The History Of Hearing Aids

Hearing aids have been around for a long time now. The world's very first hearing aids were quite large. They had a large cone like shape on one end which connected to a tube. On the other end of the tube was a smaller  device that would be placed in the ear. The idea was that the sound would travel from the large cone, through the tube, and into the listener's ear.

As you can probably imagine, this first form of hearing aid was not very effective in improving hearing, but it was your only option if you were going deaf and needed a hearing aid. They were large, making them an extreme inconvenience to the person carrying it around. 

Major Jumps In Hearing Aid Technology

Without the inventions of Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison, the modern hearing aid device may have never come into existence. Bell learned how to amplify sound using a microphone and a battery, while Edison invented the carbon transmitter, which changed sounds into simple electrical signals that could travel through wire.

After traveling a distance through the wire, the frequency could then be transformed back into sound. Both of these technologies made the modern hearing aid a possibility. 

Before the Industrial Revolution took place, hearing aids took a lot of time, and energy to manufacture, making them a high priced item that usually only the rich could afford. When the Industrial Revolution began and hearing aids began to be mass produced, the price of them dropped  significantly, making them affordable for the middle class people during that time. 

Hearing Aid Manufacturing

Several different companies came out with their own versions of the hearing aid. In 1896 a company by the name of Dictograph produced the first commercial carbon type hearing aid of the time. Miller Reese Hutchison, who worked for Akouphone Co. in Alabama made the first functional electric hearing aid only one year later.

This hearing aid used a battery along side with a carbon transmitter. All of this technology weighed the hearing aid down so much it had to be placed on a table during use. This version of the hearing aid sold for around four hundred dollars at the time. 

Vacuum Tubes

Vacuum tubes were introduced to hearing aids in the 1920's, making them more efficient, but the weight of the object was still an issue at hand. The hearing aid became smaller and portable in 1952 when on and off switches were added to the hearing aids. This version of the hearing aid was not only portable, but it was a lot cheaper than the other versions thus far, ranging in price from two hundred and twenty five to two hundred and fifty dollars. 

Today's technology allows for hearing aids to be very small and compact, as well as being generally low in pricing. Today's generation of hearing aids can self adjust the sound level based on different situations. As you can see, hearing aids have come a very long way since the 1800's, and is constantly being improved as new techniques and new technologies are discovered. For more information, contact a company such as Waters ENT Sinus & Allergy to learn more.