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  • Amrik Singh
  • April 17, 2018 09:31:25 AM
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Is hearing loss getting you down? A few simple steps will help protect your Hearing Health and put the fun back in your life. Know more about hearing aid and how hearing can be taken care of.

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Difficulties with Communication Could Signal a Hearing Loss

The post Difficulties with Communication Could Signal a Hearing Loss appeared first on Ear Health Blog-EarGuru.

Getting your hearing checked and being in communication with your hearing health professional on a regular basis is part of ensuring your overall health and well-being. If you find yourself asking friends and family to repeat themselves many times a day—even though the results of your last hearing exam were good—you may have a hidden hearing impairment.

Difficulties with Communication Could Signal a Hearing Loss Blog feature image

Scientists have done great work in understanding what hidden hearing loss is and its causes since its initial description less than six years ago. Researchers at the University of Michigan reported a new, unexpected cause for the auditory neuropathy, a step in the direction of treating it, in the publication Nature Communications.

“If people can have hidden hearing loss for different reasons, having the ability to make the right diagnosis of the pathogenesis will be critical,” says author Gabriel Corfas, Ph.D., director of the Kresge Hearing Research Institute at Michigan Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

The Research

Corfas published the study with co-author Guoqiang Wan, now with Nanjing University in China, and together they used mice to discover that disruption in the Schwann cells responsible for making myelin, which insulates the neuronal axons in the ear, leads to hidden hearing loss. Therefore, hidden hearing loss could be responsible for auditory deficits present in acute demyelinating disorders like Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can be brought on by Zika virus.

To model Guillain-Barré syndrome, Corfas and Wan induced loss of myelin in the auditory nerve of mice through the use of genetic tools. Though the myelin regenerated in a few weeks’ time, the mice developed a permanent hidden hearing loss and damage to a nerve structure called the heminode remained.

The synapses connecting hair cells with the neurons of the inner ear are lost over time when the ear is exposed to prolonged loud noise. It has previously been shown that the loss of these synapses is a mechanism that can lead to hidden hearing loss.

Only a few of the synapses are needed to identify sounds in the quiet testing room of an audiologist. On a busy street, however, the ear must activate specific synapses to sift through environmental sounds. If the synapses are not all present and working, it can be hard to discern noise from speech. This is hidden hearing impairment, Corfas says.

“Exposure to noise is increasing in our society, and children are exposing themselves to high levels of noise very early in life,” he adds. “It’s clear that being exposed to high levels of sound might contribute to increases in hidden hearing loss.”

The deficiency in Schwann cells, the newly identified cause, could occur in people who are already living with noise exposure-driven hidden hearing loss. “Both forms of hidden hearing loss, noise exposure and loss of myelin, can occur in the same individual for an additive effect,” Corfas says.

Corfas’ group has previously succeeded in regenerating the synapses in mice with hidden hearing loss, which, in turn, offers the possibility of treatment. During this work, Corfas began to investigate other cells in the ear, which led to uncovering the new mechanism.

Difficulties with Communication

 If you find that you have to ask people to repeat themselves often, even after having your hearing examined and receiving good results, ask your audiologist if you could be experiencing a hidden hearing loss.

Unfortunately, no cure yet exists for hidden hearing loss. As scientists and researchers become more familiar with the condition, however, they hope to develop medication to treat it. In the meantime, researchers like Corfas and Wen are navigating this new terrain with inspiring results.

“Our findings should influence the way hidden hearing loss is diagnosed and drive the future of clinical trials searching for a treatment,” Corfas says. “The first step is to know whether a person’s hidden hearing loss is due to synapse loss or myelin/heminode damage.”

Treatment for Hearing Loss

The good news: hearing loss is a treatable condition. With the use of hearing aids, people with hearing loss are reconnected to their loved ones, their favorite activities, and their community. Hearing aids help with speech recognition and allow wearers to process and focus on the sounds they want to hear in their environment.

Check with your hearing health care professional to see if you should be tested for hidden hearing loss. As research and technology are fast-progressing in the world of hearing health, treatments could be available sooner than you think.

About the Author

Stephen Yontz is Founder and President of FitHearing – a new-patient referral service for local practices with a focus on maintaining and valuing professional Audiology and hearing care, while serving an emerging market for price-shopping, informed hearing aid consumers. He is Co-Owner and Director of Operations for an Audiology practice in Nashville, TN, and shortly after assuming this role, he recognized a need for the support of those patients that are not willing to pay the “seemingly” high price for traditional hearing care – those that inevitably seek alternative solutions that do not meet the basic needs of a person suffering from hearing loss.

The post Difficulties with Communication Could Signal a Hearing Loss appeared first on Ear Health Blog-EarGuru.


How Hearing Loss Can Be Treated

In most of the cases Hearing loss is not reversible. In some cases it is reversible provided the persons consults an ENT Doctor in time. Know about the cases where Hearing loss can be treated and reversed The post How Hearing Loss Can Be Treated appeared first on Ear Health...

