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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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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!

Importance of Auditory Training in Adults

Thursday, August 23, 2018 2:43:42 PM Asia/Calcutta

You might have come across or heard about auditory training programmes and other early intervention programmes designed for children, to aid them learn speech and language skills. But did you ever realise that auditory training for adults, especially the senior citizens is equally important and should be performed along with hearing aids - to have better outcomes. In 90% of the cases, auditory training as a part of a proper hearing loss treatment programme, has proved to be beneficial!

Auditory Training

What is Auditory Training?

According to Schow & Nerbonne study done in 2007, Auditory Training can be defined as an intervention in which listeners are taught to make perceptual distinctions between various sounds. These sounds - which are from various sources - are presented to the listeners systematically. The main focus of auditory training is on improving listening and communication skills of hearing aid users - because the world of sounds with hearing aid devices is relatively ‘new’ for them!

 

Incidence and Prevalence of Hearing Loss in Adults

However, the saddest part is, although about 90% of the world’s total hearing impaired population are adults, and according to WHO, approximately one-third of persons over 65 years are affected by disabling hearing loss. Yet about 75% people do not wear hearing aids! They fail to realise the importance and the urgency of getting a proper hearing loss treatment, and do not understand the necessity of opting for good hearing aids at the earliest!

 

Why do I Need an Auditory Training?

Because only wearing a hearing aid won’t help! After wearing a hearing aid you might feel that though you can hear various sounds, you are, however, unable to understand them. You might even fail to understand the meaning of what others or even you yourself are saying! This situation becomes more adverse if you opt for a proper hearing loss treatment after living many years with hearing loss. To overcome this situation, you need to participate in a post-fitting auditory training to aid you in proper hearing and understanding - so as to achieve the maximum benefit.

 

How is Hearing and Understanding Different?

Wearing hearing aids might help you to hear the sounds better which you were unable to before opting for them (or some other hearing loss treatment like cochlear implant)! But you might be confused at first which sound is associated with which object or phenomenon - even though the sound might be quite a common one. Besides, you might also face difficulties in understanding what other people are trying to convey - although you might be able to hear them quite well. Now why does this happen? We actually listen rather than hear! Listening involves understanding - and it occurs in the brain. The brain processes the sound signals received via the auditory nerve, and translates them into meaningful signals - and this is the time when we can actually listen!

 

What are the Benefits of Auditory Training?

Research studies have proved auditory training programmes for adults to be effective and beneficial enough for adults - including the older population with hearing aids (or other such hearing loss treatment like cochlear implants). Some undoubted benefits of auditory training sessions clubbed with hearing aids (or cochlear implant) include -

  • Auditory training involves actively listening to common sounds such as tones, parts of words or basic units called phonemes, or even whole words or phrases over a long period of time. This improves the person’s ability to pronounce, utter, process sounds, and say words, phrases and whole sentences with ease.

  • This method of hearing loss treatment also improves and strengthens listening, understanding and communication skills of the person.

  • Studies have proved that auditory training improves attention and cognitive abilities which support our listening skills.

  • After the training, participants have shown greater motivation and an increased interest in trying to improve their hearing and their overall health - which they previously lacked, and as a result have been neglecting their hearing health.

  • The programme is interactive and engaging enough to make people feel the need for living a better life with good hearing health through a proper participation in a hearing loss treatment programme.

  • The modern auditory training programmes are computer-based that can be easily adapted by adults and elder people, hence giving fruitful and productive outcomes.

 

So when are you opting for today’s advanced and updated hearing aids, along with a proper auditory training programme - being a part of an effective hearing loss treatment?

5 Diets to Boost Your Hearing Health

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 1:24:08 PM Asia/Calcutta

Do you know that following a balanced and healthy diet chart might boost your hearing health? For example, minerals can play a vital role in promoting not only good hearing, but also improves your overall health and your immune system. So why go for a hearing loss treatment when you can actually prevent and preserve your hearing naturally!

