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What to Consider When Comparing Hearing Aid Brands

Saturday, December 23, 2017 6:12:45 PM Asia/Calcutta

In this generation of technological advancement, hearing aids are becoming more and more progressive with its new and even customized features. Hearing aids are devices that amplify sound and deliver it directly in the ears of the hearing impaired person. Surveys show that a majority of the people are completely satisfied with the outcome of hearing aids.

Today, there are so many hearing aid brands to choose from. All of them serve fascinating features and services, making people completely forget about their hearing impairment. However, different brands have different particularities in their products catering to the specific needs of the hearing impaired person. They vary in the features they offer, the technology used, the design and style of the device, the specific lifestyle of the user, and the price range they come in.

Based on the design of the device, hearing aid brands offer designs like behind-the-ear (BTE), mini-BTE, in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC), completely-in-the-canal (CIC), invisible-in-canal (IIC). As their names suggest, they come in convenient sizes that fit in the ear, and even inside the ear canal completely. Most hearing aid brands keep this flexibility in mind based on the requirements of hearing impaired people worldwide.

The technology based hearing aids are of two types, namely, the Analog and the Digital. However, digital hearing aids are more technologically advanced than the analog ones, and some hearing aid brands also offer many more features in digital hearing aids.

Based on the differences in features, most hearing devices are equipped with the directional microphone, the direct audio input, the T-coil or telephone switch, and the feedback suppression.

Hearing aid brands also keep in mind the specific lifestyle of the user which vary from the simple, the social, the outdoor and the vibrant ones. These are again divided into various other types that serve the specific requirements and choices of the patients. Also, there is another special kind of hearing aid that is built into the stethoscopes of medical practitioners who are suffering from hearing disabilities. These types of hearing aids are battery operated with either changeable ones which run for a long period depending on its quality, or rechargeable ones, with good battery backups.

Before buying a hearing aid, the user should compare different hearing aid brands and consider multiple aspects. Let’s have a glance at the parameters that you should consider while comparing various manufacturers.

  • Value for money - The user must feel that the product and its features are worth the price.

  • Sound quality - The sound quality of the product should be very clear, and should be as distortion-free as possible. Hearing aid brands that offer the best sound quality are a clear winner here.

  • Performance - The brands offering a smooth performance, without frequent failures in its functionality, should be shortlisted.

  • Reliability - Only those brands must be considered that are reliable enough and have good reviews, both from users and skilled Audiologists worldwide.

  • Ease of fit - Hearing aid brands must be offering a device that fits easily according to the shape of the user’s ear, without having him/her to adjust it in place frequently.

  • Size - Most people prefer their hearing aids to be as small as possible, so as to keep them hidden within the ear, making others go unnoticed of the user wearing one. Nowadays, different hearing aid brands offer extremely small to almost miniscule devices that completely fit inside the ear mold or even the ear canal of the hearing impaired person.

  • Ease of use - The product should provide enough flexibility to the user, so that he/she do not feel uncomfortable wearing it.

  • Customer support service - The hearing aid brands must be offering really good and satisfactory customer support services, because if the user is not guided properly, he/she may face serious health-related problems.

  • Connectivity like bluetooth, Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies - The product must have good connectivity technologies so that they can be operated, regulated and even programmed as per the requirements of the user.

  • Durability - The hearing aid brands must be offering products that last long, without compromising on their overall quality.

  • Battery life - If the battery is too weak, users should not go for them, as it is not always possible to change batteries too frequently. You should never consider hearing aid brands that do not provide a good battery life.

  • Rechargeability - If possible, the user must look for a device that offers battery recharging facilities, because as mentioned above, it is not always possible for users to change batteries, for example, if they are on a long trip, it might not be possible for them to get batteries everywhere. Also the hearing aid brands must be providing a good battery backup.

  • Aesthetics - The overall design and style of the hearing aid really attract the person seeking for one, due to its aesthetic value. There are many hearing aid brands that are cutting the edge with their sleek design and stunning looking devices.

