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More About the Myths and Facts About Cochlear Implants

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 6:54:45 PM Asia/Calcutta

As you have already seen in our previous blog how many people believe blindly in the numerous rumours about cochlear implants. We have talked about the most common myths that we often give ears to and believe in them blindly - without even considering the actual facts. Read this blog if you still aren’t convinced about the benefits and advantages of cochlear implants even after going through our previous blog:

 

Myths that You Shouldn’t Give Ears to!

  1. Myth - I am too old for a cochlear implant!

Cochlear Implant for Elderly

    • Fact - There is no age limit for undergoing a cochlear implantation! It doesn’t matter whether you or your dear one is 3 year old or 80 year old! You will qualify for a cochlear implant if you are suffering from severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss. Cochlear implants are a permanent solution and a long-term hearing loss treatment option - which would restore your hearing ability and make your life better, doesn't matter what your age is.

 

  1. Myth - A cochlear implant will destroy my residual hearing!

Residual hearing

    • Fact - It is often true that you might lose some amount of your residual hearing, but the scenario has changed and is continuing to change. As the technology, the electrode designs and signals, and the surgical techniques continue to develop and improve, the chances of residual hearing getting destroyed are less likely. The softer and the delicate electrode designs would not damage the delicate parts of your inner ear. So the amount of the loss of residual hearing due to cochlear implantation was much higher 10 years back than it is now! So cochlear implants are very effective devices for hearing loss treatment.

 

  1. Myth - Hearing with a cochlear implant is not like normal hearing!

    • Fact - It depends upon the amount of delay you are making in getting a cochlear implant. The longer you have lived with an untreated or improperly treated hearing loss, the more the damage will be, and the lesser the chance of your normal hearing being restored. Also, a child with bilateral cochlear implantation, that is cochlear implants in both the ears will have better outcomes than their peers with unilateral cochlear implantation.

 

  1. Myth - I can’t go swimming with cochlear implants on!

Swimming

    • Fact - Swimming won’t damage your internal implant as it is seated inside your skin at the back of your head behind the ear. However, you may require to remove the external sound processor in case it is not waterproof. The good news is that the modern cochlear implants have a waterproof audio processor and you can easily use them while swimming or participating in some water sports. In fact cochlear implant is the only option among any other hearing loss treatment method that might be used in water - hearing aids won’t allow that!

 

  1. Myth - Being a cochlear implant user, I must stay away from Wi-Fi devices.

Wifi

    • Fact - Wi-Fi do not interfere with cochlear implants, and on the contrary, the modern day cochlear implant devices use Wi-Fi technology to improve and strengthen communication. With the advancement of technology, the methods of hearing loss treatment have become innovative and smart enough for people to enjoy their lives fully - because hearing loss is no longer a barrier!

 

  1. Myth - I cannot undergo a MRI scan with cochlear implants on.

MRI Scan

    • Fact - Many modern implants are MRI compatible and you can very well have an MRI scan. However, if your device is not compatible with MRI, then you should have the magnet of your implant surgically removed before undergoing the MRI scan, and after the scan you can have the magnet placed inside the implant again in an absolutely hassle-free manner.

 

  1. Myth - With cochlear implants, I can’t take part in active sports.

Participation in Active Sports

    • Fact - It is perfectly safe to participate in active sports with cochlear implants. However, according to certified Audiologists, it is always safe to wear a protective headgear to keep the audio processors of your device safe in case you receive any blows - but you don’t have to remove them.

 

Are you still pondering over the benefits of cochlear implants? You are actually wasting your valuable time! Consult a certified Audiologist and learn about the benefits and outcomes of cochlear implant as a hearing loss treatment. Act wisely as it a matter of your life!

Myths and Facts About Cochlear Implants

Thursday, September 13, 2018 7:00:11 PM Asia/Calcutta

Your Audiologist told you or your child to undergo a cochlear implantation surgery, and you are extremely nervous! Afterall the word ‘surgery’ itself evokes a fright in the person’s mind - especially when it's done somewhere near the brain! But the good news is that there is absolutely nothing to worry about, and cochlear implant is not at all a major surgery! In fact, people are often released on the day of the surgery in many of the cases!

You might have come across many myths and rumours about cochlear implants which might have made you all the more frightened! But if you continue to believe in these delusive statements, then you might develop a negative attitude towards them - when in reality cochlear implants are life-changing - you can’t realise in what ways! So would you rather prefer a proper treatment of hearing loss and aim for a better life, or believe in these myths and ruin your entire life!?

 

What are Cochlear Implants?

Cochlear implants are electronic devices which is surgically implanted in the ear to replace the damaged cochlea in the inner ear. It enables a person with severe to profound hearing loss to hear clearly, which he or she was unable to otherwise. Cochlear implant is recommended only when hearing aids have failed to show much benefits.

