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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

Can Hearing Aids Make You Deafer?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 2:20:42 PM Asia/Calcutta

This is a question that has been raised so many times by hearing aid users across the world. The simple answer to it is - hearing aids obviously do not make people ‘deafer’. They do nothing other than amplifying the sounds and delivering them into your ears.

Why does this Question Even Arise in the First Place?

There is a trick of perception involved here, which is the fact that after wearing hearing aids for a few weeks, some people have complained that they cannot hear as well as they used to do before wearing them. This made them have the wrong notion that hearing aids can make a person deafer. This misconception occurs because the brain plays the main trick here.

 

A Trick?! Oh No!

Studies show that on an average, people experiencing hearing loss wait for five to seven years before realising the fact that treatment is necessary because things have grown worse. This makes the brain more and more accustomed to hearing loss, as it has started to forget certain sounds as it did not hear them for a prolonged period of time. This condition is called Auditory Deprivation, where the brain starts forgetting sounds it did not hear for a long time, and hence is unable to recognise them anymore. As a result, the brain has started to accept this condition as normal. Therefore, it will take some time for the brain to accept this new situation after wearing hearing aids, as all the sounds are now new to the brain.

When you wear hearing aids for the first time, the brain needs time to get accustomed to these new world of sounds, and to adjust to the new ‘normal’ levels of your hearing abilities. This is the reason why sounds might appear to be jarring and excessively loud, especially if you are opting for hearing aids after a long period of living with untreated hearing loss. Just as your eyes need to adjust to the ‘new’ vision after wearing spectacles, similar is the case with your new hearing aids. Once you brain gets adapts itself to this new world, things will be normal again. However, you must always keep in mind that once you have had a hearing loss, it cannot be cured; it can only be treated. The hearing aids can do nothing more but to help you listen to the sounds which you otherwise were unable to. So it is always advised to get a timely treatment from a highly qualified Audiologist for any kind of hearing problems.

 

The Trick is to Fit Your Hearing Aids Properly

Before blaming and cursing your hearing aids, make sure that they are properly fitted inside your ear canal. If a trained healthcare professional fits your device, they will do so after adjusting and modifying its settings as per your hearing requirements. It means that no matter how loud the sounds might be, they would not appear so loud as your device’s volume levels have been fine-tuned and customised according to your personal needs. The modern day digital hearing aids are designed in such a way that it reduces the intensity of excessively loud decibels of sounds.

However, improperly fitted hearing devices tend to create feedback sounds that are quite annoying for the user. These sounds not only deteriorate the overall listening experience of the user, but might also affect the hearing health of the person due to exposure to such annoying and disturbing noises he/she is hearing all the time. Again this could make the brain accustomed to these distorted sounds, and will start forgetting the natural sounds of everything.

 

Children Are More Vulnerable to Health Deterioration

In case of children, especially, if their hearing aids produce such disturbing feedback noises and are not given the access to hear properly and clearly, they might not develop speech and language skills properly. It is because at the age of 1-2 years, due to the presence of the maximum amount of synaptic density (interconnections of the neurons in the brain), they are the most capable of learning at this age. So it is very important to provide your child full and proper access to the world of sound, as it is the key element that would guide him/her into developing speech, language and other developmental skills. Therefore, you as a responsible parent of a hearing impaired child, must make sure that the hearing aids are properly working and your child is not prone to any annoying feedback sounds. Growing up with disturbing sounds occurring every time in the ears, would also distort every other developmental skills that they are trying to learn. You don’t want that to happen right?

 

Cheap Hearing Aids Online are a Complete NO NO!

One important tip is to never buy cheap hearing aids online, without consulting a qualified Audiologist. If you do, then you will be more vulnerable to these whistling feedback sounds that is harmful for your ears, especially when you are hearing them almost all the time throughout the day. This will not only make you have negative thoughts about hearing aids instead of experiencing so many advantages and benefits of using them, and might propel you into giving up wearing them altogether. This is even more harmful for your ears, and in that case hearing aids can backfire on you instead of showing positive outcomes. Also, it might lead to Auditory Deprivation, which in turn gradually degrades your mental health.

So it is your responsibility to make sure that your device is properly fitted in your ear canal by an experienced Audiologist.

 

So What did You Decide?

