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Myths and Facts About Cochlear Implants

Thursday, September 13, 2018 7:00:11 PM Asia/Calcutta

Your Audiologist told you or your child to undergo a cochlear implantation surgery, and you are extremely nervous! Afterall the word ‘surgery’ itself evokes a fright in the person’s mind - especially when it's done somewhere near the brain! But the good news is that there is absolutely nothing to worry about, and cochlear implant is not at all a major surgery! In fact, people are often released on the day of the surgery in many of the cases!

You might have come across many myths and rumours about cochlear implants which might have made you all the more frightened! But if you continue to believe in these delusive statements, then you might develop a negative attitude towards them - when in reality cochlear implants are life-changing - you can’t realise in what ways! So would you rather prefer a proper treatment of hearing loss and aim for a better life, or believe in these myths and ruin your entire life!?

 

What are Cochlear Implants?

Cochlear implants are electronic devices which is surgically implanted in the ear to replace the damaged cochlea in the inner ear. It enables a person with severe to profound hearing loss to hear clearly, which he or she was unable to otherwise. Cochlear implant is recommended only when hearing aids have failed to show much benefits.

Cochlear implants bypass the normal acoustic hearing system, by replacing it with electronic hearing. Cochlear implant as a treatment of hearing loss has proved much more effective preferred to hearing aids, as it enhances speech understanding. Because unlike hearing aids which simply amplify the sound, cochlear implants - by bypassing the damaged inner ear - stimulates the auditory nerve directly.

To know more about how cochlear implants work, visit our page: Cochlear Implant

 

Some Popular Myths and Facts

1. Myth - Cochlear implant will replace my natural hearing.

Listening

    • Fact - Cochlear implants can never replace your natural God-gifted hearing - in fact no treatment of hearing loss can! Cochlear implants just mimics natural hearing!

2. Myth - Cochlear implants are too expensive!Budget

    • Fact - There are many health insurance companies who cover cochlear implantation surgery. If you say that hearing aids are much cheaper as compared to hearing aids! But if you calculate the overall cost of hearing aids and its associated after sale services, and compare it that with cochlear implants - which are taken just once in your lifetime, the cost become the same! Moreover, with cochlear implantation - being a more effective treatment of hearing loss - you can get a permanent solution, especially when hearing aids fail to work!

3. Myth - Cochlear implant placement involves major surgery!

    • Fact - It is a very minor one, and people don’t even have to stay overnight. Most of them are released within a few hours!

4. Myth - Cochlear implantation involves brain surgery!

    • Fact - Often people think that cochlear implants are imbedded in the brain! No absolutely not! The internal part of the implant is placed behind the ear just beneath the skin, and an array of electrodes are inserted into the cochlea of the inner ear. The sound signals from here are directly transferred to the auditory nerve. The surgeon doesn’t go anywhere near the cranial cavity, where your brain is situated!

5. Myth - There is no problem to wait until my child grows up to make up his own mind to get a cochlear implant.

  1. Cochlear Implant for Children

    • Fact - The first few years of a child is very crucial for developing various developmental skills. This is because of the greater density of neural connections in the brain (synaptic density) till the age of 2 years, hence boosting the child’s ability to learn various skills more rapidly. But if the child is deprived of a proper hearing health, that is, he is living with an untreated hearing loss at this vital age, he might not develop so well later in his life due to the reduction in the synaptic density. Therefore, an early intervention and an early treatment of hearing loss is extremely necessary. It is your duty to promise your child a secured future, and not leave it up to him!

So just go for cochlear implants without hesitation, and if you are still having questions running in your mind, then read the Second Part of our Myths and Facts About Cochlear Implants: (coming soon)

Comments | Posted in Treatment Of Hearing Loss By Phalguni Bannerjee

I Can Hear Ringing Sounds - Do I Have Tinnitus?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 12:14:02 PM Asia/Calcutta

Are you hearing ringing sounds recently, while no one else around you can? Then yes! You probably have tinnitus! However, apart from ringing, there are many other sounds associated with tinnitus - such as buzzing, hissing, whispering, clicking or even roaring! If you are hearing any of these sounds for quite a few days now, then you have tinnitus! Tinnitus is not a disease - it is a symptom of some other health condition or medical complexity. So it is very important for you to know the underlying cause of tinnitus - and if hearing loss is the cause, then undergoing a proper treatment of hearing loss is mandatory! You don’t want to face the darker side of it, do you?

 

Do I Have Tinnitus?