Hearing Loss is very common, the ever-increasing noise pollution has affected people as young as 30 to 40 years of age. Normal Hearing loss occurs as you age, around one-third of the people in India who are between the ages of 60-70 have some problem of hearing loss. For people older than 70, the number is much more. Broadly there are 3 types of Hearing loss:

  • Conductive hearing loss
  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • Mixed hearing loss
Please Speak loudly. cannot hear, hearing loss, human ear
Please Speak loudly

The problem with Sensorineural Hearing Loss and to some extent, Mixed hearing loss is that you cannot reverse it. However, Conductive Hearing Loss is reversible if one seeks medical advice in time. After proper diagnosis, the Doctor will recommend hearing loss surgery. It is advisable to undergo the surgical procedure to overcome the hearing problem and improve your hearing.

What Are The Symptoms Of Hearing Loss?

The signs and symptoms of hearing loss might include:

  • Difficulty In Understanding Words, When There Is Noise Or In A Crowd

This is the first sign of hearing loss, the start is very gradual. It may not be very obvious in a one to one conversation but is very obvious in a conversation in a crowded place like a restaurant or at a party.

  • Asking Others To Speak Slowly, Loudly And Clearly

People with hearing loss feel that others are not speaking clearly. They generally request others to repeat and speak clearly.

  • Withdrawal From Conversations

Once the person realizes that having a conversation is difficult, they tend to withdraw from conversations to avoid embarrassment. This is very dangerous. We have to ensure that our parents and elders should attend to their hearing loss. Withdrawing from active life leads to depression and in some cases also leads to Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Avoidance Of Social Settings

The next step after withdrawing from conversations is to stop attending social functions. It gets all the more difficult to pick up a conversation in a noisy surrounding. One should avoid this situation at all costs.

  • Need To Turn Up The Volume Of The Television

This is another important indicator. Other people in the house should observe that the volume is louder than normal. The person with hearing loss will not realize.

  • Muffling Of Speech

People with hearing loss have low speech discrimination, though they can hear, the words are not very clear.

What Are The Causes Of Hearing Loss?

Causes of hearing loss can include:

  • Damage To The Inner Ear

Exposure to loud noises and ageing can lead to hearing loss. Our nerves become weak and cannot carry the sound signal efficiently.  Our Inner ear has thousands of small and delicate hair cells. These hair cells die due to damage caused by loud sounds and some diseases. These hair cells convert the sound energy to electric pulses which reach the brain. When the nerve and cells get damaged electric signals are not transmitted effectively as they should and hearing loss will occur.

  • The Buildup Of Earwax

Earwax can block the ear canal and it can prevent the conduction of sound waves. Earwax removal can help to restore the hearing.

  • Ear Infection In The Outer Ear

If there is an infection, it can cause hearing loss. The infection can cause permanent damage if it is not treated in time. Visit your ENT Doctor and take treatment. Self-treatment by buying over the counter medicines is dangerous.

  • Ruptured Eardrum

Loud noises, sudden changes in the pressure, poking your eardrum with sharp metallic instruments can rupture the eardrum. Protect your ears from loud explosions and deep water swimming as it can rupture the eardrum.

Prevention Of Hearing Loss

The following steps can help you to prevent hearing loss:

  • Protect your Ears: The duration and intensity of the exposure to the noise can limit the hearing loss. This will be the best protection for hearing loss. In the workplace, Soft silicone earplugs can help to protect your ears from damaging noise.
  • Get your Hearing Tested: You should consider a regular hearing test if you work in a noisy environment. If your report indicates a slight hearing loss, consult a Hearing professional and take some steps to prevent further loss.

Hearing Loss Diagnosis

Ear testing by an Audiologist
Ear testing by an Audiologist

Tests to diagnose hearing loss can include:

  • Physical Examination: Your doctor will look in your ear for the possible causes of hearing loss like earwax or inflammation due to an infection. The doctor will also look for any structural causes of hearing loss.
  • Screening Tests: The doctor may use the whisper test, asking you to cover one ear at a time to see how well you can hear spoken words.
  • App-based Hearing Test: There are various mobile apps available which would help in the hearing test. You can use these apps by yourself to check your hearing problem. However, this type of test is more of a screening process. An Audiometry is a must for diagnostic testing.
  • Audiometry Tests: During these tests which are specifically conducted by an Audiologist. You have to wear headphones in a soundproof room. Sounds of different frequencies produced by the testing equipment (Audiometer) reach the ears. Each sound produced starts from faint and keeps getting louder. This is to find the quietest sound you can hear.

Hearing Loss Treatment

If you are suffering from hearing problems, then treatment is available. The treatment will depend on the cause of the problem and the severity. The treatment options include:

  • Removing wax blockage: Earwax blockage is a reversible cause of hearing loss. The doctor can remove the earwax using the suction or with the help of a small tool with a loop in the end.
  • Surgical procedures: Some types of hearing loss can be treated with the help of surgery, which includes abnormalities of the eardrum. If you have had repeated infections with persistent fluid build-up, the doctor may include small tubes which help to drain your ear.
  • Hearing Aids: If your hearing loss is due to damage in the inner ear then hearing aid can be helpful. An audiologist will tell you about the benefits and Types of Hearing Aids. Open fit aids are currently most popular due to the fit and the features that they offered.
  • Cochlear implants: If your hearing loss is severe and hearing aids are not helping you, then you can go for Cochlear Implants. Unlike a hearing aid that amplifies sounds and directs it to your ear canal. A cochlear implant bypasses the damaged parts of the middle ear and inner ear and it directly stimulates the hair cells in the Cochlea. This provides signals to the Auditory nerve. An ENT specialist will do this task with no problem at all.