Are you still planning to buy cheap hearing aids without consulting an Audiologist? If so, then do not expect any positive outcomes with them. Now it is upto you whether you will proceed towards entering the beautiful world of sound that you have been missing for so long, or take steps towards deteriorating your hearing health, and your quality of life as a result.

Comments | Posted in Hearing Aids By Phalguni Bannerjee

How to Increase the Longevity of Your Hearing Aids?

Saturday, February 17, 2018 12:47:28 PM Asia/Calcutta

There are millions of hearing aid users who do not take care of their devices properly. This often leads them to face disappointments when their devices fail to show satisfactory results. This further results in the user developing negative thoughts about the performance of hearing aids. The key to keep your hearing aid in good working condition as long as possible is to take proper care of it.

Although hearing aids are very effective and efficient in treating a majority of the hearing problems, they are, however, very delicate and sensitive devices and the slightest blow might damage them. If you expect your device to support you and improve your life for years together, you must also have to give it its return that it deserves. Here are some of the important tips that could save the life of your hearing aids -

  • Prevent your hearing aids from catching moisture and dirt - Moisture is the biggest enemy of your listening devices. It can even kill them! So it is upto you to take adequate preventive measures so as to ensure that your hearing aids are not absorbing moisture in any way. Also clean your devices regularly. This will not only clean the device of any moisture, but dirt and other granules as well. Accumulation of dirt and other foreign particles will deteriorate the overall performance of your listening device.

  • Avoid playing with the volume keys or programming keys (if applicable) too much - Changing the volume or program settings too often weakens the performance of hearing aids. They have the capability to adjust automatically to your preferred sound situations. So give it some time to get accustomed to your preferences, and you will never have to worry again.

  • Remember to remove your hearing aids before going to the bathroom or jumping in the pool - As mentioned earlier, water and moisture is a deadly killer for your delicate listening device. It might damage the internal parts of the hearing aids and also might damage the batteries. If you, however, drop it in water accidentally, immediately remove the batteries and dry the internal parts with hearing aid air blowers or other cleaning products provided with your device.

  • Get old and weak batteries replaced immediately - Old batteries might gradually damage the internal delicate parts of your hearing aids. Also, weak batteries tend to damage the overall health of these devices and they might stop functioning altogether.

  • Perform battery checks regularly - Normally a hearing aid battery is supposed to last for 1-2 weeks. In spite of that, you must regularly check whether your batteries are strong enough and are in good working conditions. Your Audiologist will teach you how to perform a battery test with the help of a battery tester specially designed to test batteries of hearing aids.

  • Remove the batteries when the device is not in use - Always make sure to remove the batteries from your hearing aids before going to bed, while taking it out before going to the bathroom, and at other times when you are not using them. Also, make sure to replace them properly by referring to instructions in your product literature or by consulting with your Audiologist.

  • Prevent the accumulation of earwax in the receiver of the device - Accumulation of earwax might result in a distortion of the sound and it might affect the performance of your hearing aids. Studies show that earwax accumulation is the leading cause of hearing aid failure. So regularly clean your device and keep its receiver blockage-free. However, you should never use sharp objects or wet cloth to clean the earwax, as it might damage the device’s internal parts. Always use a soft dry cloth or with the hearing aid cleaner provided with your product.

  • Perform listening checks regularly - Listen to your hearing aids regularly with the help of listening tubes. This test is to make sure that your device is working well, and is delivering clear sounds, without any distortion. Your Audiologist will teach you how to perform this listening test.

  • Wear you hearing aids properly - Improperly fitted hearing aids might cause feedback sounds from within the device, which occur when the ear mold is smaller in size or is loosely fitted. So always fit your hearing aids properly, and also keep your ears clean.

A lot of people are curious about the longevity of their hearing aids, but they fail to realise that it really depends on the user. It is the sole duty of the user to take proper care. Just as you as a user of hearing aids expect your device to work well for many years, your device too expect something in return from you. Your device will pay you with better results and will save your time and money in the long run. Hence the saying goes, “A stitch in time saves nine.”