How Common is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a common complaint among quite a good number of Indians - statistics say it’s about 7-8% of the total Indian population! And what’s worse? People with tinnitus are facing a range of physical and emotional disorders - which is greatly affecting their quality of life! Globally, about 1 in 5 people are having tinnitus problems, and about 1 to 2 out of 100 people face such disturbing tinnitus sounds that it affects their overall health as well as mental problems!

Tinnitus is generally highly associated with hearing loss, but in a study made in the US in 2008, approximately 13 million Americans out of 29.7 million, do not have any hearing loss. However, you must get your hearing checked from a certified Audiologist and if any loss is found, then start a treatment of hearing loss at the earliest.

 

What Causes Tinnitus?

There are many risk factors that can be associated tinnitus, such as -

  • Ear disorders (like Meniere’s disease) - in such a case get an immediate treatment of hearing loss

  • Neurological conditions

  • Psychological conditions (such as, anxiety and depression)

  • Head/neck injuries or disorders

  • Ototoxic drugs or medications that are harmful for the ear

  • Other conditions, like - hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus, hormonal changes during pregnancy, etc.)

 

What Should I Do?

If you face any ringing or other tinnitus sounds, do not wait for it to go by itself! Consult a certified and well-trained Audiologist immediately - he or she will study your medical conditions (both past and present), and will first identify the cause of your tinnitus problems. If you are facing tinnitus due to hearing problems, then your Audiologist will proceed towards giving you a proper treatment of hearing loss.

Don’t make compromises and think that you will be habituated with ringing sounds. Don’t neglect it, as it might not only affect your hearing health, but can also invite other problems like physical, psychological and social complexities. Going through a methodical and systematic treatment of hearing loss along with other auditory stimulation - like music therapy, cochlear implant, and individualised sound stimulation, such as Auditory therapy - will reduce your tinnitus problems.

To know more about the Preventive Measures for Tinnitus, read our blog on: How to Beat Tinnitus?

Comments | Posted in Treatment Of Hearing Loss By Phalguni Bannerjee

Pretending to Hear Won’t Help Anymore!

Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:10:48 PM Asia/Calcutta

Are you sure that you really are able to hear? Don’t be confused! Make sure that you are able to hear clearly! “Well, of course I can!”, might be the immediate statement that runs in your mind! We understand that you are reluctant to go for a treatment of hearing loss because you feel that you can hear, so why not just make yourselves doubly sure?

 Pretending to Hear

How do I Know Whether I have Hearing Loss?

Try answering the following questions, to check whether you or your loved one is fully able to hear -

  • Are you often straining to understand what others are saying?

  • Are you unable to follow every group conversation that’s going on?

  • Did you fail to laugh at jokes when everyone else is, because you missed all the fun?

  • Are you unable to participate and fully give yourself in debates?

  • Are you even able to follow one-to-one conversations in a quiet room?

  • As a result of that, are you often relying on lip reading because you cannot understand what’s being said?

  • You feel that people are mumbling!

  • You often ask others to repeat themselves!

  • Are you often ignoring phone calls because you are unable to follow?

  • You cannot hear the doorbell or the telephone ring?

  • Are you frequently turning up the volume of your TV or radio more than the normal one?

  • Do you face difficulties in understanding speech while sitting at a restaurant or while at concerts or parties?

  • Do you experience ringing sounds in your ears quite often, especially if you are in a quieter place?

  • Are you missing the natural environmental sounds recently like the chirping of the birds, the rustling of the leaves, the pitter-pattering of the rain, etc.?

 

If you answered ‘Yes’ to most of the questions above, then you probably have a hearing loss! YES! And you shouldn’t deny that anymore! It’s high time that you must opt for a good treatment of hearing loss.

 

What will Happen If I Don’t Get a Treatment of Hearing Loss?

You might think that you are okay with an untreated hearing loss, but it is really not so! There are so many complications you will have to face with having to live with a hearing impairment! Social isolation, relationship problems, reduced productivity at work or in studies, misunderstanding with family members and friends - and the LIST IS ENDLESS!

If you continue to pretend that you are able to hear well - these are the consequences that awaits you -

  • Social Consequences

    • The speaker might feel disappointed and even insult you if you fail to answer him/her appropriately!

    • The speaker might feel that he/she is not given attention to!

    • The speaker might feel deceived!

    • If you don’t opt for a treatment of hearing loss, you might want to avoid attending social gatherings and box yourself up in your room, because you cannot follow what’s going on and what’s being said!

    • You might find yourself avoiding calls because you cannot follow the person on the other side!

    • You might unknowingly agree to things which you were otherwise not willing to do!

