In brief: The journey of the hearing aid

Steven Hale Hearing

Whether you like it or not, we live in a totally technological age. Some developments create undoubted improvements, such as access to the internet and far-reaching information, whilst others are not so beneficial, like smart motorways and microwaved pub food. 

However, in the world of hearing health, there is much to celebrate.

The journey so far…

It is believed that around a thousand years ago, anyone who was suffering from hearing loss would use a hollowed-out bone or tree branch to create a sound funnel that could be delivered directly into the ear to create enhanced sound reception.

This was probably more effective than the ‘cupping behind the ear’ they had likely been doing previously. The sound was not ‘amplified’, but merely gathered up and steered into the ear canal.

This in turn, led on to the world-renowned 18th century ‘ear trumpet’ * that you can see in the picture. (It is said that the composer Beethoven’s ear trumpets are now kept in the Beethoven Museum in Bonn, Germany). 

Whilst, at the time, it may have appeared revolutionary, and the ‘must have’ in some society circles, imagine if we had not moved on at all, and you had to whip this out of your case at the golf club dinner or business meeting!

So, hearing engineering moved through ‘acoustic headbands’ and devices concealed in clothing and furniture, Thomas Edison’s telephone development which theoretically introduced a microphone being held against the ear, and the use of vacuum tubes in the 1920s, until we find ourselves being introduced to the first wearable hearing aid in the 1930s. 

By ‘wearable’, we mean that it consisted of an earpiece, wire and receiver that could be clipped to the user’s clothing whilst a box containing circuit boards, batteries, amplifier and microphone were built into a pocket-sized box. 

The invention of the transistor in the 20th century then totally revolutionised hearing aid technology, and eventually resulted in a change from analogue to digital – which is where we currently live. 


Let’s talk invisible...

If you think about it, we all already have invisible hearing – we are born with it – which is effective to some degree or other, but will often degenerate with age, wear, illness and possible injury. 

However, the dream for Audiologists has always been to provide the best possible audio reception that replicates what we were born with – which is the ability to hear invisibly!

Steven Hale Hearing’s commitment is to keep you “Safe, active and social”.

This means that whether you are driving, walking, shopping, exercising or hosting or pub quiz, your hearing ability will be maximised using some of the devices available through his practice.

Ergo, they are now able to supply the ultimate in hearing aid technology, which is 100 per cent invisible. If you are lucky enough to NOT suffer with hearing loss, you won’t fully understand the impact of this sensory impairment. However, for the rest of us, it is a debilitating, isolating and potentially damaging hidden ** disability.

Once some loss has been identified, you then enter a minefield of options for improvement, which may seem bewildering and baffling, when all you really want is to be able to function with as few limitations and hinderances as possible. 

This is why the invisible hearing aid is such a brilliant device. 

A tiny, soft rubber and foam ‘pod’ armed with state of the art amplification, microphone and battery is inserted to a prescribed depth in your ear canal where it can be left to be worn 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for months at a time. Imagine that!

Enhanced hearing without risk of the aid falling off, getting lost, or even being noticed! Technology here has truly created a life changing device that is most literally out of sight and out of mind – and to keep you safe, active and social. 

Luckily, audiological experts such as Sutton Coldfield based Steven Hale, who is a member of AIHHP (the Association of Independent Hearing Healthcare Professionals) continually research the new technology available, and feed findings from his customers back to the device providers in order that they can continue to evolve.

This is borne from Steven’s commitment to the concept that one size most definitely does not fit all – that’s why you will see his amazing Otoscan available for 3D digital ear mould creation on his website – and that the diagnosis is only the first step to helping with hearing health.

In the cycle of help provided by Steven, he includes consultation, assessment, diagnosis, choice of options, fitting, adjustment and an on-going care package. 


So, how do I find out more?

Often, the first step is the hardest, as it does require you, or someone who loves you, suspecting there may be a problem and then calling Steven Hale Hearing.

Following your initial appointment, you are then in very safe – expert – hands of the SHH team.  Also worth noting is the fact that, because Steven Hale Hearing is an independent company, it is not tied to any single manufacturer, so can offer the broadest range of products available.


In summary

Technology has led us to the creation of the 100 per cent invisible hearing aid which provides not only brilliantly enhanced hearing, but is also comfortable, discreet and ‘forgettable’!

Talk to us – we are here to hear.

* It is believed that the ear trumpet was in some part responsible for the evolution of the stethoscope used by midwives. 

** As the disability is hidden, how incredible is it to know that the help is too!