Apart from these, there are other specific factors that a person might look for in different hearing aid brands according to his/her specific needs based on the type and degree of hearing loss and his/her lifestyle. These may include binaural ("wireless ear-to-ear system") technology, tinnitus (ringing in the ear) management options, innovations in digital technology, compression, feedback suppression or cancellation, noise reduction, and other product services like extended warranty hassle-free exchange or repairing, and the like. Different manufacturers specialize in different parameters and have different price variations. Hearing Plus, a recognized clinic for treating hearing impaired persons, deals with different brands that serve different features according to the needs of the patient.

However, it is strictly suggested that you should always consult an Audiologist before taking any decision. It is only your Audiologist who will choose the right brand for you according to your hearing loss and your adjustability to amplification. Also, you must be willing to adjust to your device according to your motivation, hearing needs, lifestyle, and priorities. In the end, the success with hearing aids depends less on the manufacturer than on the motivation and diligence of both the patient and the Audiologist.

With the advancement of technology, hearing aid brands are gradually developing their products with improved hearing abilities, increased longevity, advancement of designs and facilities and many more. Hence, hearing loss is no more a problem, and one should not shy away from acquiring a hearing aid.

Comments | Posted in Hearing Aid Devices By Phalguni Bannerjee

Hearing Loss Treatment- Ideal for Confining Hearing Impairment

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 8:38:12 PM Asia/Calcutta

There are several instances around the world which prove that the hearing issues are explicitly common and is faced by a large number of people. As the prevalence of the issue is becoming too widespread there are certain aspects of this problem which needs to be understood by everyone, the first being the reason which causes hearing impairment among people of different ages.

Let’s take a look at some of these reasons which very often makes people isolated from their peer group and their society as well.

Reason of Hearing Loss Among Children:

  • Infection During Pregnancy
  • Injury At Birth
  • Premature Birth
  • Other Health Conditions
  • Frequent Ear Infections
  • Viral And Bacterial Infections
  • Head Injury
  • Exposure To Loud Noises

Reason of Hearing Loss Among Adults:

  • Inherited From Parents
  • Acquired From Illness
  • Intake Of Ototoxic Drugs
  • Exposure To Loud Noise
  • Tumors
  • Aging Process
  • Head Injury
  • Tinnitus
  • Otosclerosis
  • Acoustic Neuroma
  • Presbycusis

Symptoms of Hearing Loss:

The reason or the causes which affect the hearing ability of an individual might differ from each but there are certain symptoms which clearly indicate the problems faced by the individuals. These symptoms can be summed in the following points:

  • Muffling of speech and other sounds
  • Withdrawal from the peer conversations
  • Avoiding social gatherings and get-togethers
  • Facing trouble in understanding words
  • Losing ability to differentiate between background and foreground noise
  • Listening to Radio, Music or watching TV in a very high volume
  • Asking others to speak slowly but loudly

Being some of the common symptoms, these points clearly indicate the need and support of a professional in order to restrict the problem at its initial stage. Seeking immediate attention ensures that the hearing ability does not deteriorate to a further level. The professionals make sure to offer you the support that would definitely ensure to help you get a good hearing experience from the beginning itself.

Solution That Helps In Restoring Lost Hearing Ability

Before defining the solution that will help to rehabilitate a person with hearing impairment let us understand the different types of hearing loss:

Basically there are 3 major types of hearing loss:

  1. Conductive Hearing Loss
  2. Sensorineural Hearing Loss and
  3. Mixed Hearing Loss

Although, the factor behind hearing impairment may vary from person to person due to their age, geographic location or physical condition, the treatment for problems of every level is easily available in the modern market- thanks to the advanced technologies! At Hearing Plus we are proficient in providing treatment of hearing loss of sensorineural origin.

Opting for a hearing loss treatment is a good and ideal solution to detect, analyze and impede further deterioration.

Flowchart of the treatment of Hearing Loss of Sensorineural Origin in Hearing Plus:

hearing loss treatment

Being socially conscious about one’s image and reputation, people used to restrict themselves from visiting a specialist for their hearing issues, but as the trust develops between the patient and the professionals (audiologist), the restriction and inhibition gradually fades away.