Comments | Posted in Hearing Aids By Phalguni Bannerjee

Auditory Deprivation and Dementia

Thursday, January 11, 2018 3:57:14 PM Asia/Calcutta

Are you suffering from hearing loss and are delaying auditory checkups or not wearing hearing aids regularly? If so then stop everything now and visit an auditory clinic at once! Don’t put aside your audiologist nor your hearing aids. If you neglect your hearing disorders, then a time may come when you will completely lose your hearing abilities.

We get to hear when the sound waves are received by the eardrum, and are transferred to the brain. These sound waves are then processed in the speech interpretation centre of the brain, and are converted into recognisable language. If, however, the brain stops receiving these sound signals for a prolonged period of time, it leads to auditory deprivation. This means that, if the person is not hearing anything for a very long time, then he or she gradually loses the ability to hear and understand speech and language.

The condition occurs to people who use weak and old hearing aids, or even improperly fitted ones. It also occurs when a person having hearing problems does not get regular checkups or are not willing to opt hearing aids at all. Therefore, you should get your ears checked by audiologists, and get all types of hearing loss problems treated as soon as possible. The longer you delay, the shorter are the chances to prevent auditory deprivation, which has irreversible effects on the patient.

As prolonged delay in hearing loss treatment causes auditory deprivation, there is a gradual increase in the risks of dementia, which is a phenomenon in which the brain loses the ability to think and remember properly. The symptoms include anxiety, restlessness, emotional problems, disturbed mental balance, demotivation, sleep disturbances, speech and language difficulties, trouble in eating or swallowing, abnormal behaviour, memory distortions, and even hallucinations. Dementia is almost an irreversible disease and, therefore, it needs to be prevented. Since auditory deprivation is a cause of dementia, the hearing impaired persons should not delay in getting a hearing treatment done. The key to avoiding auditory deprivation is to keep the auditory system stimulated.

To conclude, do not hesitate in getting an auditory check-up and wearing hearing aids. Nowadays, hearing aids have become so advanced that people would hardly feel that they are having hearing impairments. Modern hearing aids are not only reducing in size, but are also bundled with so many technologically advanced features, that one would love to wear one. So consult your Audiologist today, and step towards taking proper care of your hearing health, as it is an extremely vital part of your life.

Comments | Posted in Hearing Aids By Phalguni Bannerjee

3 Types Of Hearing Loss

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 8:45:37 PM Asia/Calcutta

The three main section of the ear are termed as the outer, middle and inner ear. The types of hearing loss is generally identified by detecting which section of the hearing pathway is affected. The identification of the affected section in the ear is very important in the determination of hearing loss and hearing loss treatment. Scroll on to know the 3 types of hearing loss.

Conductive Hearing Loss:

Sound waves originating from any source are initially received by the outer ear. Then, it reaches the middle ear. When hearing loss occurs due to the problems in outer or middle ear, it is termed as conductive hearing loss. Such problems mean that the hearing is not conducted properly through the outer or middle ear. Hence, this type of hearing loss is termed as conductive hearing loss. Generally, this type of hearing loss may be cured with proper medication. If not cured with the help of medication or surgery, patients with such problems can be benefited from using a hearing aid, because sound amplification is what that they need the most.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss:

After sound is conducted through the outer or middle ear, it reaches inner ear

(innermost part of the ear). When there is a damage in any part of the inner ear or auditory nerve that connects the inner ear

to the brain, hearing is hugely affected. Such problems can be termed as sensorineural hearing loss. Hearing loss due to disorder in cochlea area of inner ear is of sensory type and if concerning nerve disorders, then it is known as neural. Together it is known as sensorineural hearing loss. It is the most common type of hearing loss.

Though it is a permanent problem, hearing restoration is absolutely possible with the help of hearing aids.

Mixed Hearing loss:

A combination of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss (problems in both outer/middle and inner ear) is termed as mixed hearing loss. Sometimes, if conductive hearing loss is neglected and left untreated for a longer period, this type of hearing loss occurs. Hearing aids or other hearing devices can help in hearing restoration for most of the patients suffering from this type of hearing loss.

Other types:

Pre-lingual or before learning language/speaking

Post-lingual or after learning language/speaking

Congenital hearing loss or present at birth

Acquired or hearing loss after birth due to one/more reasons

Hearing loss in one ear is termed as unilateral hearing loss

Hearing loss in both ears is termed as bilateral hearing loss

Comments | Posted in Hearing Aids By Phalguni Bannerjee
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