Cochlear implants bypass the normal acoustic hearing system, by replacing it with electronic hearing. Cochlear implant as a treatment of hearing loss has proved much more effective preferred to hearing aids, as it enhances speech understanding. Because unlike hearing aids which simply amplify the sound, cochlear implants - by bypassing the damaged inner ear - stimulates the auditory nerve directly.

To know more about how cochlear implants work, visit our page: Cochlear Implant

 

Some Popular Myths and Facts

1. Myth - Cochlear implant will replace my natural hearing.

Listening

    • Fact - Cochlear implants can never replace your natural God-gifted hearing - in fact no treatment of hearing loss can! Cochlear implants just mimics natural hearing!

2. Myth - Cochlear implants are too expensive!Budget

    • Fact - There are many health insurance companies who cover cochlear implantation surgery. If you say that hearing aids are much cheaper as compared to hearing aids! But if you calculate the overall cost of hearing aids and its associated after sale services, and compare it that with cochlear implants - which are taken just once in your lifetime, the cost become the same! Moreover, with cochlear implantation - being a more effective treatment of hearing loss - you can get a permanent solution, especially when hearing aids fail to work!

3. Myth - Cochlear implant placement involves major surgery!

    • Fact - It is a very minor one, and people don’t even have to stay overnight. Most of them are released within a few hours!

4. Myth - Cochlear implantation involves brain surgery!

    • Fact - Often people think that cochlear implants are imbedded in the brain! No absolutely not! The internal part of the implant is placed behind the ear just beneath the skin, and an array of electrodes are inserted into the cochlea of the inner ear. The sound signals from here are directly transferred to the auditory nerve. The surgeon doesn’t go anywhere near the cranial cavity, where your brain is situated!

5. Myth - There is no problem to wait until my child grows up to make up his own mind to get a cochlear implant.

  1. Cochlear Implant for Children

    • Fact - The first few years of a child is very crucial for developing various developmental skills. This is because of the greater density of neural connections in the brain (synaptic density) till the age of 2 years, hence boosting the child’s ability to learn various skills more rapidly. But if the child is deprived of a proper hearing health, that is, he is living with an untreated hearing loss at this vital age, he might not develop so well later in his life due to the reduction in the synaptic density. Therefore, an early intervention and an early treatment of hearing loss is extremely necessary. It is your duty to promise your child a secured future, and not leave it up to him!

So just go for cochlear implants without hesitation, and if you are still having questions running in your mind, then read the Second Part of our Myths and Facts About Cochlear Implants: (coming soon)

Comments | Posted in Treatment Of Hearing Loss By Phalguni Bannerjee

Pros and Cons of Small Hearing Aids

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 12:26:47 PM Asia/Calcutta

You have been diagnosed with hearing loss, and your Audiologist have suggested you to take hearing aids. Till then it is well and clear! But the most confusing question is, “Which hearing aid would suit me the best?!” There are so many to choose from - starting from the stylish ones, the easy-to-handle ones, the technologically advanced and smart ones to the small and completely invisible ones.

 

Pros and Cons of Small Hearing Aids

So which one should you choose?

About 80% would go for smaller hearing aids - like the ITE, ITC, CIC or the IIC - which would remain hidden in  the ear, and not be seen by anybody else from outside. It is because a majority of the people are worried about what others would think, hence they deny showing their weaknesses. But often small hearing aids fail to show the expected outcomes as might have been shown by the larger ones. It is because small hearing aids often does not suit everybody! So before arriving at a solution, go through their pros and cons! These will help you choose the right hearing aid!

 

Pros

  • Very small in size, making them completely or nearly invisible

  • No external tubes or wires

  • Light-weight with custom-made sizes that fit inside your ear canal, thus making them absolutely comfortable to wear

  • Perfect for people having mild to moderate hearing loss

  • Due to their proximity to the eardrum, it needs less power for them to transmit the sound to your middle and inner ear

  • Provides much natural sound as there is no or little feedback (whistling) sounds as there is no plastic mold present. This also frees the user of the feeling of an ‘occlusion effect’ which renders in them a sensation of talking ‘in a barrel’!

  • Since these hearing aids are seated inside your ear canal, they are protected by the outer ear - thereby being shielded from the wind sounds while enjoying outdoor activities. Also due to their advantageous position, users of small and invisible hearing aids can having better experience while using telephone and headsets! Yes a plus point for song lovers!

 

Cons

  • Not at all fit for all - especially for people with severe to profound hearing losses. BTE hearing aids work best for these hearing loss types.

  • Associated with having dexterity issues - that is, elderly people and children, in most of the cases, are not able to handle these devices properly due to their extremely smaller size

  • Features can be limited as due to small size, they are not powerful

  • You will need to change batteries more often than those in BTE or other larger models

  • It is often difficult to see or feel the controls properly due to the tiny sizes of these hearing aids - thus often making you confused about how to change their functionalities. It makes all the more difficult for people with weak eyesight!