You should consult your doctor as soon as possible. If you will delay the surgery, then it can lead to a permanent problem for you. It could lead to permanent damage to your ear leading to disability and problems in day to day life. You should go and consult an ENT doctor quickly without wasting any time.

The post How Hearing Loss Can Be Treated appeared first on Ear Health Blog-EarGuru.


Teletherapy – 18 Advantages of Speech Therapy at Home

The spread of the internet and advancement in technology has opened a new avenue in medical treatment known as Telemedicine or Teletherapy. Speech Therapy in the comforts of the Child's home has many advantages over regular visits to the Clinic and special schools. The post Teletherapy – 18 Advantages of Speech Therapy at Home appeared first on Ear Health...

The spread of the internet has greatly improved communication. Distance is no more a deciding factor in keeping relations alive.  People prefer video calls over voice calls for better interaction. The advancement in technology has opened a new avenue in medical treatment known as Telemedicine. Telemedicine and Teletherapy is basically medical consultation or therapy using the internet. You can connect with your Doctor or Therapist over a video call and discuss your case and undergo therapy as you would have done in person. Let us find out if Teletherapy or online Speech Therapy is beneficial at home.

Teletherapy 18 advantages feature image of article

What is Teletherapy?

Teletherapy is the use of telecommunication technology to connect the therapist with the patient. In the case of Speech Therapy, the therapist can conduct a proper therapy session. Both the therapist and the patient need a computer with a webcam and a good internet signal. With Teletherapy the distance between the patient and the therapist is immaterial. It could be a few kilometres or a few thousand kilometres.

What Are The Advantages Of Teletherapy or Online Speech Therapy?

The volume of searches on Google for Speech Therapy near me or Speech Therapy Centre near me and Speech Therapy at home indicate that people are interested in a Speech Therapist close by. Teletherapy or Online Speech Therapy has many other advantages as given below.

1. Can We Take Appointments Online for Teletherapy?

Yes, we can certainly connect to the Speech Therapist or their office online. No sitting for hours in the clinic waiting room. It is difficult if the child becomes impatient and refuses to cooperate. Small children are generally scared of new places as well as Doctors and Therapists in white coats. Online consultation also eliminates the chances of forgetting old case papers or reports at home. This needs another appointment and visit.

2. Does Online Speech Therapy Reduce Travel Expenses?

Regular physical visits to the clinic of the therapist can be expensive. In most cases the child cannot use public transport, one has to drive down or use a taxi. Depending on the case and severity of the problem, the Speech Therapist may need to conduct more than one session a week. Over a period of time, petrol and taxi bills can be substantial. Teletherapy or Online Speech Therapy can cut these costs totally.

3. Can Online Speech Therapy Prevent Social Stigma?

Many parents do not want others to know that their child is undergoing Speech Therapy. Parents prefer not to be open about it due to the social stigma and the fear of their child getting bullied by their friends. Regular travelling to the clinic and back will not keep this fact hidden.

4. How Does Anonymity Help Online Speech Therapy?

People find the internet less threatening. Parents open up about their children’s issues and share more details compared to a face to face meeting. Communicating over the internet gives a feeling of anonymity, protection and comfort. This is one reason why people end up giving their personal details to strangers on Social Apps.

5. How Does Online Speech Therapy Increase Consistency And Regularity?

Dropping children to the Speech Therapist and picking them up is a time-consuming task. Working parents divide the responsibilities among themselves. At times office meetings and commitments do not allow them time to drop and pick up the child. In these circumstances, the child misses the therapy session.

Reasons like extreme weather conditions, small ailments like cold and cough, vehicle breakdown can result in cancellation of Speech Therapy sessions. Online Speech Therapy eliminates absenteeism in all the above cases.

6. How Can Online Speech Therapy Keep The Child from Falling Sick?

Children with a delayed speech disorder may have other health issues. Children with low immunity are prone to infections. These children are best kept isolated from others so they do not fall sick repeatedly. Online Speech Therapy eliminates the chance of catching infections. A weak child may get tired travelling to and fro to the clinic or special school every day. Tiredness will reduce the attention of the child.

7. How Does Online Therapy Maintain Good Health?

Mothers provide food and snacks to the child travelling to the Speech Therapy clinic or special school. It is not possible to carry a full hot meal. The child has to eat cold food which is not good for their health. With Teletherapy the child can have freshly cooked hot food within the comforts of the house.

8. Can Online Speech Therapy Result in More Sessions?

Online Speech Therapy totally eliminates travel time and transport worries. The child and the parent do not suffer from travel fatigue and exhaustion. This additional time can be best used to schedule more sessions. The advantage of flexible timings helps in accommodating a higher number of sessions. Speech Therapy Sessions can be conveniently scheduled on weekends, holidays and late evenings as per the availability of the Speech Therapist. More Speech Therapy sessions will result in improved results.

9. Will Teletherapy Gives Us A Wider Choice Of Speech Therapists?

In the case of Teletherapy, one does not have to depend on the locally available Speech Therapist. You have heard of a Speech Therapist who is magical with children, but have not approached as her clinic is far away. With Teletherapy, you can approach the therapist of your choice. Distance is not important for Online Speech Therapy. Give your child the best possible therapy.