    • All of the above might lead to a relationship gap, and as a result, your friends or family members might even lose that trust and faith in you!

 

  • Emotional Consequences

    • If social conditions go on this way for days, and you still do not care to start a good treatment of hearing loss immediately, you might notice that you are gradually getting depressed and frustrated more often than not!

    • You might even notice gradual signs of memory loss, or forgetfulness. This can be a sign of Dementia! This calls for help and a proper treatment of hearing loss immediately!

    • You might get too anxious, or even angry about small issues!

    • You might feel a strong sense of guilt and shame, because you are continuously deceiving your loved ones - and this might destroy your peace of mind!

    • You might feel yourself isolated and boxed up, because you are continuously having to pretend listening!

 

  • Cognitive Consequences

    • When you are continuously pretending to hear people, a tremendous pressure is created in your brain - which is continuously trying to fill in the gaps in the conversation that you missed! This fatigues the brain and loses its energy!

    • This will result in your brain to compensate for the missed links - which, over time, will form bizarre meanings out of these haphazard links!


So the only solution for all of these problems is to get your EARS CHECKED IN TIME, by consulting a certified Audiologist, and to start a TREATMENT OF HEARING LOSS as early as possible! Delaying will only aggravate these problems!

Comments | Posted in Treatment Of Hearing Loss By Phalguni Bannerjee

Hearing Loss and Diabetes

Friday, July 20, 2018 5:51:10 PM Asia/Calcutta

Hearing loss is a common issue nowadays, especially if you are in your late 40s. But situations are aggravated if you are a patient of diabetes. Because recent studies have found a good association of diabetes with the development of various hearing problems. According to a study made by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) in June 2008, and which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a strong and persistent association of impaired hearing with diabetes has been found.

 

Incidence and Prevalence

The most common problems that come along with diabetes is hearing loss. Diabetes and hearing loss are the two most widespread health concerns in America. About 30 million US inhabitants are suffering from diabetes, and about 34.5 million people is suffering from some type of hearing impairment. Therefore, you must be concerned, and an early treatment of hearing loss becomes extremely necessary.

According to a study made in 2008, using the results of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a higher prevalence of about 21% of hearing damage is found among the diabetic patients, and about 9% is found among the non-diabetic patients. Also, it is analysed that this relation between diabetes and hearing loss has been the strongest in the younger survey participants who are less than 60 years of age.

 

How is Hearing Loss Related to Diabetes

As we all know that due to diabetes, there is a rise in the blood sugar levels. This damages the small blood vessels in the inner ear, thereby causing a deficit in oxygen supply. Due to a lack of oxygen, the hair cells are damaged, thus failing to transmit the sound signals received by them from the middle ear to the auditory nerve. In such a case, you must not delay in getting a proper treatment of hearing loss.

 

How would I know whether I have Hearing Loss?

If you notice the following 5 signs, then you are probably having some type of hearing impairment, and your ears need immediate attention!

  • You ask people to repeat themselves quite often, and almost regularly.

  • Do you face difficulties talking over the phone, and hence started avoiding them frequently?

  • Having difficulty in participating in one-to-one conversations.

  • Frequently raising up the TV/Radio volume more the the usual one.

  • Often thinking that others are mumbling.

  • Facing problems hearing in a noisy area such as at a busy restaurant.

All these are the ‘red flags’ which indicate that your hearing health is calling for help and you need to opt for a good treatment of hearing loss soon by consulting a certified Audiologist!

 

Can I Prevent Diabetic Hearing Loss?

The good news is that you can very well prevent hearing loss caused due to diabetes. The trick is to follow a healthy and balanced diet, and of course having a control over it! All you need to keep in mind that you have to control your blood sugar levels. Then it will be much easier for you to have a control over the diabetic-related problems and might be successful in preventing hearing loss as a result.

 

Which is an Effective Treatment of Hearing Loss?

If you are already suffering from hearing problems, then, as already mentioned, consult and discuss with a highly qualified Audiologist immediately. Get a proper hearing check-up and follow as suggested by your Audiologist. Hearing aid has proved to be quite an effective treatment of hearing loss till date. In cases of severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss, when hearing aids normally fail to give much benefits, cochlear implants have been opted for by Audiologists worldwide and these devices have proved to give excellent results! So why worry when there are so many innovative and advanced options out there?!

In a nutshell, never be depressed for being a diabetic patient, because there are thousands of solutions to preventing and controlling diabetic hearing loss.

Comments | Posted in Treatment Of Hearing Loss By Phalguni Bannerjee

What Would Happen If You Delay a Treatment of Hearing Loss?

