Have you ever wondered, “Is there a device that allows deafinities to hear?” You’re not alone. A few technologies have enabled deaf people to hear for the first time. These technologies range from Assistive listening devices like EarPros, to Optoelectronics to Cochlear implants. Listed below are three popular technologies that allow deaf people to hear.

Optoelectronics

Deaf people who are unable to hear normal sounds can now have the ability to listen by wearing optoelectronics devices. These devices detect and emit electromagnetic radiation in the visible and near-infrared ranges. Optoelectronic devices work on the principle that light is quantized and that photons carry information. Electrons can absorb the energy of a photon within a crystal lattice, which must exceed the bandgap of an electron to be converted to usable energy.

Using optical cochlear implants allows the deaf person to hear. For example, these devices can pick up voices in noisy meetings and allow the deaf to appreciate the subtleties of their favorite songs. Tobias Moser, a professor at University Medical Center Gottingen in Germany, has developed an optical cochlear implant that uses micro-LEDs to send signals to genetically altered neurons.

Hearing aids

Hearing aids are small, wearable electronic devices designed to improve a person’s communication ability. The device takes sound into a tiny microphone, converts it to an electronic signal, and then sends the processed sound through the ear to the listener. This amplification increases the sound volume to average, allowing a person to understand speech. However, despite the benefits of hearing aids, they are not a cure for hearing loss.

One type of hearing aid is called a bone conduction aid. This hearing aid fits behind the boney portion of the skull in the back of the ear. When the wearer presses on the arm, the sound is transmitted to the inner ear through this portion of the head. These devices are more expensive than other hearing aids, require a great deal of power, and have poorer high-pitch responses. Although numerous advantages of these devices make them suitable for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss, they may be impractical for some people.

Assistive listening devices

Assistive listening devices are electronic systems that amplify sound. These devices are available in many forms, including hearing aids, personal listening devices, and text telephones. The devices allow deaf people to participate in conversation, communicate through telephones, and participate in family life. 

Infrared systems transmit sound to a receiver by way of invisible light beams. They are not as common as FM systems but are a good option if you plan to use one in a large venue. They can also be connected to a hearing aid with a telecoil for direct audio input. Unlike FM systems, infrared devices do not require a wireless connection.

Cochlear implants

Children with severe hearing loss can be candidates for cochlear implants. Early use of these devices leads to improved hearing and the ability to understand spoken language. Implant surgery is usually done as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. It takes about two and a half hours to perform. The surgeon uses a minimal incision and monitors nearby nerves, including the facial nerve. Once the patient has healed, most activities are permitted.

Some studies suggest that a child wearing two cochlear implants can improve their ability to locate sounds. A team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Waisman Center is studying the effects of two cochlear implants on deaf children. Their findings indicate that deaf children wearing two cochlear implants improve their localization skills. Ultimately, the children will get better at localizing sound over time.