10. Is Remote Location A Disadvantage for Speech Therapy?

Teletherapy or Speech Therapy diagram
How Teletherapy works

You are staying away from the city in a small town. There are no Speech Therapists close by or the only one has no free time slots to offer. The neglect and delay in starting therapy are unfair to your child. With Online Speech Therapy, your remote location is as good as the location of the person in the City. You can connect to the Therapist in the City, all you need to ensure is a good internet signal. Signal strength should not be a worry as telecom companies have penetrated the remotest of areas.

11. Can Online Speech Therapy Show Better Results?

In selected cases, Teletherapy can show better results. Some children are very shy and introverts. These timid children do not interact well with the Speech Therapist or other students in person. In these cases, the psychological comfort of the house and the presence of the parents will result in better performance.

12. Is Online Speech Therapy Advisable For Restless & Attention Deficit Children?

Another advantage of Teletherapy is that there are fewer distractions. The child will not concentrate if easily distracted by other students. The child is generally attracted to the screen and the headphones. In the absence of distractions, the child’s progress is better.

13. Does Teletherapy Offer More Resources?

The Speech Therapist has access to the best teaching resources from all over the world. The internet offers more resource material compared to what a Therapist can provide at the clinic. Selection of teaching resources can be on the basis of likes and preference of the student. This enables increased interest and participation from the student. All the therapist has to do is to use or buy the resource material offered by others in the field. More resource material helps the child to progress.

14. Does Teletherapy Make Children Tech Savvy?

Children are good learners. Their ability to grasp new technology is faster than grownups. Small kids become good video gamers and can operate new gadgets effortlessly. Exposing children to gadgets like a PC, iPad or a tablet will help in their overall development. Exposing them to online games increases their mental and physical agility as well as logical reasoning.

15. Can Online Speech Therapy Help In Language Preferences?

There are a number of languages and dialects spoken all over the world. People migrate from one Country to another to work or for a better life. Children of migrants requiring Speech Therapy may not be comfortable with the foreign language. As the spoken language at home is the native tongue. Teletherapy can help in connecting to Speech Therapists in their native Country for better results.

This is very much relevant in Countries where the immigrant population is high. Or in Countries like India where language and dialects change from one State to another.

16. Does Family Participation Help In Faster Improvement In The Child?

Family Participating in Child's Teletherapy Session image
Family Participating in Child’s Teletherapy Session

The Speech Therapist devotes a few hours to the child at the clinic or at the School. The child spends the majority of the time in the company of the parents. Most Speech Therapists involve the parents in the therapy. Parents should continue Speech Therapy exercises at home. This brings about faster improvement in the child.

During the Online Speech Therapy session, all the family members can take part in the session. The learnings from therapy will empower the family as they will be well informed and can help the child overcome the abnormalities.

17. Does Online Speech Therapy Define Goals Better?

With the participation of the parents, the goals become more defined. The parents and the family members can see the improvement for themselves. Speech Therapists regularly hear parents say that the child talks in the clinic or special school but does not talk at home. At home, the parents can feel the joy of seeing their children talk and converse with the family members.

18. Can Teletherapy Help Also The Elderly?

Speech Therapy is not only for children. Many elderly people also undergo Speech Therapy. The Speech Therapists is also an expert in handling issues related to swallowing of food or swallowing disorders. Swallowing disorder is also known as Dysphagia. A paralytic stroke or an accident which affects the muscles of the face prevents the person from chewing and swallowing food. We do come across paralytic patients who need help to feed.

Online Speech Therapy is ideal for patients recovering from paralysis. These patients are unable to travel and need a nurse or an assistant to move around. Such patients can greatly benefit from Teletherapy as it reduces travel inconvenience.

Do I Need To Buy Expensive Software For Teletherapy?

One does not need to buy any software, the Teletherapy software runs through the browser. All you need is the right browser, your Speech Therapist will advise which one you should use depending on the therapy platform.  Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer or Firefox are some of the common ones.

Which Equipment Do I Need To Start Teletherapy For My Child?

Equipment needed for Teletherapy image of PC monitor with headphones and webcam
Equipment needed for Teletherapy

One does not need any sophisticated or high tech equipment to start Teletherapy lessons. These days most homes have all the equipment needed. You will need the following equipment.

  • A Personal Computer

You will need a PC. It can be a Desktop Computer, a laptop or a tablet. Ideally one should prefer a Desktop or a laptop as the larger screen size is advisable. The PC should have a new version of the browser. Please check the minimum operating system requirements with your Speech Therapist.

  • A Webcam

A webcam or a web camera is necessary. The web camera enables the Therapist to see the person who is undergoing Speech Therapy. This is as good as the Speech Therapist seeing you in person.

Normally a laptop has a built-in webcam, you can go to the settings and activate it. In case you have a desktop, you should buy an external webcam. A webcam sits on top of the monitor, it is flexible and you should rotate it to focus on the person.

  • Headphones

You need a good pair of comfortable over the ears headphones. Though most PC’s come with a pair of speakers, it is preferable to have headphones. Do not select the “in the ear” types or earbuds, buy an “over the ears” type. Over the ear, types are comfortable for long sessions.

