The hearing aid program at Rush University Medical Center is just one part of the larger hearing rehabilitation program. Our goal is to provide comprehensive services aimed at helping the patient hear and communicate better.
When hearing aids are recommended, the choices can be overwhelming. Our audiologists have the background, training and experience necessary to help you navigate the choices and make the best decisions for your life.
Hearing aids can be divided into two basic categories: analog and digital signal processing. Since all hearing aids amplify sound, the processing type refers to how the sound is processed in the amplifier.
Analog hearing aids simply take the incoming sound wave and make it larger. Often, analog hearing aids have volume controls to allow the user to adjust the volume and some have additional controls the audiologist adjusts to best fit the hearing loss. Many analog hearing aids are also programmable, meaning that they are adjusted through the aid of a computer. This can allow more precise adjustments in volume and sound quality.
Digital hearing aids break the incoming sound wave into discrete bits of information read by the computer chip inside the hearing aid. The chip allows the audiologist to access more features and possibly fine tune the hearing aid more discreetly than its analog counterpart. Some digital hearing aids allow for features that help amplify softer sounds of speech while reducing background sounds; some allow for more than one program to customize the device for a listener.
The decision about which type of hearing aid is right for you depends on several factors. Through discussion with your audiologist, you can decide which type will best suit your needs.