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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 Aid Price

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 8:23:44 PM Asia/Calcutta

Hearing Aid prices in India may range from Rs. 3000 to Rs. 2.5 lacs. Several parameters determine the hearing aid prices. In a study done by Silva et. al. (2012) two important determinants of hearing aid prices are:

  1. Style or Design of Hearing Aid
  2. Signal Processing Technology

There are some other parameters which directly contribute to hearing aid prices and those are directional microphone, hearing aid shells and noise cancellation circuitry.

Now the question comes how a person will determine what value of hearing aid to purchase.

Definitely the type and degree of hearing loss is one of the key factors to determine the hearing aid which is usually determined by an Audiologist. Another key factor that an Audiologist keeps in mind while selecting a hearing aid is the lifestyle of the said person. In this parameter the said person with hearing impairment can contribute in the selection process and on the hearing aid price.

Based on the lifestyle that the person wants to enjoy he can select the appropriate type of hearing aid.

For example two person with the same degree and type of hearing loss and both are aging 65 years. Person A enjoys a sedentary life basically and mostly stays at home and person B is very active socially so person A should select hearing aid that supports simple living and hence his cost of hearing aid will be cheaper compared to person B who should select hearing aids supporting outdoor living or vibrant living and hence his hearing aid will be costlier.

Comments | Posted in Hearing Aid Price By Phalguni Bannerjee

Hearing Aids Online - Things You Must Consider Before Purchase

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 8:15:25 PM Asia/Calcutta

The Internet has lately emerged as the first and foremost marketplace for people around the globe. It offers them the necessary discount, convenience and the comfort of shopping that they had always longed for. Needless to say, it is a major boon for consumers around the world and helps them to get the necessary product that they are looking for. But wait, are you planning to use the Internet for buying your hearing aids!!!

What You Should Know Before Buying Hearing Aids Online?

If that is in your mind, then here are few points that you must consider and pay attention to before making a purchase:

  • An aid for your ear is a complex and customized medical device and not just a sound amplifier.
  • Equipped with digital technologies, these devices need to be set according to the personal hearing requirements of the individuals. It is set accordingly by the audiologist.
  • Before buying the device, you need to pass through an adequate audiometric test conducted by the professional clinics. Making a purchase without a comprehensive test might not contribute efficiently in hearing.
  • The settings which are required by this device might become difficult for the audiologists to alter according to your needs if it is bought online. It might require you to send the product back to the manufacturer asking them to make the necessary change in the product that will suit you. This would simply result in a chaotic situation for you, where you have to go without the aid for some time.
  • In order to help you to perfectly get acquainted with your new device for hearing, the audiologists provide their professional assistance through reprogramming, counseling and support sessions which might go missing if you plan to get the device from online stores.

Reasons Buying Hearing Aid Online Is Not A Good Idea

  • Every individual require hearing aid which perfectly fit in their ear. One size is not for all. The size differs from person to person and thus the aid must be selected very wisely. Opting for the device from an online shop may not bring to you the exact size that you require.
  • Loss of audition is a major health issue. It needs proper and comprehensive check-up by the specialist and the use of any kind of medication or device might be considered only after a thorough consultation with the doctor or audiologist. When you decide to get the device online, you are left with no specialist guidance or consultant to rely upon and this might fuel the further loss of your hearing ability and your money as well.
  • With proper consultation and analysis at a professional clinic, you will get to know that hearing aids alone may not be enough for improving your auditory ability. The audiologist may recommend hearing aid accessories or assistive listening devices if it is deemed necessary to improve your hearing ability.
  • It is always wise to get an aid if and only when it is recommended by a professional after an in-depth analysis and check-up of your ear. Just going for the look, design, and shape of the aid will not bring the desired outcome.

What To Do If You Face Trouble In Hearing?

If of late, you are experiencing tremendous trouble in listening to the sounds around you or require the people around you to repeat their words or sentences while they are conversing with you, then it’s time for you to see a professional audiologist. Thorough diagnosis and analysis of your condition help the audiologist to establish the level of hearing deficit and to determine the method of treatment which is apt for your condition.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA has strongly recommended a visit an Audiologist before buyin or through any other platform.

There are certain websites which promise to help you get the right kind of audiometric test before you decide to get the hearing aid for yourself. But relying on these websites is a critical task to undertake. The online screenings or test of hearing cannot exactly tell you the cause of hearing loss. It is always advisable to visit an audiologist physically and undergo a reliable consultation service which will inform you whether your hearing is normal or not.

Hearing Aids Online Does Not Guarantee Accurate Hearing Tests

Accuracy is what matters the most when it comes to audiology tests. A professional clinic is equipped with sound features and characteristics which guarantee the individuals to get their tests done efficiently. These diagnoses are conducted in sound-proof rooms with the use of special earphones and equipment that meets the international standards of the industry.

The online screening sessions lack the sound proof rooms and the equipment are also not up to the mark to the industry which mostly comes up with an inaccurate result.

The audiologists begin the session with a thorough discussion which includes details about the lifestyle of the individual, medical history, listening needs and any other concerns that might trouble you. This will help them to determine the special features that the hearing aids require.

Different Tests Performed By The Audiologists:

The audiologists perform several tests to determine and analyze the level of the hearing impairment in an individual. These tests include:

  • An Audiogram which is used to record the types and degree of hearing loss and it gauges the level of how well you can hear the soft tones at different pitches.
  • Speech testing is a way through which the professionals get to measure how well you can hear and understand the speech in quiet and noisy environments.
  • Loudness discomfort testing measures your ability to tolerate the loud sounds across different pitches. It helps the audiologists to set the hearing aids so that the loud sounds do not become uncomfortable for you.

After the successful completion of the various level of testing, the professionals sit with you in order to discuss the results of the tests. The discussion informs you about your hearing loss, its causes and what you can expect from the hearing aid or other treatment that is recommended for you.

Comments | Posted in Hearing Aid Clinics In India By Phalguni Bannerjee

A Peep Into Your Hearing Aid Accessories

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 7:05:16 PM Asia/Calcutta

Hearing aids are medical devices which once you start using; you need it for the rest of your life just like spectacles. Hearing aids comes in different shapes and sizes and in different price range. Based on their price range there are some pretty awesome features in latest hearing aids.

In order to enjoy these features you will need several accessories. There are some basic accessories that you have to use if you are a hearing aid user. Basic or cool, all these accessories need to be bought separately. Most of the hearing aid manufacturers make their own hearing aid accessories both basic and advanced keeping in mind their own and future product ranges.

These hearing aid accessories too are available with your local hearing aid clinic. If you are planning to use accessories of one manufacturer with the hearing aid device of another maker, be careful and don’t forget to consult with your local hearing aid clinic in Kolkata as well as search the internet for more information.

Basic accessories include – hearing aid cleaning brush, ear hook, wax pick and wire loop, multi-tools and hearing aid case. These are basically not so smart hardware which is a necessity for your day to day use. There are some pretty smart and cool hard ware’s too. These are hearing aid dehumidifiers, Bluetooth streaming accessories for your hearing aid, devices to sync your hearing aids to classroom or stadium digi systems to hear your lesson or stadium commentary better. There are smart phone apps like Siemens’s touch control app which converts your mobile phone into a remote control of your hearing aid for easy adjustment of your hearing machine. Some companies have come up with rechargeable hearing aids which allow you to do away with your hearing aid batteries. There are easy charging dockets for your hearing aid batteries too.

Comments | Posted in Hearing Aid Clinic Hearing Aid Clinic In India By Phalguni Bannerjee
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