Insects May Shape the Future of Hearing Aids

insects and hearing loss in san diego

The scientific community has dedicated years to researching the human ear in order to understand how sound is transmitted to the brain. New advances in technology have allowed us to explore the auditory system more comprehensively than ever before. As a result, hearing technology conglomerates are creating the most innovative and effective treatments for the hearing impaired. In order to take hearing aids to another level, new research efforts are taking the focus off the human ear and are instead concentrating on the biomechanics of various insects.

In order to bring new, inventive ideas to hearing aid technology, researchers have started looking at different insects with efficient sound delivery and processing methods. One of the notable insects they are studying is the cricket. Crickets are able to transmit loud chirping sounds by rubbing their wings together, due to the stiff and jagged nature of their wings. Scientists are attempting to replicate these bioacoustics in order to create a more powerful hearing aid speaker. Laser vibration and computer simulations are being used to test this concept.

Experts are also interested in the way insects are able to process sound. Hearing aids use a digital signal processor (DSP) to convert sounds into digital information. The sounds are then amplified or filtered to create the desired hearing environment. The locust is known to have an advanced ability to amplify incoming sounds, and scientists are interested in using similar mechanics in the microphone of the hearing devices.

Locusts also have a natural capacity to filter out certain frequencies. Their membranes are equipped with automatic frequency separation abilities. If we were able to replicate this phenomenon in the hearing aid microphone, devices could be more efficient, smaller in size and have a greater battery life.

There is still a wealth of information available in the biology of insects. As researchers become more familiar with these critters, the industry of hearing health may reap the benefits. In the meantime, the best thing you can do for your hearing is to protect it. Options such as musicians earplugs and custom earplugs are available to provide the highest level of hearing protection. If you’d like to learn more about these options, or find out where to buy the best hearing aids in San Diego, our staff can help! Speak with us today at (858) 279-3277.

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