By providing years of trustworthy services to its patients, Hearing Plus have emerged as a significant hearing clinic whose utmost concern is patient satisfaction and contentment. The specialists and professionals (audiologist) of this clinic ensure providing best quality rehabilitative services to their patients to make them feel safe and secure.

A large number of audiologists and specialists are sharing their ideas and views about the issue and are encouraging people not to ignore hearing problems as it might lead to several other ranges of issues further in their life.

The cost of these treatments is also lowering down significantly and is becoming affordable for many people which again contribute to the popularity of the treatment. The more you tend to ignore your hearing issues, the more you have to spend money on your treatment and thus it is advisable that you ought to consult a consultant as soon as you start facing minor issues in the hearing.

Treatment Of Hearing Loss In Children: Things You Need To Know

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 8:36:04 PM Asia/Calcutta

Hearing loss or hearing impairment is a condition when an individual loses his or her ability to hear sounds partially or totally in one or both the ears. The problem is generally considered to be a major one among adults and elderly. But, it is equally common among infants as well.

The loss of the ability to hear at the time of birth or after birth is becoming a common phenomenon to be seen and observed all around the globe. It is estimated that around a quarter or half of the profound or severe issues in hearing occurs due to genetic or hereditary causes. Before opting for the treatment of acoustic loss among children, get informed about the various types of loss of acoustic ability that occurs in the young ones and the reasons that are responsible for the same.

Types of Hearing Loss in Children:

A) Based on the age of onset of losing acoustic power, the loss of hearing can be -

  • Congenital Hearing Loss – which is present since birth
  • Acquired Hearing Loss – Acoustic issue occurs at any point of time during the developing years but is not present since birth.

B) Based on where the acoustic issues are located it can be of:

  • Conductive Hearing Loss – The loss of audiometric ability that occurs due to problems in outer and middle ear is called conductive acoustic issues.
  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss –Loss of audiometric ability that occurs due to a problem in inner ear is known as Sensorineural Loss. This kind of issue is permanent in nature.
  • Mixed Hearing Loss – Acoustic loss that occurs due to a problem in both outer or middle ear as well as inner ear.

Being a critical component to speech and language development, communication, literacy, and learning, hearing becomes mandatory for children. In absence of the ability of this sensory organ, it becomes extremely difficult for the children to cope up with the society and to deal with the regular educational curriculum followed by others.

Causes of Hearing Loss in Children

Loss of audiometric ability among children can be caused due to genetic, non-genetic factors and acquired factors.

Genetic Factor:

Genetic factors also known as the hereditary factors is considered to be the root cause of more than 50% of all acoustic issue caused among individuals. This hereditary problem at times shows its symptoms at birth itself and is also known for affecting the individuals in the later part of their life.

Most of the genetic loss can be described as autosomal recessive and autosomal dominant, some of the ways through which the trait or disorder passes down through families. Other, rare types of this audiometric loss include the X-linked (related to the sex chromosomes) or the mitochondrial inheritance patterns, which affects the individual’s life.

Nongenetic Factors:

The nongenetic factors account for about 25% of the loss of auditory. Some of the nongenetic factors that cause loss of acoustic ability among individuals include:

  • Premature birth
  • Maternal infections such as rubella, herpes simplex virus or cytomegalovirus
  • Injuries during birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Lack of oxygen or anoxia
  • Maternal diabetes
  • Toxemia during pregnancy
  • Toxins, including drugs and alcohol consumed by the mother during pregnancy
  • Inner ear malformations
  • Complications associated with the Rh factor in the blood/jaundice
  • Outer/ middle ear malformations (Atresia, stenosis)

Acquired Factors:

Acquired loss of audiometric power as the name suggest is acquired by the children at any point during their lifetime after their birth. The condition might be temporary or permanent. The conditions that causes acquired acoustic issues in children include:

  • Measles
  • Ear Infections
  • Noise Exposure
  • Chicken pox
  • Mumps
  • Ototoxic medications
  • Meningitis
  • Head Injury
  • Accident
  • Exposure to sudden outburst of noise
  • Encephalitis

Treatment of Hearing Loss in Children

Losing any sensory organ as a child does mean losing childhood permanently. It is thus recommended to take the child immediately to the specialist in a professional clinic in order to help them get treated as soon as possible. The treatment procedure might vary among children depending on several factors which include their type of audiometric loss, their age and the level of impairment.

