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Advantages and Disadvantages of Hearing Aids Types

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 6:29:48 PM Asia/Calcutta

Life cannot be imagined without our hearing abilities; similarly, it also cannot be imagined without technology these days. The past few decades have witnessed so many evolution of innovative inventions that this generation and the next generations that are yet to come, cannot be imagined without technology.

Listening devices today have become so advanced, that now people can actually dream of rising to great heights, which he did not even imagine to do earlier with those huge hearing machines. Hearing aids are considered as the best treatments for irreversible hearing loss, as they show very good results in a majority of the cases. Also, these devices are absolutely user-friendly, with no side effects at all.

There is a wide variety of hearing aids types to choose from - some having aesthetic values, while some serving your specific purposes and your lifestyle choices. Hearing aids can be primarily categorised into two groups - Analog and Digital. While the previous analog hearing aids are microchip programmed and amplified each and every sound all the same, and did not have the capability to distinguish between different sounds; digital hearing aids on the other hand are so advanced that they can convert the sounds into digital signals and can easily identify between speech and noise, and amplifies the sound accordingly, making the hearing impaired person listen to the important sounds (in this case, speech), by reducing or cancelling out the background noises. These hearing aids types, thus, have the ability to amplify sounds in a very natural way. Natural human ear too, do not catch the unimportant sounds - your brain makes you focus only the sounds you actually want to hear.

Hearing aids can be classified based on the design of the product, the technology used in them, the features they provide and the lifestyle of the hearing impaired person. Based on the design of the device, it is divided into many types, namely - Behind-the-ear (BTE), Mini-BTE, In-the-ear (ITE), In-the-canal (ITC), Completely-in-the-canal (CIC), Receiver-in-canal (RIC) and Invisible-in-canal (IIC).

Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Type

Hearing Aids Types

Advantages

Disadvantages

Behind-the-ear (BTE)

  • Suitable for people of all age groups, with capability to serve individuals with hearing loss ranging from mild to profound hearing loss

  • Have fewer feedback problems

  • Rarely needs repairment

  • Worn behind the ears

  • Easily visible

  • Ear molds need to be remade every few years to make them fit properly

Mini-BTE

  • Smaller than the BTE hearing aids types

  • Suitable for people of all age groups, with mild to moderate hearing loss

  • Discreet design

  • No “plugged up” feeling

  • Worn behind the ears

  • Even being mini they are still visible

  • Harder to use with the phone

In-the-ear (ITE)

  • Fills the outer ears completely

  • Usually ideal for patients with mild to moderately severe hearing loss

  • Come with dual microphones, thus enhancing speech clarity

  • Not recommended for children as their ears are still growing

  • Open to problems with moisture and ear wax, thus requires regular cleaning

  • More prone to repairs

  • Prone to feedback problems

In-the-canal (ITC)

  • Worn in lower side of the outer ear

  • Can be easily inserted and removed

  • Good aesthetic design

  • Come with dual microphones, thus enhancing speech clarity

  • Longer battery life

  • Open to problems with moisture and ear wax, thus requires regular cleaning

  • More prone to repairs

  • Prone to feedback sounds

  • Older people find it difficult to handle such small hearing aids types

Completely-in-the-canal (CIC)

  • Sit inside the ear canal

  • Small and discreet

  • Amplify the sounds naturally

  • Perfect for people having moderate hearing loss

  • Older people find it difficult to handle such a small hearing aid

  • Again are prone to feedback sounds

  • Need repairment

  • Occlusion effect - or the feeling of talking in a bucket - is common with CIC

Receiver-in-canal (RIC)

  • Ideal for most people having any degree of hearing loss

  • Less feedback problems

  • Exceptionally discrete even for severe to profound hearing losses

  • Ear molds need to be remade

  • Harder to use with phone

Invisible-in-canal (IIC)

  • Sit deep inside the ear canal, thus making them completely invisible

  • Deliver a natural sound

  • Equipped with many powerful features, like directionality detection

  • Very comfortable to wear

  • Reduced wind noise

  • Allows natural telephone and helmet use

  • Very difficult to handle, especially for the older people

  • Occlusion issues again

  • Decreased battery life

  • Can only be controlled remotely and not via switches

  • These hearing aids types require proper maintenance and care

  • Requires good dexterity in using the device, like removing and inserting wires

  • Not suitable for people with non-standard ear canals or for children with very small ear canals

  • Very expensive

 

In a nutshell, there are a vast range of hearing aids types to choose from. You just need to consider each of their advantages and disadvantages, and above all, you need to consult an experienced Audiologist. The benefits of hearing aids have improved a lot over the last couple of years. Researchers are continuously trying to introduce more and more innovations in hearing aids types and are gradually developing them with improved hearing abilities, increased longevity, advancement of designs and many more. Hence, hearing loss is no more a problem, and it is absolutely possible for you to fight against it. However, not all people would be benefited from hearing aids, and there are other solutions for them, which will be best understood by a highly qualified Audiologist. So kindly discuss such a serious matter as your hearing health with him/her before arriving at a final conclusion, as he/she will help you in making a smart decision. It is always better to be late than taking a wrong decision for which you will have to regret forever.