  • Not recommended for people with ear infections - such as in the cases where there is excessive accumulation of earwax, or pus or other ear fluids coming out  from the ear canal. This will not only damage these hearing aids, but will also ruin your hearing experience, thus making you feel uncomfortable!

Now that you are well aware of each side of the coin when it comes to small hearing aids, you can now set your preferences which will further guide you in taking the right decision. But always make sure to consult a certified Audiologist. A good decision taken now can change your entire life!

Comments | Posted in Hearing Aids By Phalguni Bannerjee

5 Tips to Get the Best Out of Your Digital Hearing Aids

Monday, September 3, 2018 11:39:56 AM Asia/Calcutta

The modern day smart and advanced digital hearing aids are designed to provide you the best hearing experience. People worldwide have given quite positive feedbacks after using digital hearing aids for sometime - and are living quite happily. But there is a trick! To get the best out of your hearing aids, you need to follow certain rules and tips, so as to get connected with the hearing world better!

Digital Hearing Aids

Tips to Hear Better with Digital Hearing Aids

  • Wear them for most of the day! Never go without your hearing aids at any time of the day, even while at home. If you keep them aside, your brain might start forgetting certain natural sounds which it did not hear for a long time. Give your brain enough food for it to stay in good working condition.

  • Start by using your digital hearing aids in a quiet room. One-to-one conversations at home might help, as no background noise would distract you.

  • If you are a new hearing aid user, or are using it after a long time, then follow conversations at TV and radio. If you are watching a movie, then try following the subtitles. It will make you understand speech more easily. Remember! Escaping from difficult situations won’t help! You have to face them to wipe away your fears!

  • Try using them in noisier environments. Go out at a busy crowd, a local supermarket or a restaurant. It will help improve your speech perception even in noise, and will also help your digital hearing aids store your preferred programs so that these can be referred to whenever needed.

  • Use the phone well. Place the phone close to the hearing aid’s microphone. It will enhance your speech perception, and will also reduce whistling and other feedback sounds from the device.

So what are you doing to get the most out of your valuable digital hearing aids?

Comments | Posted in Digital Hearing Aids By Phalguni Bannerjee

I Can Hear Ringing Sounds - Do I Have Tinnitus?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 12:14:02 PM Asia/Calcutta

Are you hearing ringing sounds recently, while no one else around you can? Then yes! You probably have tinnitus! However, apart from ringing, there are many other sounds associated with tinnitus - such as buzzing, hissing, whispering, clicking or even roaring! If you are hearing any of these sounds for quite a few days now, then you have tinnitus! Tinnitus is not a disease - it is a symptom of some other health condition or medical complexity. So it is very important for you to know the underlying cause of tinnitus - and if hearing loss is the cause, then undergoing a proper treatment of hearing loss is mandatory! You don’t want to face the darker side of it, do you?

 

Do I Have Tinnitus?

How Common is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a common complaint among quite a good number of Indians - statistics say it’s about 7-8% of the total Indian population! And what’s worse? People with tinnitus are facing a range of physical and emotional disorders - which is greatly affecting their quality of life! Globally, about 1 in 5 people are having tinnitus problems, and about 1 to 2 out of 100 people face such disturbing tinnitus sounds that it affects their overall health as well as mental problems!

Tinnitus is generally highly associated with hearing loss, but in a study made in the US in 2008, approximately 13 million Americans out of 29.7 million, do not have any hearing loss. However, you must get your hearing checked from a certified Audiologist and if any loss is found, then start a treatment of hearing loss at the earliest.

 

What Causes Tinnitus?

There are many risk factors that can be associated tinnitus, such as -

  • Ear disorders (like Meniere’s disease) - in such a case get an immediate treatment of hearing loss

  • Neurological conditions

  • Psychological conditions (such as, anxiety and depression)

  • Head/neck injuries or disorders

  • Ototoxic drugs or medications that are harmful for the ear

  • Other conditions, like - hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus, hormonal changes during pregnancy, etc.)

 

What Should I Do?

If you face any ringing or other tinnitus sounds, do not wait for it to go by itself! Consult a certified and well-trained Audiologist immediately - he or she will study your medical conditions (both past and present), and will first identify the cause of your tinnitus problems. If you are facing tinnitus due to hearing problems, then your Audiologist will proceed towards giving you a proper treatment of hearing loss.

Don’t make compromises and think that you will be habituated with ringing sounds. Don’t neglect it, as it might not only affect your hearing health, but can also invite other problems like physical, psychological and social complexities. Going through a methodical and systematic treatment of hearing loss along with other auditory stimulation - like music therapy, cochlear implant, and individualised sound stimulation, such as Auditory therapy - will reduce your tinnitus problems.

To know more about the Preventive Measures for Tinnitus, read our blog on: How to Beat Tinnitus?

Comments | Posted in Treatment Of Hearing Loss By Phalguni Bannerjee
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