The first step towards the treatment of hearing loss is the evaluation and diagnosis of the children, gauging their level of hearing impairment. The Hearing Loss in children can be treated through different ways, depending on their type of acoustic loss, level of impairment and age. The several ways of treatment includes:

Treatment of Hearing Loss through Hearing Aids

Joint Commission on Infant Hearing (JCIH, 2007) recommends children with suspected hearing loss should have their hearing loss confirmed by 3 months of age and that amplification in terms of hearing aids or cochlear implant should be fitted by 6 month of age. It thus helps overcoming the impact of hearing loss.

Best Suitable Hearing Aid For Children:

The Behind-The-Ear or BTE is the type of aid that is mostly recommended for the infants and the young children. The reason being as follows:

  •  BTE’s can fit in with various types of ear molds.
  •  Since ear molds are easily detachable from BTE’s they can be made again and again as the child grows.
  •  Also as the ear molds are easily detachable they can be cleaned easily.
  •  Parents can easily cross check the functionality of the hearing aid and can make necessary arrangements.
  •  BTE’s can accommodate wide variety of Hearing Loss.
  •  It can be easily connected with other listening devices like DAI and telecoil.
  •  Ear molds in BTE can be made of soft materials hence it is becomes very comfortable for children.

Hearing Aid Features:

The technological features which are essential and which makes the device extremely friendly for the children are:

  • Digital Noise Reduction
  • Directional Microphones
  • Frequency Lowering Strategies
  • Signal-Processing Features

Treatments of Hearing Loss through Cochlear Implants

A Cochlear implant is a medical electronic device that is used for replacing the function of the damaged inner ear. It bypasses the damaged hair cells of the inner ear and helps to provide sound signals to the brain.

When Is Cochlear Implants Suggested For Children?

The decision of using cochlear implant as the treatment of acoustic loss among children depends on the evaluation of their medical, audiological and psychological or habilitative condition. This treatment is used for children who suffer from:

  • Auditory Neuropathy/dyssynchrony
  • Bilateral Severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss
  • History of limited or no benefit from binaural hearing aids which are coupled with intensive auditory training
  • Absence of medical contraindications and other medical issues

Treatment of Hearing Loss through Hearing Assistive Technology: Personal FM Systems

Hearing Assistive Technology or HAT system is known for equipping the individual with the right kind of ability to overcome the negative consequences of the background noise and reverberation effect that interferes with the optimal audibility. Thus, improving the ability of the children to communicate and gain access to communication in adverse listening environments.

When Hearing Assistive Technology Is Suggested For Children?

When it comes to the use of HAT systems in children, the degree of audiometric loss is the major thing that is looked upon. Another factor that affects the selection of the children for the use of this system includes:

  • The degree of loss among the children
  • Situations such as hyperactivity, behavior, cognition and auditory issues
  • Technology issues
  • Ability to use the device and the financial resources

Treatments of Hearing Loss through Other Devices (Osseointegrated Devices, Auditory Brainstem Implants)

Osseointegrated Devices are considered for the children with the permanent bilateral, mixed and single-sided hearing loss. FDA has not approved the surgical implantations of bone-anchored aids in children within 5 years of age; however, they are permitted to wear the external processor until they are old enough for implantation.

Auditory Brainstem Implants is used and is recommended for the people who do not have a cochlea or auditory nerve. This implant helps in providing electrical stimulations of the cochlear nucleus in the brainstem.

Treatment of Hearing Loss through Pediatric Audiologic Re/Habilitation (AR)

The Pediatric Audiologic Re/habilitation (AR) therapy is provided for the children to help them improve their speech, language and communication skills and to develop a strong hold on their auditory behaviors. It enables the audiologists to use the varied form of communication methods which include the listening and spoken language, cued speech and language and sign language to help them with the right kind of modality of communication that they require.

