Hearing loss is dangerous as you are less aware of your surroundings which can lead to challenges when you are own your own. It is also very hazardous in case you drive.
Causes of impaired hearing
- Hearing loss stems from inner ear damage – this is especially if it happens in adults. The common causes of this are exposure to loud noises, ageing, and family history and if you are male, then you are under an increased risk for hearing loss.
- Hearing loss could also originate in the outer or in the middle ear and this could be the result of earwax, certain medication or even fluid buildup after an infection.
- In case there is hearing loss, then you can see an otolaryngologist. He will check for reversible causes or even impacted earwax. Incase none of these are the cause, and then he will refer you to an audiologist.
Process of hearing
There are tiny hair cells in the inner ear and these convert the sound vibrations into impulses. These impulses are then carried by the nerve cells to the brain. However, when the hair cells which are in the inner ear are dead they cannot be brought to life again. However, an alternative is to use hearing aids or devices which will improve the hearing ability.
Digital hearing aids
- Digital hearing aids have microphones and the sound is transmitted to a computer chip. This moderates the volume as well as it amplifies what frequencies are needed so that your hearing is improved. These devices also come with features that filter out background noises and wind and some of these allow you to sync it to the smart phone and so calls can be heard through the hearing aid. You can also use the phone so that the settings of the hearing aid can be adjusted by it. You can even stream audio files from laptops, the TV and MP3 players into the hearing aid.
- There is a hearing loop. This is a different technology. In this the magnetic signal provided is picked up by the wire which is tiny and coiled inside the hearing aid. This transmits sounds to the ear. This is available in concert as well as sports venues.
- Personal Sound Amplifiers are products which can be procured over the counter. These have lesser functionalities than the best hearing aids but are a cheaper solution and can be used by people with mild hearing loss. These are used to amplify certain sounds and they do not have the same effectiveness and same safety standards which best hearing aids have.
Assisted listening devices
There are apps which allow amplification of sound using the smart phone as well as ear buds and portable wireless devices. This allows for listening to audio devices and the TV. There are also amplified as well as flashing versions of normal day to day items such as alarm clocks, door bells as well as telephones.
There are various kinds and types of digital hearing aids. There are behind the ear hearing aids which are barely visible and it does not give you a plugged up feeling. These are easy to insert. However, the life is limited.
The Standard tub or thin tub behind the ear hearing aid gives low as well as high frequency amplification. It is easy to handle but there is a plugged up feeling you get. The “completely in the canal hearing aids” have low visibility as well as are easy to insert and remove but it is too small to have a directional microphone.
The in canal hearing aid is barely visible and has volume control. In the ear aid: This has a number of features but is more visible. In other words, these are more prominent than the in canal hearing aid.