Advances in Hearing Aid Technology

Deaf man makes a hearing test

Over the years, there has been considerable advancement in the technology of hearing aids. The times where hearing impaired people had to deal with huge, noticeable, clunky hearing aids is definitely a thing of the past. Although the basic idea of hearing aids has always been comprised of the same parts, a microphone, processor, receiver, and power source, has remained, the way the technology works has changed considerably.

There are plenty of options of hearing aids, but with advancements in technology, the majority of them are tiny enough that nobody even has to know they’re there. With the digital age, the components of a hearing aid have advanced to the point that there are no wires and the devices are tiny enough to fit comfortably into the ear canal and discreetly over the ear. The majority of the technology is found in the portion of a hearing aid known as the processor. Thanks to technological improvements over the years, the processor is able to be programmed by an audiologist Colorado Springs to offer just the right volume and other features based on the individual’s needs. A hearing aid can be programmed while connected to a computer and by using special software from the manufacturer of the devices.

In addition, there are more brands from which to choose than ever before. Many hearing aids are also capable of being paired up with a smartphone via Bluetooth and a special hearing device. This allows the individual to be able to better hear phone calls or music from their phone as they are streamed directly to their hearing aid.

One of the best technological advancements of today’s hearing aids is that there are directional microphones available for people who have hearing loss in both ears. Many people have a worse loss in one ear versus the other and as a result, they are excellent candidates for what’s known as a CROS hearing aid. With this type of hearing aid, the better ear uses the hearing aid and the worse one uses the receiver, a microphone that amazingly picks up sounds from the side in which the hearing is worse. The microphone will transmit sounds from that side to the ear that has the hearing aid, allowing for an overall better hearing experience.

People with nerve damage induced hearing loss have difficulty dealing with loud sounds because they tend to be painful to their ears. In that situation, if the individual is in a noisier situation, they can change the way sound is transmitted to their hearing aid by pressing a tiny button on their device. There are usually three modes: normal, comfort in noise, and conversation in noise. Comfort in noise mode can help when there are louder sounds that may cause distress. Conversation in noise mode is ideal for going out to dinner at a crowded restaurant where many people are talking and allows the individual to hear the people with whom they are dining. This technology is also known as digital noise reduction.

There is also technology known as impulse noise reduction. It is similar to digital noise reduction and works by softening any typically annoying white noise sound, such as the sound of someone typing on a keyboard.

In the past, a big issue with hearing aids was feedback. Feedback is a whistling sound that is present with a hearing aid that can be persistent and annoying, not to mention uncomfortable. However, with the technological advancements made in hearing devices over the years, there are now feedback management systems that can combat the issue by reducing the amount of amplification.

Perhaps most incredible is that there are now hearing aids that simply fit into the ear and don’t require batteries. There is a new extended wear type of hearing aid that sits in the ear canal on a daily basis that can even be worn while showering, swimming, and sleeping. In an incredible feat of technology, it doesn’t even require any daily maintenance. No doubt, even more advancements will be made in the area of hearing devices in the years to come that will allow an ear doctor Colorado Springs to greatly improve the quality of the lives of individuals with hearing loss.

What Is ABS Plastic?

Plastic building blocks, isolated on white

Since coming into widespread usage in the early to middle years of the last century, plastics have become important materials in almost every industry. Of the plastics that are widely available on the market today, perhaps none is more widely used than acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, better known as ABS.

Properties of ABS Plastic

The reason that abs plastic enclosure fabricating has come into the wide use that it has is the fact that it has a relatively rare combination of physical properties. Despite being an amorphous polymer, it is both strong and relatively durable, a marked advantage over other plastics that are either excessively brittle or too weak for most applications. Differences in the exact production method can, however, alter these properties somewhat.

Another important property of ABS from a manufacturing perspective is its color, which in its raw form is white. Because of this entirely neutral coloration, ABS can easily be dyed to any color that is desired during the manufacturing process. This enhances the already substantial versatility of ABS, as it can easily be given permanent coloration rather than having to be painted to be a specific color.

How is ABS Made?

Being a polymer, ABS is made from a series of smaller molecules known as monomers. These monomers, which give ABS its unique properties, are usually combined in what is known as an emulsion process. In emulsion, monomers are placed in a solution with other chemicals and allowed to combine with each other, eventually resulting in a polymer. Emulsion manufacturing is not unique to ABS, and is in fact used to make several other common polymers. ABS can also be produced by another, less well-known process called continuous mass polymerization, in which the combination of monomers takes place in several stages.

Uses of ABS

Probably the most amazing thing about ABS plastic is the fact that it is used in so many different ways throughout so many different industries. In fact, you probably encounter ABS many times throughout the course of any given day without even realizing it. This durable plastic is used for everything from children’s toys to the plastic wheels on modern walk-behind lawnmowers. It is even used by kiosk manufacturers. In any application that requires impact resistance and durability at a reasonable cost, ABS can usually be found.

How are Products Manufactured From ABS?

The manufacturing of plastic products was one of the greatest emerging industries of the 20th century, producing many innovative methods for creating useful items out of raw plastic. When it comes to manufacturing products from ABS, the most common method is known as injection molding. In an injection molding process, pellets of a plastic such as ABS are melted and then injected into a mold under high pressure. When the plastic cools, the resulting product takes on the shape of the mold itself.

More recently, however, ABS has also become a key material used in new 3D printing technologies. Because it can be manipulated easily when it is heated to a high enough temperature, ABS is an ideal material for 3D printers that lay down layers of heated material that then cool to form a single three-dimensional object. ABS, being strong enough to be functional in many different applications yet printable in this fashion, has become one of the most commonly 3D printed materials. Unlike injection molding, which uses ABS pellets, 3D printing requires long spools of the raw material.