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Pros and Cons of Small Hearing Aids

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 12:26:47 PM Asia/Calcutta

You have been diagnosed with hearing loss, and your Audiologist have suggested you to take hearing aids. Till then it is well and clear! But the most confusing question is, “Which hearing aid would suit me the best?!” There are so many to choose from - starting from the stylish ones, the easy-to-handle ones, the technologically advanced and smart ones to the small and completely invisible ones.

 

Pros and Cons of Small Hearing Aids

So which one should you choose?

About 80% would go for smaller hearing aids - like the ITE, ITC, CIC or the IIC - which would remain hidden in  the ear, and not be seen by anybody else from outside. It is because a majority of the people are worried about what others would think, hence they deny showing their weaknesses. But often small hearing aids fail to show the expected outcomes as might have been shown by the larger ones. It is because small hearing aids often does not suit everybody! So before arriving at a solution, go through their pros and cons! These will help you choose the right hearing aid!

 

Pros

  • Very small in size, making them completely or nearly invisible

  • No external tubes or wires

  • Light-weight with custom-made sizes that fit inside your ear canal, thus making them absolutely comfortable to wear

  • Perfect for people having mild to moderate hearing loss

  • Due to their proximity to the eardrum, it needs less power for them to transmit the sound to your middle and inner ear

  • Provides much natural sound as there is no or little feedback (whistling) sounds as there is no plastic mold present. This also frees the user of the feeling of an ‘occlusion effect’ which renders in them a sensation of talking ‘in a barrel’!

  • Since these hearing aids are seated inside your ear canal, they are protected by the outer ear - thereby being shielded from the wind sounds while enjoying outdoor activities. Also due to their advantageous position, users of small and invisible hearing aids can having better experience while using telephone and headsets! Yes a plus point for song lovers!

 

Cons

  • Not at all fit for all - especially for people with severe to profound hearing losses. BTE hearing aids work best for these hearing loss types.

  • Associated with having dexterity issues - that is, elderly people and children, in most of the cases, are not able to handle these devices properly due to their extremely smaller size

  • Features can be limited as due to small size, they are not powerful

  • You will need to change batteries more often than those in BTE or other larger models

  • It is often difficult to see or feel the controls properly due to the tiny sizes of these hearing aids - thus often making you confused about how to change their functionalities. It makes all the more difficult for people with weak eyesight!

  • Not recommended for people with ear infections - such as in the cases where there is excessive accumulation of earwax, or pus or other ear fluids coming out  from the ear canal. This will not only damage these hearing aids, but will also ruin your hearing experience, thus making you feel uncomfortable!

Now that you are well aware of each side of the coin when it comes to small hearing aids, you can now set your preferences which will further guide you in taking the right decision. But always make sure to consult a certified Audiologist. A good decision taken now can change your entire life!

Comments | Posted in Hearing Aids By Phalguni Bannerjee

Are You Taking Care of Your Hearing Aids?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 12:48:13 PM Asia/Calcutta

Your hearing aids are not only precious - they are a part of your life! If you are a person who solely depend on these devices for enjoying the world of sounds - then they are an important asset as well! When hearing aids have been so responsibly performing their duties day by day, it is your responsibility too to take care of them. Otherwise you will lose that wonderful hearing experience you have been enjoying all these days.

 

How Do I Take Care of My Hearing Aids?

Hearing aids are delicate devices - so it is a good practice to clean them regularly, so as to keep them going without fail for many more years! Here are certain tips to effectively take care of your valuable devices -

For BTE (Behind the Ear) Hearing Aids

  • Regularly examine the device for any debris and remove it with a soft brush (specially designed to clean hearing aids) or with a dry and soft cloth.

Cleaning Hearing Aid with Hearing Aid Brush

  • Never use wet hearing aids! If your BTE hearing aids accidentally falls in water or gets wet, immediately remove the batteries and dry each part - especially the earmold and the battery compartment by using a forced air blower or hearing aid dryer (never use a microwave or a hair dryer) to dry up the internal parts of the device. Let it dry overnight, with the battery compartment left open.

  • Never allow humid or moisture to enter into the device - humid is the biggest enemy of your hearing aids! Keep them dry and clean with a soft dry cloth from time to time.