Comments | Posted in Hearing Aids By Phalguni Bannerjee

Which Hearing Device Would Best Suit Me?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 2:18:18 PM Asia/Calcutta

Hearing aids are the best forms of hearing loss treatments as they not only help the hearing impaired person hear better, but also have no risks of any side effects. Today hearing aids have become so advanced that anyone would love wearing them. The modern digital hearing aids even have the capacity to amplify sounds better than natural hearing of human beings. A majority can amplify natural sounds, which is incredible indeed.

There are many hearing aids types that serve many customised functions to meet the specific needs of the hearing impaired person. Hearing aids can be classified based on the design, the technology used, the features they provide and the lifestyle of the hearing impaired person. Let’s look at the individual features of each of these types -

  • Based on the design of the device, it comes in various types, like, behind-the-ear (BTE), mini-BTE, in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC), completely-in-the-canal (CIC), invisible-in-canal (IIC).

  • The technology based hearing aids types can be classified into two categories, namely, the Analog, which are microchip programmed, and the Digital, which convert sound waves into digital signals.

  • Hearing aids types that are based on the various features that they provide, most devices are equipped with the directional microphone, the direct audio input, the T-coil or telephone switch, and the feedback suppression.

  • According to lifestyle choices of the hearing impaired people, mainly the simple, social, outdoor and vibrant ones, hearing aids types can be divided into various other categories that serve the specific needs of the patients. Also, there are special hearing aids types that are built into the stethoscopes of hearing impaired medical practitioners.

Before taking any decision on which hearing aids types to choose, always make a detailed analysis and comparison of the various manufacturers to check out the different features provided by them, and then decide which manufacturer would best meet your specific hearing needs. Always check whether the following parameters are present in these hearing aids types -

  • Value for money

  • Sound quality

  • Performance

  • Reliability

  • Ease of fit

  • Size

  • Ease of use

  • Customer support service

  • Connectivity like bluetooth, Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies

  • Durability

  • Battery life

  • Rechargeability

  • Aesthetics

Apart from these, there are other specific factors that a person might look for in different hearing aids types according to his/her unique needs, which include tinnitus (ringing in the ear) management options, binaural ("wireless ear-to-ear system") technology, noise reduction, feedback suppression or cancellation, and other such technological innovations. Different manufacturers specialize in different parameters that suit specific people according to their requirements.

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 hearing aids types for you according to your hearing loss and your adjustability to amplification. In the end, the success with hearing aids depends more on your adaptability and adjustment with them.

Comments | Posted in Hearing Aids 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.

Effective Hearing Loss Treatment to Heal Hearing Damage

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 8:33:10 PM Asia/Calcutta

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has stated that hearing loss is the third most common issue affecting the adults nowadays. Unfortunately, most of the sufferers refuse to treat it because they feel going to an audiologist is embarrassing.

Medical community has come up with several effective solutions. Some of the hearing loss treatment are described in detail in this blog. Are you ready to learn more?

Sensorineural Hear LossTreatment

Permanent hearing damage is mostly caused by sensorineural hearing loss. If you’re one of them, then the time has come when you should seek for a hearing aid.

When the inner cells of your ear get damaged, it results into sensorineural hearing issue. In case, the condition is not improved with the help of a hearing aid, you may need a cochlear implant.

Conductive Hear Loss Treatment

Building up of earwax overtime leads to conductive hear loss. This type of hearing damage is curable and is temporary. A perforated eardrum also sometimes leads to issues in hearing. Experts can help you immensely by finding out the cause and thus will suggest remedy accordingly.

People suffering from this problem can be treated with a medicine or surgery. However, your specialist is the only person to decide which type of treatment should be carried out.

If the condition has not taken a serious turn, antibiotics are prescribed to deal with ear infections. Many ear drops are also available to dissolve the earwax fully.

Role of Hearing Devices

Hearing aids assist the wearer to hear the sounds surrounding him or her. The sounds when they get in the device are then processed. Once the sound is amplified, it starts to release signals into the ear. Consequently, you will get a completely customized hearing experience.

A great majority of centres of hearing loss treatment in Kolkata offer both types of hearing aids namely, analog and digital.

Analogue Hearing Aids

Presently, analogue hearing aids are not much in use. It works by changing the intake sounds into electrical signals. These signals are then amplified by the device so as to feed them properly back into the wearer’s ear.

Many analogue hearing devices are designed in a way that they can distinguish a deafening noise from a tolerable one. Due to this advancement, it has gained the ability to decide which sound needs amplification.

Digital Hearing Aids

Digital hearing aids are manufactured to ensure quality hearing. Its automatic programmers eliminate the need to push a button to adjust the programs. These devices are more effective because it can completely eliminate the feedback of the environment.

Concluding Lines

Don’t expect that your auditory device will restore your hearing ability. Instead, it will improve your communication ability gradually by amplifying the sounds it has absorbed.

The medical advancements taking place almost every day has opened new ways of treating the hear loss if diagnosed early. It’s better not to delay visiting a hearing aid clinic in your locality in case you have issues with hearing.

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
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