Headphones to be used for Teletherapy image
Headphones for Teletherapy, always use Over the Ears Headphones
  • Internet Connection

A good internet connection is necessary. Good internet speed and signal strength offer live streaming without lag or interruption. Please consult the Speech Therapist on the data speed requirements. The speed requirement will depend on the Teletherapy platform used. Approach your internet provider for a higher data speed package if the current speed is low.

What Other Factors Should I Keep In Mind For Teletherapy?

With the basic technical requirements taken care of, we should look into the following factors as well.

  • Comfortable Seating Arrangement

A comfortable chair is very important as the session normally lasts about an hour. If the child is not comfortable, he or she will be fidgety and will not concentrate on the session.

  • Table Height

The table with the laptop or the monitor should be of the right height. The person undergoing Speech Therapy should have a straight view of the screen. Having to look at the screen from an uncomfortable angle for a long period can result in neck pain.

  • Location of the Computer

Please ensure that the room window if any should be behind the Computer. If the window is behind the person, the daylight glare will not allow the webcam to capture the persons face. The Speech Therapist at the other end will not get a clear view of the facial features. The same rule applies for bright lights in the room. The lights should light up the persons face and not point at the webcam.

Teletherapy is a win-win situation for the therapist and the patient. Over a period of time more Online Speech Therapy sessions will be preferred. The advantages of Speech Therapy at home are more than regular visits to the clinic.

However, there will be some cases which require a visit to the clinic and are not conducted online.

Want to know more about Teletherapy? Talk to a senior Speech Therapist.

Mention your contact details in the comments section below or visit the Helpline. You will receive a call from the Speech Therapist.

Note: Your contact details will not be made public.

The post Teletherapy – 18 Advantages of Speech Therapy at Home appeared first on Ear Health Blog-EarGuru.


When Should We Replace Our Hearing Aids?

There is no fixed time, life span or thumb rule on the working life of a Hearing aid. Even if they are working perfectly, there are other reasons which require us to replace our hearing aids. The post When Should We Replace Our Hearing Aids? appeared first on Ear Health...

Once we start using Hearing aids and get used to them, they become an integral part of our Hearing system. Hearing aids become the first and important part of the Hearing mechanism chain. Our hearing chain starts at our external ear, the visible part of the ear. The external ear collects the sound and directs it towards the ear canal. Hearing aids become an extended part of our ears. We do as much research as possible and read blogs on tips to select the best Hearing aids. But do they remain the best over a period of time? The answer is no. There are various reasons which require us to replace our Hearing aids or upgrade them after a period of time.

When Should we replace our Hearing aids. Blog feature image

How Long Do Hearing Aids Last?

There is no fixed time, life span or thumb rule on the working life of a Hearing aid. Even if they are working perfectly, there are other reasons which require us to replace our hearing aids. Technical failure remains the biggest reason for us to replace our hearing aids. With damage or physical breakage being the second reason. General estimates are that the average life of the Hearing aids is anywhere from 4 years to 6 years.

Let us read about the common reasons for replacing our Hearing aids.

  • We Should Replace Our Hearing Aids If They Repeatedly Need Repairs

Too many Hearing Aid Complaints? An unhappy customer. Image
Too many Hearing Aid Complaints? An unhappy customer

Do your Hearing aids break down regularly? Repeated trips to the workshop can be a frustrating experience. A hearing aid is an electronic device. The external shell or body contains a circuit which gets its power from the small battery. Like any other electronic or electrical device, the components in the circuit do show a reduction in performance. Small problems show up over a period of time. The smaller the Hearing aid, the more delicate and prone to handling, sweat and moisture. We should take care of our Hearing aids. Read about the simple home maintenance tips which can extend the life our Hearing aids.

Get the Hearing Aids Checked By an Audiologist

It is important that the Audiologist or a Hearing aid technician checks the Hearing aids. The Hearing aids need checking at regular intervals. The performance of the Hearing aid may deteriorate gradually. The Human body is very good at adapting to the changing conditions. The user of the hearing aid will get used to the sound even if the hearing aid is not performing well. Just because we cannot detect a problem does not mean that the Hearing aid is working well. A Hearing aid professional can judge the performance of the Hearing device better. There is no thumb rule as to how often the Hearing aids need a performance check. Twice a year is a good enough period or as often as you get your medical check-up done.

  • We Should Replace Our Hearing Aids If They Do Not Suit Our Hearing Loss

Sensorineural Hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. Besides other reasons, 90% of the cases are age-related. The hearing loss will keep on increasing as the age advances. The sound output or power of the hearing aid depends on the model selected. The Audiologist generally keeps some headroom or spare power while programming. This practice helps to increase output when required and keep the distortion low. Depending on the reserve power, it is possible that the output is not enough to match the increasing hearing loss.

At this stage, it is advisable to replace our hearing aids to match the current hearing loss.

  • We Should Replace Our Hearing Aids If They are difficult to Handle

Selection of hearing aids depends on a combination of multiple factors. The users Hearing loss Audiogram and the ability to handle the device. It is possible that someone using an IIC (Invisible In Ear) or a CIC (Completely In Canal) earlier is unable to operate it anymore. These small In The Ear type of hearing aids are very delicate and have either no controls or very small buttons. Inserting the small battery is a challenge even for the young users.