  • Gently remove the earmold carefully - as instructed in your product manual or as advised by your Audiologist. Soaking it in a mild soap solution once a week might help. Never use alcohol or other strong chemicals - as they might damage your device!

  • Replace the batteries regularly, and NEVER EVER use old batteries! Also, dispose off old or dead batteries properly, because they are highly toxic! Store hearing aid batteries in a cool and dry place.

  • Remove batteries when the device is not in use - such as while you are sleeping or while participating in water sports or taking a bath.

Cleaning Hearing Aid with Hearing Aid Air Blower

For ITE (In the Ear) Hearing Aids

While cleaning an ITE model of hearing aid, try applying the following tips -

  • Mainly focus on cleaning the opening parts of the hearing aid - which might have an accumulation of earwax - with a soft bristle brush which is specially designed for cleaning hearing aids (it may or may not be provided with your product - if not, then get one!)

  • If there is anything that couldn’t be cleaned with the brush, then use a wax pick or a hook - which are designed for cleaning hearing devices - to clean inside the holes.

  • Clean the whole device gently with a soft and dry cloth from time to time - to remove debris or other unwanted particles from the case of the hearing aid.

  • Again store batteries in a cool and dry place, and remove them from your hearing aids when you are not using them!

 

So are you taking proper care of your precious device?

Comments | Posted in Hearing Aids By Phalguni Bannerjee

16 Celebs with Hearing Loss

Friday, June 1, 2018 4:22:46 PM Asia/Calcutta

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said.”

~ Peter Drucker

 

Life isn’t quite easy for all. You must be thinking, “Why me!?” but the truth about this world is that there are so many other people who are living their lives with some or other of disabilities for years together. There are so many famous people who have been quite successful even after being deprived of the world of hearing.

16 Celebs with Hearing Loss

  1. Thomas Alva Edison -  Thomas Edison, an American inventor and businessman - the famous inventor of the electric light bulb, developed severe hearing problems at a very early age. The reason for his hearing problems is attributed to his having scarlet fever when he was young. He also suffered from a recurring and untreated middle-ear infections. Edison often referred to himself as deaf and believed that his hearing loss helped him to be a better scientist.

  1. Bill Clinton - Former president clinton has worn hearing aids in both the ears since the late 1990s, when he was diagnosed with high frequency hearing loss, the reason of which was attributed to his age and the time spent as a musician in his youth.

  1. Pete Townshend - Legendary musician Pete Townshend suffered from partial deafness and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) which is a result of noise-induced hearing loss, due to his overexposure to loud music most of the time. While performing on stage, he uses hearing aids and a special hearing monitor.

  1. William Shatner - This famous Canadian actor, author, producer and director, became a cultural icon for his portrayal of Captain Kirk in the Star Trek science fiction television series. Shatner suffers from tinnitus or ringing in the ears which is attributed to a pyrotechnical accident that he has met while shooting a ‘Star Trek’ episode Arena. He has found support from the American Tinnitus association (ATA) and his treatment involved wearing a small electronic device, that generated low-level, broadband sound.

16 Celebs with Hearing Loss

  1. Ludwig Van Beethoven - You will be surprised to know that the famous German composer and pianist suffered from hearing loss. His hearing health began to deteriorate when he was 26 years old, and by the time he was 44, he was almost completely deaf. But it was not the end of his career. There is quite a large collection of his hearing aids, such as a special ear horn, which one can find even today at the Beethoven House Museum in Bonn, Germany - his birthplace. Although he gave up conducting and performing in public, but he continued to compose. And the most wonderful fact is that most of his much admired musical pieces came from his last 15 days of his life. So if he can do it, why can’t you?

  1. Helen Keller - Being a famous American author, political activist, and lecturer, she was, however, the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. She has successfully proved to the world that even the people who are deprived of the world of sound can learn how to communicate and can do great in their lives. She is a role model to many hearing impaired people, especially when there are so many advanced hearing aids today to help you get connected to the world of sound.

  1. Lance Allred - Lance Allred was the first legally deaf player in National Basketball Association (NBA) history. Allred is deaf, with 75-80% hearing loss. To improve his hearing, he wears hearing aids.

  1. Marlee Matlin - Marlee Beth Matlin is an American actress, author and activist. She is the only hard-of-hearing performer to win the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in the 1986 American film, Children of a Lesser God. She became fully deaf in her right ear and lost 80% of her hearing in her left ear when she was 18 months old, which was a result of illness and high fevers. Marlee Matlin is also a prominent member of the National Association of the Deaf.

