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The History Preceding Our Digital Hearing Aids Part 1

Hearing loss throughout history has led to a number of interesting events and inventions. Hearing enhancement of the past utilized innovation and the technology that was available at the time. ION Hearing can relate to proprietors of hearing loss correction of the past. Contrary to their technology, our digital hearing aids provide the most comfort and user-friendly controls. If you’re wanting to buy hearing aids online, you’ve come to the right place! Our professional technicians will help you choose the perfect hearing aid for your medical need and lifestyle. While ION is happy to lead the charge into the future with HD hearing aids, we also like to reminisce on audiology practices of the past. 

Humble Beginnings 

Hearing loss was first remedied in the 17th century by the advent of the ear trumpet. Yes, it works as you would imagine. The ear trumpet consisted of a metal tube with a widened entrance that narrowed at the opposite end to make for a comfortable fit with the ear. The thought process behind this primitive tube was to capture sound and provide it with directional steering towards one’s waiting ear. The other benefit of this tool was that it sheltered the wanted sound from other sounds within the listener’s proximity. Simply pointing your trumpet towards the east side of the room helped to isolate that direction and reduce the secondary noises occurring simultaneously. 

The end of the 18th century brought increasing demand for these state-of-the-art hearing devices. Commonly set with a collapsible structure, ear trumpets became more popular amongst the general population. Ear trumpets that were commercially available came in limited styles that were modeled after famous or powerful characters that requisitioned a custom-fit horn.The first company to open up as a hearing aid enterprise was started by Frederick C. Rein in 1800. This original shop sold hearing enhancement devices such as the ear trumpet, speaking tubes and acoustic urns. This would be the beginning of an illustrious history of innovation and design. 

Picking Up Steam 

England became the mecca for hearing aid modernization. 36 years after Rein’s business opened its doors, Alphonsus Webster patented his own device. Webster’s product consisted of a curved earpiece that was worn behind the ear. Rein himself also made progress with a number of upgrades, including his concealable acoustic headbands. Hearing loss at this time was less understood and warranted more discretion when utilizing hearing devices. Many hearing aids were designed with the intention of being sneaky instead of being user-friendly. While many patients struggled with their equipment, the technology was beneficial nonetheless. 

The history of hearing aids is one of optimism and creativity. While many were flawed or ineffective, the groundwork was helpful in inventing today’s hearing aid equipment. Next week, we’ll cover more history revolving around assistive listening devices, including the transistor and digital hearing aids. If you’re in need of a top-notch rechargeable hearing aid, you’ve come to the right place! ION hearing is your source for professional hearing enhancement equipment. We’ll provide the knowledge and consultation needed to choose the perfect hearing aid. Contact us today for a free consultation!