Hearing Aid Handling Problems Faced By the Elderly

Difficulty in inserting battery in the Hearing Aid
Difficulty in inserting battery in the Hearing Aid

A person who has advanced in age may develop unsteady hands or reduced agility.  Or a person suffering from Arthritis may not be able to insert the small hearing aid properly into the ear. If the hearing aid is not inserted properly in the ear, it will give rise to feedback. Besides feedback, there are chances of the hearing aid falling off. The acrylic shell of the Hearing aid is brittle and can easily crack or break into pieces. Breakage and physical damage is generally not covered by the warranty.

Under these circumstances, the person should replace the hearing aid with a BTE (Behind the Ear) type of hearing aid. BTE hearing aids are easy to handle and the controls are reasonable large to operate. Handling their hearing aids themselves gives a feeling of independence to the elders.

  • We Should Replace Our Hearing Aids as Per Our Lifestyle

Lifestyle is an important factor to consider while selecting the type or style of hearing aid. A promotion in the office can change the lifestyle of a young or middle age upcoming professional.

A change in job profile could involve meeting with customers. The professional may not like his hearing aids to be visible. Under these circumstances, the person can replace the existing BTE hearing aids with IIC or a CIC.

Another feature one can consider is Bluetooth connectivity.  A person who is on the cell phone most of the time can replace his hearing aids with the one with the Bluetooth feature. This will enable the user to stream the phone audio straight to his ears. The user will have to struggle to hear with a conventional hearing aid. The humming sound and the shrill feedback will make conversation difficult.

The selection or upgrading to a new hearing aid should be only as per the recommendations of the Audiologist.

  • We Should Replace Your Hearing Aids If The New Features Are Beneficial

Bluetooth Hearing Aid Connectivity image
Bluetooth Hearing Aid Connectivity

We are happy with the sound quality of our hearing aids and have no complaints what so ever. But we may find the new available features attractive. The new generation of Digital hearing aids are not limited to delivering distortion free sound. The new features make the user’s life simple by offering a lot of features which were unimaginable a few years back.

If you like watching television and are not happy as the audio is not clear. You need not to worry any more. The new hearing aids can be connected to a streamer. A streamer is a device which connects to your television and transmits sound directly to your hearing aids. No more increasing the Television volume and irritating others in the room.

If you are a music lover and your current hearing aids make music unbearable. Replace your hearing aids with the one which has a music mode. This feature is especially for listening to music.

Do read about the many features in advanced digital hearing aids to get familiar with the latest developments.

Did You Know That Digital Hearing Aids Can Monitor Your Health?

Well, this is the latest technology. The Starkey Livio AI has a built-in heart rate monitor and activity tracker. It also sends alerts to the selected contacts if the user falls down. Very useful for senior citizens who stay alone.

The Oticon OPN gives mail and social media alerts, besides a fire alarm alert.

Why Can’t We Replace Our Hearing Aids to Feel Good

If you are using a bulky BTE style of hearing aid and like the new In the ear type. Go ahead and discuss with your Audiologist. As long as the digital hearing aid specifications match the Audiogram. Feel good factor is very important. It’s like buying the latest car or a cell phone. People replace their cell phones every 2 years even if the old one is functioning well. So why can’t we buy a new hearing aid?

Socialising and Communication Keeps You Healthy

It is a confirmed fact that self-isolation can lead to depression in elders. Extreme cases of depression can lead to Alzheimer’s Disease. Using hearing aids which are not suitable can lead to a break in communication. The reason could be performance, change in hearing loss or lifestyle.  Do not hesitate to replace your hearing aids with the latest to live life to the fullest.

The post When Should We Replace Our Hearing Aids? appeared first on Ear Health Blog-EarGuru.


Can Hearing Aids Stop My Ears From Ringing?

At this time, there is no cure for tinnitus. Anyone offering a cure is very likely taking advantage of the fact that many people are seeking help to manage their tinnitus. However, you may be able to manage your tinnitus by using hearing aids. The post Can Hearing Aids Stop My Ears From Ringing? appeared first on Ear Health...

Tinnitus is often considered a joke problem for those who only have experienced temporary tinnitus. But for those who have to live with tinnitus’ constant phantom sounds, whether their tinnitus presents as a ringing noise, static, roaring, whistling, or other repetitive sounds, tinnitus is anything but funny.

At this time, there is no cure for tinnitus. Anyone offering a cure is very likely taking advantage of the fact that many people are seeking help to manage their tinnitus. However, you may be able to manage your tinnitus by using hearing aids.

Can Hearing Aids Stop My Ears From Ringing

Connection Between Tinnitus And Hearing Loss

Some people may be hesitant to use hearing aids to treat their hearing loss, believing that their hearing is in good order. However, it is not unusual for hearing loss to gradually develop, leaving time for your body to adjust to your lower hearing capacity. There is also research which confirms the strong connection between hearing loss and tinnitus.

This research mentions that it is possible that tinnitus occurs as part of specific inner ear damage, which is why some people have hearing loss without tinnitus, and others have tinnitus with no hearing loss present.

Whether you have hearing loss along with your tinnitus or not, you can still utilize hearing aids to help manage your tinnitus.

How Hearing Aids Can Help Manage Tinnitus

As tinnitus can cause a significant amount of emotional and physical distress in those experiencing tinnitus, researchers have made a point at studying the various modalities which could help. And even without hearing loss present, researchers have found that hearing aids are an exceptional tool in helping those with tinnitus.