 

16 Celebs with Hearing Loss

  1. Heather Whitestone - Being the first deaf Miss America title-holder of 1995, she lost most of her hearing when she was 18 months old.

  1. Shelley Beattie - She was a professional bodybuilder and actress, who become Deaf at the age of three due to aspirin overdose. So always consult a doctor before taking the medicine! She was one of the few hard-of-hearing professional female bodybuilders in the world. But the most motivational part is that her hearing loss was not at all a factor while she was running.

  1. Shoshannah Stern - The “Weeds” actress Shoshannah Stern was born deaf. Her first language is American Sign Language. She is even able to read lips and can speak English without the help of an interpreter. She is amongst the fourth generation of deafness in her family.

  1. Gertrude Ederle - Swimmer Gertrude Ederle, who successfully swam the English channel in 1926, developed deafness by the 1940s. She also had poor hearing since childhood due to measles.

 

16 Celebs with Hearing Loss

  1. Phyllis Frelich - Being a deaf American actress, Phyllis Frelich won a tony award for her performance in the play ‘Children of a Lesser God’.

  1. Jim Kyte - Jim Kyte is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player, who is the first ever legally deaf player in the NHL (National Hockey League).

  1. Katie Leclerc - An American actress who appeared in the television series “Veronica Mars”, found out that she has Meniere’s disease, which leads to hearing loss.

  1. Russell Wayne Harvard - Deaf actor Russell Harvard is the 2007 film actor who made his debut in ‘There will be Blood’ with Daniel Day-Lewis and had a role in the television series Fargo. Although after using hearing aids he is able to hear some sound, including speech and music, he identifies himself as deaf, and considers American Sign Language to be his first language, using which he has grown up.

In a nutshell, it can be said, that while there are so many people becoming prosperous even after struggling with their hearing problems, why can’t you? Especially when you are living in such a generation where getting the best quality and advanced digital hearing aids is just a click away! So go ahead and feel free to change your life - a life full of smiles and happiness is waiting for you at the turn of the lane! Don’t shy away from embracing it!

Comments | Posted in Hearing Aids By Phalguni Bannerjee

Causes of Hearing Loss Beyond Being Exposed to Loud Noises

Saturday, May 26, 2018 6:20:41 PM Asia/Calcutta

Do you know that you might still be exposed to the risks of having a hearing loss even if you are not exposed to loud noises? Protecting your ears from over-exposure to tremendously high decibels of sounds will definitely help prevent hearing loss. But, unfortunately that is not all! You might still need to be more cautious and take many other preventive measures so as to keep hearing problems at bay. Thus goes the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

 

What to do then?

The answer is quite simple. Take all preventive measures possible to safeguard your beautiful God-gifted hearing health for as long as possible. Always remember that once you have acquired hearing loss, you can never get a chance to recover from it, and regain back your natural hearing experience which you once enjoyed.

 

What if I wear hearing aids?

You might be thinking that all problems of hearing loss will be solved once you opt for hearing aids. But in practicality, it is not so! Although you might be getting quite a lot of benefits from hearing aids, and other treatments of hearing loss, but the truth is that even if your hearing loss problems will not be completely cured, and you will not be able to leave your hearing devices once you have opted for them. To put it shortly, hearing aids are simply devices which amplify sounds for you which you were otherwise unable to do due to your hearing impairment. But other than that, they are not devised to cure your hearing loss problems, no matter how digitally advanced hearing aids you are wearing. So the moral of the story is - you need to take preventive measures.

 

What Other Causes are Responsible for Hearing Loss?

No doubt, exposure to loud noises do cause hearing loss, especially if you are living in an urbanised world. But there are many other factors that might affect your hearing health. You must be well aware of these factors and take necessary preventive measures so as to avoid situations from growing adverse. These include -

  • Early Exposures - Nowadays most of the newborn babies are being screened to identify any presence of hearing problems. Although in a majority of the cases they do not show up much issues, but there are many factors that makes the child open to risks that can cause hearing problems to turn up. These factors include various developmental problems, infections like mumps and measles. Apart from this, maternal diabetes and others complications during pregnancy might also increase the risks of hearing impairment in a child.

