearing in as little as 7 1/2 minutes.
- The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that only one out of every five individuals who need hearing aids actually uses them.
- The use of hearing aids promotes improved hearing ability, self-esteem, confidence and reduced anger and frustration.
- Today's generation of iPod and MP3 users are more likely to suffer hearing loss earlier and will likely need a hearing aid at a younger age than previous generations.
If you suffer from hearing loss, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits. Learn more here!