Some of the specific ways hearing aids can help manage tinnitus are:

  • Auditory stimulation – Tinnitus can become more noticeable when hearing loss is present since your ears receive less input from the world around you. With hearing aids, you can hear more sounds like the hum of a computer, footsteps, and other sounds that will help make your tinnitus much less noticeable.
  • Reduces strain – It can be very straining to live with tinnitus, especially as moderate-to-severe tinnitus can drown out sounds you want to hear. By using hearing aids regularly, you can reduce the strain of listening around your tinnitus.
  • Act as a masker – Some hearing aids also have the ability to act as a sound generator, masking the sound your tinnitus makes. With a more pleasant sound in the background, like water flowing in a river, you can more easily ignore and forget your tinnitus.
  • Improves communication – Tinnitus can make speech, whether your ability to hear or your capacity to speak, difficult. With hearing aids, you can cut through the noise of your tinnitus to hear what others are saying and reply appropriately in return.

Hearing Aids That Have Tinnitus Support Built-In

Not all hearing aids come with tinnitus support. With the help of an audiologist, you will be able to find hearing aids which can help you manage your tinnitus. Some hearing devices you may want to consider are:

  • ReSound LiNX 3D – With ReSound LiNX 3D hearing aids, you can stream your tinnitus relief directly from your phone. Use the ReSound Relief app on your phone to help control what sounds are being streamed to your hearing aids. You can also utilize the relaxation exercises as well as guided meditation programs.
  • Starkey – A number of Starkey hearing aids can come with tinnitus support built in, from Invisible-In-Canal hearing aids to the larger Behind-The-Ear hearing aids. With Starkey’s Multiflex Tinnitus Technology, you can have greater control over your tinnitus-soothing sounds.
  • Widex Zen Therapy – A four-part tinnitus relief program, Widex hearing aids which have Widex Zen Therapy enabled can allow you to choose from soothing fractal tones which lessen the impact of your tinnitus. There is also an app you can use to control not only the sound but receive tinnitus counseling and relaxation help. Also, Widex hearing aids come with helpful amplification to help you overcome hearing loss.
  • Oticon Opn – You can opt for Oticon Opn hearing aids with enabled Tinnitus SoundSupport. This sound support can be controlled from your phone, allowing you to create personalized tinnitus sound relief profiles that will allow you to ignore your tinnitus.

By working with a qualified audiologist, you can find the right type of hearing aids for you that will help you manage your tinnitus.

The post Can Hearing Aids Stop My Ears From Ringing? appeared first on Ear Health Blog-EarGuru.


7 Diseases That Can Cause Hearing Loss

We are familiar with the common causes of Hearing Loss. Old age and exposure to loud sound. Surprisingly, some diseases which are not related to the ear can also cause Hearing loss. Read to know more. The post 7 Diseases That Can Cause Hearing Loss appeared first on Ear Health...

Hearing loss is very common. We are familiar with the common causes of Hearing Loss. Old age and exposure to loud sound are the 2 most common causes of Sensorineural Hearing loss. Our blog Common Hearing Loss Cause and Symptoms explains some of the other causes. To most of us, it may come as a big surprise but there are many other causes. Some diseases which are not related to the ear can also cause Hearing loss.

Diseases that can cause Hearing loss

Let us read about the diseases which can cause Hearing loss. We have shortlisted 7 diseases which are not rare.

  1. Diabetes
  2. Heart Disease
  3. Thyroid Disease
  4. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
  5. Influenza
  6. Hypertension
  7. Obesity

1. Can Diabetes Cause Hearing Loss?

It is scientifically proven that Diabetes does play a role in Hearing Loss. The chances of Hearing loss are 50% higher in people suffering from Diabetes. People with diabetes normally suffer from Sensorineural Hearing loss. Pre Diabetics have a 30% higher chance of suffering from Sensorineural Hearing loss. Pre Diabetics are people who do not suffer from diabetes but are on the borderline.

  • The Connection between Hearing Loss and Diabetes

Research has established a connection between Diabetes and Sensorineural Hearing loss. Chronic Hyperglycaemia or continuous high levels of blood glucose is the primary reason. High levels of blood glucose cause Microangiopathy. Microangiopathy causes the very tiny blood vessels to break. It also results in thickening of the wall in some blood vessels. This restricts the blood flow to the parts connected by these tiny blood vessels or arteries. Our ear is one such organ which is fed by small blood vessels. The restricted blood supply damages the delicate Hair cells causing Sensorineural Hearing loss. This is similar to how Diabetes affects the kidneys and the eyes.

2. Can Heart Disease Cause Hearing Loss?

a healthy heart is healthy hearing image of heart and ear
Heart Diseases can cause Hearing loss

There is a very strong link between Heart disease and Hearing loss. There are 54% higher cases of Sensorineural Hearing loss in people suffering from Heart diseases.

  • The Connection between Hearing Loss and Heart Disease

The Cochlea in the Inner ear contains the delicate hair cells which enable us to hear. The Cochlea gets oxygen rich blood through tiny blood vessels to keep it healthy. People suffering from Heart disease have reduced pumping action. The heart does not have the strength or needs to work harder to pump blood. If the pumping action is not enough, the Cochlea connected by tiny blood vessels does not get enough blood. This results in damage to the Hair cells which causes Sensorineural Hearing loss.