Advanced Features In Latest Hearing Solutions

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 8:27:29 PM Asia/Calcutta

The technology behind hearing aids has been changing rapidly. Hearing aids are no longer promoted by the hearing aid makers as an assistive medical device. They are promoted as a fashion accessory, the way the society look s at eyewear – spectacles and sunglasses.

The reason behind this change in marketing strategy has been the technological advancement which has made all hearing aids smaller, sleeker and yet more powerful than their predecessors. The smaller and sleeker size and design implies that several hearing aids are no longer easily visible.

Moreover, hearing aid companies have divided the customer base into premium and non-premium with further segregation of their client base based on age. Several companies like Phonak have come up with product lines specifically designed for kids and teens.

Some others have come up with hearing aids for babies. One manufacturer has come up with hearing amplifiers which they promote as the device for those who aren’t ready aid for a hearing aid. Devices for kids have been promoted with personalization in terms of cover colour to match their liking.

Premium hearing aids too come with personalization options in terms of device body colour and in terms of settings. Premium hearing aids come with advanced features like tinnitus management system inbuilt with the hearing aid, although some companies have separate devices for tinnitus management.

Hearing aids are coming with apps to connect your mobile phone or your home security system directly with your hearing aid. These advanced features are pretty much needed in today’s world. However, in India where aged people tend to lag behind on technology sphere, these advanced features may not come to any use.

There are mobile apps that can give soothing music to your ear when you are facing tinnitus problem via your hearing aids. All the hearing aid players in the market today work on a franchisee model to sell their products in India. You need to contact your nearest hearing aid clinic to get the best deal.

Comments | Posted in Hearing Aids By Phalguni Bannerjee

Hearing Loss Protection Tips

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 7:08:12 PM Asia/Calcutta

How To Avoid Hearing Loss?

You must have yourself protected against Hearing Loss. The causes of hearing loss may be many. But one common cause of Hearing loss is Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). The primary cause of hearing defect in case of NIHL is repeated exposure to high decibel or loud sounds. With repeated exposure to loud noises like gun shots, air horns, loud music, background noise cause hearing to deteriorate gradually due to over stimulation of delicate hearing cells, leading to their permanent injury and even death. Other activities like spending long hours cutting trees on your lawn without taking ear protection, watching television with loud volume, getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist may all expose your ears to unsafe noise levels. If these are not protected, it may lead to irreversible damage to your hearing. We at hearingplus.in being a leading hearing clinic in India will try to make you aware of how to protect yourself against Noise Induced Hearing Loss through this blog.

Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is preventable:

Though Noise Induced Hearing Loss is very common type of hearing loss, the good news about it is that it is preventable. By gaining proper understandings of what are safe levels of noise, you can establish means that protect you from hearing louder ones and thus prevention of Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL).

What is the safe Sound Level?

Though there are complex for calculating the safe hearing levels, it is generally accepted that 85 db is considered the threshold level above which continuous exposure is hazardous to your hearing.

Check on your musical devices and headphones:

With the advancement of technology, headphones and other hearing devices are always in use. Unfortunately the continuous exposure to them causes damage to our hearing. It has also been observed that since the young are found of loud music, they continuously are exposed to such high sound levels and thus causes Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). Since hearing devices such as headphones bring sound into the ear canal and close to the eardrum, thereby increasing intensity of the sound and thus increases risk of permanent damage.
So beware of such devices and if required regulate the sound levels which are safe and would not cause damage. In fact as a parent it is necessary for you to make your child aware of these hazards of loud music.

Using Hearing Protection where ever necessary:

Your occupation may require you to be at sites where you may be exposed to continuous hazardous levels of noise. These may be construction sites, factory, or you may be involved in other activities like shooting, hunting, mowing the lawn, or attending musical concerts, etc. In such instances it is necessary that you use hearing protection through hearing plus. Hearing plugs may be of many types like ones which are custom fit or simple ones like foam ear plugs.

Others may include distancing yourself from loud sounds, if possible. Lowering the volume of television sets, or other audio devices may be another option where in can help you protect against Noise Induced hearing loss.

For further information regarding hearing loss and its treatment please visit https://hearingplus.in/

Comments | Posted in Hearing Aid Clinic Hearing Plus By Phalguni Bannerjee
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