Fremont Hearing Aid Center

Fremont   |   510-651-0900
Milpitas   |   408-956-8100
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Providing quality care to the hearing impaired in the Tri-City area for over 40 years!

Hearing Glossary

acoustics:

the study and science of sound and its perception

amplification:

increasing of the intensity of sound; or generic description of a hearing aid or assistive listening device

audible frequency range:

range of frequencies that can be heard, which, in young humans, is from approx. 15 Hz to 20,000 Hz

audiogram:

graph of the threshold of hearing sensitivity, expressed in decibel (dB) Hearing Loss (HL), as determined by a hearing test

audiology:

branch of healthcare devoted to the study, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of hearing disorders

audiometer:

electronic instrument designed for measurement of hearing sensitivity

audiometric tests:

procedures used to determine the nature and degree of hearing disorder

auditory response area:

dynamic range of hearing from the threshold of audibility of the threshold of discomfort across the audiometric frequency range

auditory sensation area:

see auditory response area

Behind-the-Ear hearing instrument:

Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing instrument; a hearing instruments that fits over the ear and is coupled to the ear canal via an earmold

body-worn hearing instrument:

hearing instrument with its components encased in a small box worn on the chest with a cord connected to a receiver worn in the ear; today rarely in use

bone conduction hearing instrument:

hearing instrument, used most often in case of middle ear problems, in which the amplified signal is delivered via bone vibrator placed on the mastoid, thereby bypassing the middle ear and stimulating the cochlea directly

BTE: Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing instrument:

a hearing instruments that fits over the ear and is coupled to the ear canal via an earmold

binaural amplifications:

Amplification with a hearing instrument instrument for each ear

cerumen:

waxy secretion of the glands in the external auditory canal (Cologuial: ear wax)

chronic otitis media:

COM; persistent inflammation of the middle ear having a duration of greater than 8 weeks

clicking tinnitus:

tinnitus, either subjective of objective, characterized by a clicking sound; present in cases of chronic middle ear disorder. Presumably caused by an opening and closing of the eustachian tube

Completely-In-The-Canal hearing instrument:

Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC hearing instrument; the smallest amplification device available, extending from 1 mm to 3 mm inside the opening of the ear canal, which allows greater gain with less power due to the proximity of the receiver to the membrane

Corti’s organ:

hearing organ, composed of sensory and supporting cells, located on the basilar membrane in the cochlear duct

custom earmold:

earmold made specifically for an individual from an ear impression

digital hearing instruments:

hearing instrument that processes a signal digitally

digitally programmable hearing instrument:

modern instrument combining digital and analog technology

digital signal processing:

digital signal processing (DSP); manipulation by mathematical algorithms of a signal that has been converted from analog to digital form

directional microphone:

a microphone which is more sensitive to sound from the front than from any other direction; (common term for omni-directional)

directional hearing:

the ability to determine the direction of a sound

DSP:

see digital signal processing

DSP hearing instrument:

see digital hearing instruments

ear, inner:

structure comprising the sensory organs for hearing and balance, including the cochlea, vestibules, and semicircular canals

ear, middle:

portion of the hearing mechanism extending from the tympanic membrane to the oval window of the cochlea, including the ossicles (middle ear bones) and middle ear cavity; serves to conduct sound from device of the outer to the inner ear

ear impression:

cast made of the external ear and ear canal for creating a customized earmold or hearing instrument shell

ear wax:

the waxy secretion of the ceruminous glands in the external auditory canal; (colloquial term for cerumen)

earmold:

the device coupling a Behind-the-Ear (BTE) Instrument to the ear canal

feedback, acoustic:

sound produced when a leak exists in an amplification system; sound escapes through the ear canal, reaching the microphone and being re-amplified; e.g., hearing instrument squeal

FM system:

a communication system, designed to enhance speech understanding in difficult listening situations, in which a remote microphone/transmitter worn by a speaker sends wirelessly signals via FM to a receiver worn by a listener

frequency control:

potentiometer or other controlling device on a hearing instrument that changes the frequency response

hearing instrument HA:

a electronic device designed to amplify and deliver sound to the ear, consisting of a microphone, amplifier, and receiver

hearing instrument, BTE:

Behind-the-Ear BTE) hearing instrument

hearing instrument, CIC:

Completely-in-the-Ear (CIC) hearing instrument

hearing instrument, ITE:

In-the-Ear (ITE) hearing instrument; custom hearing instrument that fits entirely in the concha of the external ear

hearing loss HL:

reduction in hearing sensitivity

inner ear:

structure comprising the sensory organs for hearing and balance, including the cochlea, vestibules, and semicircular canals

Leudet tinnitus:

see clicking tinnitus

middle ear:

portion of the hearing mechanism extending from the medial membrane of the tympanic membrane to the oval window of the cochlea, including the ossicles and middle ear cavity; serves as an impedance matching device of the outer and inner ears

monaural hearing instrument:

hearing instrument worn on one ear only

organ of Corti:

see Corti's organ

ossicles:

the three small bones of the middle ear - the malleus, incus, and stapes - extending form the tympanic membrane through the tympanic cavity to the oval window

otitis externa:

inflammation of the outer ear, usually the ear canal

otitis media OM:

inflammation of the middle ear, resulting predominantly from eustachian tube dysfunction

otoscope:

a speculum-like instrument for visual examination of the external auditory canal and tympanic membrane

pediatric audiologist:

audiologist with a subspecialty interest in the evaluation and treatment of hearing disorders in children

personal FM system:

a wearable assistive listening device consisting of a remote microphone/ transmitter worn by a speaker that sends wirelessly signals via FM to a receiver worn by the listener; designed to enhance communication in difficult listening situations

postauricular hearing instruments:

see Behind-the-Ear (BTE) instruments

programmable hearing instrument:

digitally controlled analog or digital signal processing hearing instrument in which the parameters of the instrument are under computer control

sign language:

form of manual communication in which words and concepts are represented by hand positions and movements

telecoil switch:

T-switch; telecoil switch; permits use of an induction coil to receive electromagnetic signals from a telephone or a loop amplification system

tone control:

see frequency control

volume control VC:

manual or automatic control designed to adjust the level of amplification of a hearing instrument

wax:

colloquial term for cerumen, or the waxy secretion of the ceruminous glands in the external auditory meatus

wax guard:

shield placed over the end of a custom made hearing instrument, designed to prevent or reduce accumulation of wax in the receiver