Let us take a look at the list of important diets which are responsible for preventing hearing loss, and hence keeping the complicated issues and a hearing loss treatment at bay -

1. Potassium

Since potassium is responsible for regulating the amount of fluids in your body, it therefore, regulates the fluid in your inner ear. This is very important because as we start ageing, the potassium levels tend to drop naturally, which might lead to hearing loss or presbycusis (hearing loss due to ageing). Because inner ear is the most essential part of our ear as it transmits the sound signals - after converting them into electrical impulses - into the auditory nerve, which then transfers these signals to our brain. It is the brain which actually recognises the sounds and only then do we ‘hear’! Hence potassium is a vital component to be included in your diet, and never think of a hearing loss treatment!

Some potassium-rich diets include -

  • Potatoes

  • Spinach

  • Tomatoes

  • Lima beans

  • Apricots

  • Raisins

  • Bananas

  • Oranges

  • Melons

  • Low-fat Milk

  • Yoghurt

You can probably include these diets in your salads while you are on an outing, such as picnics!

2. Folic Acid

Do you know that folic acid is an essential element which aggravates your body’s ability to generate the growth of new cells? Not only that, folic acid also helps to maintain and regulate your body’s circulation system. And how does it help in preventing hearing loss? As folic acid is responsible for a good body circulation. It therefore helps in keeping the hair cells and the inner ear healthy and in good working condition. Studies show that taking folic acid rich foods and even supplements can reduce hearing loss to a great extent - and it also prevents presbycusis - which is most likely to occur in case of low folic acid levels in the body.

Diets rich in folic acid are -

  • Organ meats

  • Fortified breakfast cereal

  • Bananas

  • Potatoes

  • Broccoli

  • Spinach

  • Asparagus

3. Magnesium

According to research studies, people who included magnesium along with Vitamins A, C and E in their diets, were more protected while being exposed to loud decibels of noises. It is because, while you are exposed to loud sounds, the magnesium acts as a protective shield to the hair cells in the inner ear. Lack of magnesium levels lead to the narrowing of blood vessels in the inner ear, thus causing oxygen deprivation! So instead of neglecting your hearing health and being obliged to go for a hearing loss treatment later on, choose the healthy option of following the following magnesium-rich foods -

    • Bananas

    • Artichokes

    • Spinach

    • Potatoes

    • Tomatoes

    • Broccoli

4. Zinc

Zinc is responsible for cell growth increase and also to heal wounds. Another health benefit of zinc is that it promotes and improves the body’s immune system which in turn fight against infection-causing germs which might cause common cold and are therefore, harmful for the ear, and might cause hearing loss. According to some studies, zinc can not only prove to be an effective hearing loss treatment, but it also helps in treating tinnitus problems (ringing in the ears) which are often found among individuals with normal hearing. However, certain supplements might contain antibiotics and diuretics which might interact with zinc, so always consult your physician, and especially your Audiologist before consuming them.

Certain diets which include zinc as one of their key elements are -

  • Dark-meat chicken

  • Pork

  • Beef

  • Almonds

  • Cashews

  • Peanuts

  • Dark chocolate

  • Split peas

  • Beans

  • Oysters

  • Lentils

5. Omega 3 Fats & Vitamin D

Studies show that an increased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids have reduced hearing loss to a great extent, especially in the ageing population. Also, these fatty acids are not only efficient in managing and controlling hearing loss problems, but these are also known to reduce and treat tinnitus problems as well.

Foods rich in omega 3 fats are -

  • Fish and fish oils

  • Krill oil

  • Flaxseed oil

  • Salmon

  • Soybean oil

  • Sardines

  • Walnuts

  • Canola Oil

  • Flaxseeds

  • Chia Seeds

  • Mackerel

On the other hand, a deficiency of Vitamin D might cause cochlear deafness, as due to demineralisation, there is a damage in the cochlea of the inner ear, which contains hair cells - the vital elements responsible for hearing.

Vitamin D rich foods include -

  • Fatty fish, like -

    • Tuna

    • Salmon

    • Mackerel

  • Egg yolks

  • Beef liver

  • Cheese

  • Dairy products

  • Orange juice

  • Cereals

  • Soy milk

In a nutshell, when you have so many healthy and yummy foods to choose from, so why neglect with having a hearing loss treatment as the only option! When you can boost up your hearing health naturally, why wait until situations grow adverse?

So eat healthy for a healthy hearing!

Comments | Posted in Hearing loss treatment India By Phalguni Bannerjee
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