Thursday, June 7, 2018 3:23:55 PM Asia/Calcutta

Before I proceed with answering this, first try to answer this question, “What would happen if you do not wear spectacles for a long time, in spite of suffering from some visual impairment?” Yes you are right! Your difficulty in vision would increase over time, which would invite many other undesirable problems like frequent headaches, social isolation, familial problems, and worse still, an untreated visual impairment might even lead to dangerous accidents, especially while on the roads.

Similar is the case with hearing impairment. If you delay in getting a proper treatment of hearing loss, then you might soon face many complications which would have easily been prevented if intervened in an early treatment method. The first and foremost task if you face any sort of hearing problems is to consult a professional and certified Audiologist, who would perform detailed diagnostic tests to detect the type of hearing problems you are facing.

 

What if my hearing loss gets cured by itself?

You might be asking one of this very commonly asked question. You will be surprised to know that once you are affected with hearing loss, you will never regain back your original hearing health, and worse still, instead of getting cured by itself, your hearing loss will start becoming adverse, which might make you end up in more complicated situations and health hazards. So ACT NOW and get your appropriate treatment of hearing loss soon!

 

I am Not Getting the Proper Motivation for Getting a Treatment of Hearing Loss

If you are not getting the appropriate motivation for going for a hearing loss treatment, then you will do so probably after knowing this interesting fact - we ‘hear’ with our brain, not with our ears! Surprised? Don’t be! The auditory centre of your brain is the only one which is responsible for perceiving, comprehending, processing and recognising the sound signals sent to it by the ear via the auditory nerve, and only then can you actually hear. The ear is only responsible for transmitting the sound signals (after converting them into electrical signals) to the brain - which does the actual part.

 

Will my Brain be Affected if I Delay in Opting for a Proper Treatment of Hearing Loss?

Your brain, which was previously accustomed to a particular auditory world, will get reorganised if it is deprived of sounds for a long time due to lack of proper stimulation to its auditory centre. This might lead to Auditory Deprivation, a condition in which the brain fails to recognise any sound if it has not received sound signals for an overly long period of time. What is even worse is that Auditory Deprivation might increase the risks of Dementia - a psychological condition in which the affected person gradually faces complications like restlessness, anxiety, hypertension, irritability, loneliness, nervousness, mood swings, depression, hallucination, paranoia, sleep disorder, mental confusion, loss of balance, inability to speak or understand language, and even forgetfulness. So do not even think of delaying in getting a proper and appropriate treatment of hearing loss. Always consult a highly trained Audiologist before taking any step.

 

Is it Possible to Rearrange the Brain to its Previous State?

Fortunately, it is possible to regain back your previous brain condition even after it had gone to a state of under-stimulation by and non-perception of sound signals. A majority of the people worldwide has been benefited by hearing aids - which is one of the best treatment of hearing loss. Once you start a proper treatment, although you might not hear clear sounds immediately, especially when you have left your hearing loss untreated for a long time, but soon your brain will again be accustomed to this ‘new’ auditory world. The more you delay, the more time will your brain take to get used to the new world of sounds, and the more dissatisfied you will be with your hearing aids.

 

What are the Health Hazards Linked with Delaying a Treatment of Hearing Loss?

Scientists and health professionals worldwide have proved that there are various complications that arise out of an untreated hearing loss. The seven main health issues caused from delaying a treatment of hearing loss include -

  • A decline in the Cognitive Functioning

  • Risk of Dementia

  • Brain Shrinkage - especially of the grey matter which is responsible for speech comprehension

  • Risk of Falling - because our ear is responsible for maintaining our body balance

  • Increased illnesses and hospitalizations

  • Increased Mortality - especially in case of the elder citizens. Studies show that older people who used hearing aids, had a lower risk of mortality, even though they suffered from severe hearing loss

  • Increased Risks of Depression

Apart from this, the affected person also suffers from social isolation, loneliness, and feels that he or she is being constantly ignored. As a result, the person might even lose the interest to enjoy the beautiful life activities and live happily.

 

What are the Benefits of an Early Treatment of Hearing Loss?

Research has shown that an early treatment has improved not only the person’s hearing abilities, but also the overall health of the person, and has also enhanced his/her quality of life to a great extent.

 

So why wait when you have so many options to choose from in this generation of technological boom and innovations! You even have a wide variety of hearing aids available, which are so advanced that they would even make you forget about your hearing problems. So get your ears checked today and indulge yourself in one of these innovative methods of treatment of hearing loss.

Comments | Posted in Treatment Of Hearing Loss By Phalguni Bannerjee
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