Hearing Aid Glossary

  • Amplifier

    The part of the hearing aid or ALD that augments the sound traveling to the ear. The amplifier is an electronic device used in sound augmentation.

  • Assistive Living Devices (ALD)

    A device that assists in overcoming hearing loss by transmitting, processing, or amplifying sound. An ALD is not a hearing aid, but it can refer to devices that provides alerts. The ALD may be combined with traditional hearing aids.
    ALDs tamp down background noise and enhance sound close to you. An ALD is mostly associated with those with serious hearing loss but can help anyone who needs even mild assistance. ALDs can be found at churches, theaters, and auditoriums to help audience members hear the service or performance.

  • Audiogram

    The recording of a hearing test, showing a table and graph for each ear. The audiogram demonstrates how well you hear sounds at different frequencies through the use of a graph.

  • Audiometer

    Electronic device used by healthcare professionals to test thresholds of hearing and awareness of speech. It also assists in the assessment of how people process their speech for those with hearing loss.

  • Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aid

    This is a hearing aid where the electronics are housed behind the ear instead of inside. This means that the microphone, amplifier, speaker, and battery are located behind or on top of the ear with a tube that travels to the ear canal.

  • CIC Hearing Aid

    Standing for Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aid, this is a hearing aid that is entirely located inside the ear canal. It is the smallest style of hearing aid available on the market.

  • Cochlear Implant

    Standing for Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aid, this is a hearing aid that is entirely located inside the ear canal. It is the smallest style of hearing aid available on the market.

  • Decibel (dB)

    This is an audio unit of measurement for sound. It provides audio measurement for all sound recording and transmitting devices which include hearing aids, ALDs, and cochlear implants.

  • Dri-Aid Kit

    A kit used to lessen the amount of moisture build-up in a hearing aid which may lead to malfunction or infection of the ear. A Dri-Aid kit is usually drying agents or chemicals or a heating source which minimizes moisture build-up in the device.

  • Earhook

    This is part of the behind-the-ear hearing aid which wraps around or “hooks” to the top of the year. The earhook connects the electronic devices to the tube which enters the ear canal in this type of device.

  • Earmold

    Material that is molded to fill up part of the ear canal or concha bowl of the ear. It connects to the end of the tubing of a behind-the-ear device to keep it in place. The mold helps to seal the ear canal which reduces background noise and allows for sound augmentation.

  • Feedback

    The high-pitched noise that a hearing aid may emit when its microphone picks up the output of the hearing aid. This results in re-amplification which creates the high-pitched noise. Feedback can be eliminated by ensuring the microphone does not pick up the speaker.

  • Feedback Suppression

    Hearing aid technology designed to limit feedback electronically, usually by lowering the volume of the speaker or altering the signal phase which controls the amount of feedback possible.

  • Frequency

    A measurement of the sound vibrations or cycles per second. The frequency is the perceived pitch of the sound being heard.

  • Gain

    Not volume per say, but rather the amount of intensity which is added by the hearing aid to the incoming signal or sound. The higher the gain on the amplification device, the louder the sound will be transmitted.

  • Hearing Aid

    A device consisting of a microphone, amplifier and receiver worn on or in the ear that amplifies sound.

  • Impedance

    Associated with electronic hearing aids but is really the resistance to energy flow of any given material. The lower the impedance, the more sound will travel through the material or device.

  • Induction Coil

    Located inside the hearing aid, electro-magnetic energy activates the telecoil or induction coil. Found in hearing aids, ALDs, and telephones.

  • Infrared

    Some ALDs will transmit sound using infrared light waves.

  • In-the-Canal Hearing Aid

    A hearing aid that is located in the ear canal and the outer ear. Not the smallest of hearing aids, but one that is designed to be small and not very noticeable and uses a small battery.

  • In-the-Ear Hearing Aid

    A hearing aid that is located in the concha or bowl of the pinna along with the ear canal. They are generally larger devices and designed to be easy to use.

  • Listening Stethoscope

    Used by healthcare professionals, it is a device that listens to the speaking of the hearing aid to assess its performance, adjust, or identify certain issues.

  • Loop System

    A listening device that uses a large room or small neck look to create a magnetic field. The loop transfers the desired signal to the hearing aid with less background noise. Can be used with other listening devices that utilize electro-magnetic energy.
    Masking: This is a specific sound that is used to cover an unwanted sound. Created during hearing tests, a masking noise is often created to counter the noise made be tinnitus which is a constant ringing in the ears.

  • On-the-Ear Hearing Aid

    Sometimes called Open Ear Hearing Aid, this is a modified behind-the-ear hearing aid that uses a thin tube and puts the electronic components behind the ear to make it less noticeable.

  • Pure Tone Audiometry

    Part of the hearing evaluation that measures the air and bone conduction of sound. It is a test used to determine the need for a hearing device.

  • Swimplugs

    Similar to earplugs which are used to keep water out of the ear when swimming. By preventing water from entering the ear canal, it lessens the chances for infection to occur.

  • Tympanometry

    Sometimes called an immittance test, this is performed during an audiological exam that assesses the condition of the eardrum and middle ear cavity. The device will record the changes measured in the ear canal as sounds are introduced. The result is a visual graph that displays how the ear canal reacts which helps in assessing whether a hearing aid is needed.