3. Can Thyroid Disease Cause Hearing Loss?

The Thyroid gland in our body produces hormones. These hormones are responsible for metabolism and other body functions. In case of a Thyroid disease, there is a reduction in the production of hormones. The reduced production of Hormones is medically known Hypothyroidism. The thyroid secretes a hormone known as Thyroxine. Thyroxine is responsible for the development of the Cochlea.

  • The Connection between Hearing Loss and Thyroid Disease

Thyroxine helps in maintaining the Cochlea during the development stage and much after. In an experiment, 30 subjects suffering from Hypothyroidism underwent Thyroxine treatment. At the end of 6 months, there was a 48% improvement in hearing confirmed by the pre and post treatment Audiograms. Thyroxine also helps in protecting against Noise Induced Hearing loss. Hypothyroidism (reduced production of hormones), as well as Hyperthyroidism (excessive production of hormones) cause Sensorineural Hearing loss

A healthy diet is important for people suffering from thyroid disease. Iodine, Vitamin A and D and minerals like Selenium and Iron help to maintain a healthy Thyroid. Read about the wonder foods which contain these and include them in your diet.

4. Can Chronic Kidney Disease Cause Hearing Loss?

It is well established that Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD causes Sensorineural Hearing loss. A study found a 54% higher chance of Hearing loss in people suffering from CKD. The reason is that the Kidneys are very similar to our Inner ear in terms of structure and functions.

  • The Connection between Hearing Loss and Chronic Kidney Disease

The Kidneys clean up the toxins in the body. Toxins collect in the body if the Kidneys are not functioning normally. These toxins damage the sensitive nerves in the Inner ear. The tissue structure in the Kidneys is similar to the inner ear. The elements damaging to the Kidney tissue also cause damage to the ear tissue. Electrolyte disturbance is also a cause of Sensorineural Hearing loss. Certain medicines used for the treatment of CKD are harmful or Ototoxic to the ear.

5. Can Influenza Cause Hearing Loss?

A person suffering from flu which can cause hearing loss image
Hearing loss can be caused by flu

Seeing people sniffling and sneezing during winters is a common sight. Neglecting the early signs can see some come down with severe influenza. Influenza, commonly known as flu can also cause hearing loss. Flu, after all, is a virus which affects the sinuses and the ears. In a majority of the cases, flu causes Conductive Hearing loss which is reversible. Hearing loss can become permanent if proper and timely treatment is not taken.

  • The Connection between Hearing Loss and Influenza

The early signs of flu are running nose, headaches, sore throat, coughing and fever. Flu causes congestion and build-up of fluids in the Middle ear and the Eustachian tube. There is a drop in the hearing ability and a feeling of blocked ear. The congestion in the middle ear does not allow the sound waves to reach the inner ear. Proper treatment can clear the infection and restore hearing. This temporary hearing loss is also known as Conductive Hearing loss.

There are cases where the infection is very severe and affects the inner parts of the ear. The delicate nerves can get affected by the infection. The damage to the nerves causes Sensorineural Hearing loss. This type of loss is permanent in nature. You need to see your doctor if the hearing ability is not normal within a day or two of the flu being cured. You can follow the precautions mentioned in the blog on How to prevent ear Infections.

6. Can Hypertension Cause Hearing Loss?

Hypertension or high Blood pressure does cause Hearing loss. As the blood pressure rises, the hearing ability goes down. Hearing loss speeds up or increases in cases of chronic high blood pressure. Experiments have shown that bringing down blood pressure improves hearing ability.

  • The Connection between Hearing Loss and Hypertension

The connection is very easy to understand. The high blood pressure puts additional pressure on the walls of the vessels carrying blood. This additional pressure damages the blood carrying vessels or the arteries. Small arteries supply fresh oxygenated blood to the delicate part of our ears. Damage to these arteries can cause a reduction of blood supply which causes Sensorineural Hearing loss. It is important to de-stress to keep the blood pressure under control. Read about the ways to destress to avoid stress related hearing loss.

7. Can Obesity Cause Hearing Loss?

an obese or over weight person can get hearing loss image
An Obese or over weight Person

Though awareness about a healthy lifestyle is spreading, Obesity still remains a major problem. The current lifestyle is the main cause of Obesity. Though remote control, Apps, automation and fast foods has made life easy, it has also reduced our physical activity. Obesity is a sign of poor health and can cause Hearing loss.

  • The Connection between Hearing Loss and Obesity

Obesity does not directly affect Hearing loss, but it can certainly increase the chances of Hearing loss. The heart pumps blood to each and every organ in the body. Blood reaches our inner ear through small arteries and capillaries. In an obese person, the heart has to pump harder to deliver blood to the smallest of the organ. Over a period of time, the heart finds it difficult to pump blood. There is a gradual reduction of blood supply to the smaller organs. In this case, the reduced blood supply to the inner ear causes the hair cells to die. This reduces the total number of active hair cells and causes Sensorineural Hearing loss.

Obesity is responsible for Heart disease and diabetes which further damage the hearing.

A healthy lifestyle is very important. Do find time to take care of your body.

7 Diseases that can cause Hearing Loss Info-graphic
7 Diseases that can cause Hearing Loss Info-graphic

The post 7 Diseases That Can Cause Hearing Loss appeared first on Ear Health Blog-EarGuru.


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