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Things To Do If You Have Severe Hearing Loss

Thursday, November 22, 2018 4:52:43 PM Asia/Calcutta

You might wonder what you should do or whom should you approach when you are having a hard time struggling and fighting with severe hearing loss! To you, living a life with such serious hearing problems isn't a very easy thing! You might feel yourself lonely and being socially isolated. But the good news is - you do not have to live a life like that! You too can lead a normal life with so many hearing loss treatment methods out there! Because you deserve to live a better quality of life!

Read on to know how!

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Can Hearing Aids Help Tinnitus?

Friday, November 2, 2018 6:44:59 PM Asia/Calcutta

Are you worried about Tinnitus, and tired of living with it for a long time now? Are you wondering whether you will ever get cured of it? The good news is, some Tinnitus problems can be managed with the help of hearing aids. However, it cannot be fully cured with the help of these devices - no matter how technologically advanced digital hearing aids you are using. Also, you must realise that you should consult a certified Audiologist at the earliest - because delaying or avoiding Tinnitus won’t be a solution!

 

Incidence and Prevalence

According to the CDC estimates, in the US, the prevalence of Tinnitus is about 15% of the total population (that is, about 45 million Americans) - and a majority of them are senior citizens belonging to the age group of 65-85. Apart from ringing in the ears, Tinnitus is also associated with other sounds, such as buzzing, humming, hissing, or even roaring, and in some cases cricket-like - even when there is no presence of external sounds! Tinnitus can occur either in one ear or both the ears, or even in the head - and the ringing sounds can be either constant or intermittent. It has become a common problem nowadays, and about 2 million Americans are suffering from quiet an alarming or chronic stages of Tinnitus. The result being - effect on daily functioning, a decline in the productivity at workplace, difficulties concentrating in academics, misunderstandings in relationships and among family members, sleep disturbances, and worse still - it might affect emotional or psychological conditions.

 

How Can Hearing Aids Provide Tinnitus Relief?

There are many varieties of advanced and smart digital hearing aids which help manage and reduce tinnitus problems. However, apart from hearing devices, there are many other tinnitus instruments which can be clubbed together with the use of these digital hearing aids to improve outcomes and enhance tinnitus relief. Also, there are various maskers and home masking devices which are used to cover up or conceal the tinnitus sounds.

There is a specialised therapy known as Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) - which uses cognitive behavioral therapy along with a masking device which makes the person suffering from Tinnitus learn to ignore the background noises of Tinnitus.

All of these methods have the sole aim of comforting or lessening the problem, thus making tinnitus less audible - because tinnitus cannot be cured completely; it can only be treated and in the true sense, be ‘masked’.

 

Now What is Meant by Masking of Tinnitus?

Just like hearing loss, tinnitus is a problem which cannot be cured, it can only be treated. In other words, if your tinnitus problem is caused due to hearing loss, then hearing aids can help manage and comfort your ringing sounds. It is because when you were living with an untreated hearing loss, your brain was not able to receive all the sounds due to lack of stimulation in the specific sound frequencies in which you are having the loss. For example, you may not be able to hear the sound of birds chirping if you have a high frequency hearing loss.

After you have opted for advanced digital hearing aids, you will again be able to hear those sounds in these frequencies. Studies have shown that after this amplification with the help of hearing machine, people who have hearing loss along with tinnitus, have reported a significant decline in the severity of tinnitus problems as well.

The reason behind this is after the adaptation of digital hearing aids, one is once more able to listen to natural sounds of the surrounding environment, such as the rustling of the leaves, the rainfall, the splash in the pool, the singing of the cuckoo, and so much more - which they were missing for all these days! This ability to hear these natural sounds acts as a ‘masking’ effect for tinnitus - due to which a person who is suffering from both hearing loss and tinnitus will at least be relieved from the annoying ringing sounds which were hampering his/her life activities for so long!

Also, in addition to improving the hearing and communication abilities of the concerned person, hearing aids also amplify the background sounds. This helps reduce the loudness or the prominence of Tinnitus, and help the person concentrate more on the sounds of nature. Simply taking one’s concentration off the disturbing Tinnitus sounds serves as a relief for many people. Besides, on using digital hearing aids, a person is no more required to strain while trying hard to hear something properly. This itself reduces stress, as hearing devices are meant to improve communication, and thus, the concerned person is relieved from Tinnitus problems.

However, you will be surprised to know that there are many advanced digital hearing aids today that are aimed at directly managing Tinnitus problems. So why should you delay in opting one? Just go ahead and stay away from the icy pangs of tinnitus!

Comments | Posted in Digital Hearing Aids By Phalguni Bannerjee

Risk of Hearing Loss in Teachers

Monday, October 8, 2018 1:33:07 PM Asia/Calcutta

With loud bells ringing, children shouting and screaming, announcements over loudspeakers or microphones, slamming of doors or lockers - you are exposed to such high decibels of sounds all the time. In other words you are at a very high risk of acquiring occupational noise induced hearing loss (NIHL)! According to a study, classrooms were recorded to be having noise levels of about 87 dB - exposing to which increases the risks of hearing impairment. But sadly, teachers and educators often overlook this problem and hence, refuse opting for a hearing loss treatment.

Hearing loss in teachers occurs at a very young age than other occupational noise induced hearing loss. The continuous exposure to screams from hallways, sports rooms, canteens or lunchrooms, musical instruments from music rooms, etc. - all contribute to hearing loss. Hearing loss in teachers and lecturers often make them unable to concentrate during lectures. This results in a reduction of productivity at teaching or lecturing. Certain hearing loss treatment methods like hearing aids might be effective in managing this problem.

Although teachers are more prone to hearing loss at primary or even secondary schools, yet at higher education institutions, lecturers and professors have to be attentive and be able to listen and understand properly all the time - in order to keep up with the classroom activities.

According to a research study done by the Danish Centre of Educational Environment, teachers who are younger than 40 years report a much higher rate (near about 26%) of hearing problems than that of other professionals (which is about 17%). Other studies have proved that teachers are much at higher risks of having hearing loss due to their exposure to unsafe volumes of sounds - such as at choir or music rooms and gymnasiums (as high as 90 dB). Music teachers and coaches or trainers of various games and sports are especially vulnerable to such high sound levels - thus leading to their early hearing loss problems - and compelling them to seek some hearing loss treatment at an early age!

A common problem among teachers due to their overexposure to risky sound levels is tinnitus - or ringing in the ears. This can cause difficulties in concentrating on the classroom activities and even understanding what the children are saying. Thus teachers and lecturers find themselves often telling others to repeat what they have said! As a result, they might feel stressed faster due to their being attentive and trying to listen all the time. This often makes teachers being misunderstood and often ignored!

It would therefore, be a big mistake on your part to leave your hearing problems untreated, as the problems would go adverse and would bring in more medical complications - such as Dementia associated with forgetfulness, anxiety, depression and the like, as well as social and communication barriers like social isolation, speech difficulties, difficulty in understanding what others are trying to convey, and the like.

Consult a certified Audiologist today at your nearest hearing loss treatment clinic and resume your class activities which you have been missing all these time!

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
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