  • Genetic Factors - Studies show that for at least half of the children with hearing loss, genes are the main culprit. About 20% of the babies with a genetic hearing loss, suffer from syndromes like Down Syndrome or Usher Syndrome, which are huge factors for causing hearing loss problems in many children which worsen over time.

  • Ear Infections - Young children are particularly more prone to ear infections which are generally accompanied by cold, flu, as a result of which fluid builds up in the middle ear - a condition which is termed Otitis Media - which might give rise to hearing loss.

  • Perforated Ear Drum - A perforated eardrum, or some other malformation in the internal structures of the ear might, which may be caused by untreated ear infections, head injury, blow to the ear, or from poking sharp objects in the ear.

  • Otosclerosis - Otosclerosis is a medical condition which involves abnormal bone growth in the middle ear. In this condition the passage of sound waves towards the inner ear is obstructed, thus causing hearing loss. Studies show that a family history of otosclerosis increases the chances of a person acquiring it gradually. Although hearing aids can be the best treatment for mild otosclerosis, experts, however, suggest surgeries in case of more serious ones.

  • Meniere’s Disease - It is an inner ear disorder which causes episodes of vertigo or the sensation of spinning and dizziness, especially while looking down from a height. Meniere’s disease usually starts in one ear, and gradually involves both the ears. Smoking, a high-salt diet and even certain infections might worsen the condition. Some common symptoms of Meniere’s disease include fluctuating and eventually progressive hearing loss with vertigo (spinning sensation), tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and pressure or pain in the ear. Although there is no cure for the disease as such, but according to experts, a timely diagnosis and treatment, such as medication to reduce vertigo and hearing aids, can help address these symptoms and helps reduce the severity of the disease.

  • Diabetes - Although the precise reasons for the link aren’t quite clear, studies show that hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes as in the general population. Studies proved that diabetes most probably accelerates age-related hearing loss. So a healthy lifestyle is very essential and that includes being physically active and eating a balanced diet, with lots of veggies – to keep your weight under control.

  • Autoimmune Disorders - Usually your immune system is designed to protect you from a majority of diseases. But certain autoimmune disorders can affect the ear, causing some fluctuation in hearing and can cause permanent hearing loss. Medication, like a steroid, may help, but it's not always possible to prevent hearing loss from occuring.

  • Ototoxic Medications - Certain ototoxic medications like certain aminoglycoside antibiotics, like gentamicin, and drugs might cause hearing loss. Also, if you take aspirin in very high doses, then you might develop hearing loss and severe tinnitus problems (ringing in the ears). Therefore, it is always advised to consult a good doctor as well as an expert Audiologist before taking any medicines by yourself.

  • You are getting Old - Age factor is a huge cause of hearing loss, because as you start to age, your hearing organs, just like any other organ, start deteriorating - thus, affecting the overall hearing health of a person. However, you can still prevent hearing loss by avoiding loud noises, ototoxic medications and drugs, wearing ear plugs or ear muffs. If, however, you have already acquired hearing loss, then wearing hearing aids would help you lead a normal life again.

  • Head Trauma - Did you ever have a head trauma or a brain injury after which you are feeling a deterioration in your hearing health? It is because they are directly related. It might be the case that the auditory centre of your brain gets damaged due to some severe blow to the head.

  • Smoking or Intake of Alcohol - These have a severe effect on the auditory system and might affect your overall hearing health.

 

In a nutshell, only preventing yourself from being over-exposed to loud noises might not help; you need to take other preventive measures as well so as to keep hearing loss at bay. Also, you must never shy away from wearing good quality hearing aids and leave your hearing loss untreated, because in such cases your hearing health will worsen.

Comments | Posted in Hearing Aids By Phalguni Bannerjee

Myths and Facts About Hearing Aids

Saturday, May 19, 2018 1:18:01 PM Asia/Calcutta

Did you know that whatever you are hearing about hearing aids might be nothing more than just a rumour? It's our duty to show you the truth and lead you towards the right path! Why live a life full of false beliefs? Why not strive towards living a better quality of life?!

Hearing Aids are not your enemies, they are your friends who are ready to go hand in hand with you for a lifetime! So why not keep all the myths at bay and invite the facts about these valuable friends! Come let's do it...

Myths and Facts About Hearing Aids

Comments | Posted in Hearing Aids By Phalguni Bannerjee
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