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Blog Description:

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.
Blog Added: April 17, 2018 07:31:25 AM
Audience Rating: General Audience
Blog Platform: WordPress
Blog Country: India   India
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Total Visits: 101
Blog Rating: 3.00
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Is Hearing Loss a Disability? Not really!

Read the story of 2 wonderful people from the State of Kerala who refused to consider Hearing Loss a disability, One designed an aircraft and the other is a Founder of a tech startup. The post Is Hearing Loss a Disability? Not really! appeared first on...

Hearing Loss as a disability does not draw much attention. It is as silent as the world in which they live. Reliable figures state that 6.3% or 8.2 crores of our population suffer from Severe to Profound loss. Hearing Loss from birth affects not only the education but also the emotional and social behaviour of the individual. But there are people made of stronger stuff who defy the stereotype and prompts us to ask “Is Hearing Loss a Disability? Not really!” especially in the case of these 2 wonderful people from the State of Kerala who refused to consider Hearing Loss a disability.

Saji Thomas

Saji Thomas in his hand made Aircraft
Saji Thomas in his hand made Aircraft

“I can’t hear or talk, but I could build an aircraft and fly it” these are the words Saji Thomas wrote on a piece of paper. Not a small feat, especially coming from a person who is Speech and Hearing impaired from birth and has not studied beyond class 7. Achievers like Saji Thomas once again bring up the question, is Hearing Loss a disability? Not really! Not for people with a mission and the determination to go to any lengths to achieve their goals.

Who is Saji Thomas?

Born in a small village near Idukki in Kerala, Saji Thomas born Hearing and Speech impaired was talented and used to make cardboard models of cars, bus and planes. During his teens he saw helicopters spraying pesticides over the rubber plantations in the vicinity, he was mesmerised with the flying machines and walked to meet the pilots. Though he could not speak, the pilots noticed his interest and gave him a ride in the helicopter.

The ride was a turning point in his life, he took the Mumbai based pilots address and later visited them. Saji stayed with them for 2 weeks and came back with a lot of aviation books gifted by the pilots.

Saji Thomas working on his Aircraft
Saji Thomas working on his Aircraft

After coming back to his village, Saji started building his aircraft with recycled material. He substituted local material after properly studying the technical specifications. Since he could not afford high-grade fibreglass for the propellers he used locally available Mahogany wood polished to perfection. He used a Yamaha motorcycle engine in his first prototype, though the plane taxied, it did not have the power to take off.

Saji Thomas’s Prototype Aircraft

Though his first prototype did not fly, all the same, it was noticed and purchased for 1.5 lakhs by the Visveswaraya Institute of Engineering for teaching the students the basics of aviation. With this 1.5 lakhs, Saji purchased a second-hand 65 HP German engine and other second hand parts for his dream machine. It took him 5 to 6 years to make his aircraft, he named the prototype SAJI-X-Air-S.

X-Air is a Microlight category as defined by the DGCA. Though his aircraft was ready, he could not find a runway or a qualified person to fly it. An X Air aircraft costs anywhere around Rs. 25 lakhs, Saji’s made his X Air prototype in Rs.14 lakhs.

Family, the backbone of every Entrepreneur.

Saji, through his wife, contacted retired Air Force Wing Commander SKJ Nair, who had a flying club at Manimuttar in Tamil Nadu, after receiving confirmation, Saji hired a truck and carried his prized possession accompanied by his supporting wife Mariya. As retired Wing Commander Nair sat in the cockpit and started taxing, Marya was more tensed than Saji, it was a moment of joy for all of them as the SAJI-X-Air-S took off flawlessly.

Saji spent all the money he made working as a technician repairing TV sets and other electronic gadgets on his dream project. His wife, Mariya and son Joshua led a meagre existence but were the strength and pillar of support encouraging him to keep working on his dream.

Saji Thomas- an inspiration

Listin Stephen, a producer of Malayalam movies was inspired by the determination and achievements of Saji and produced a film “Vimaanam” portraying his life story.

A must see for all, please view the trailer below

Saji in the India Book of records.

Saji is listed in the India Book of Records for achieving the feat of the first differently abled person to build an Aircraft. He was also featured on the Discovery Channel,

Saji Thomas had to constantly struggle throughout his life, he was driven by his passion and never once complained or considered his Speech and Hearing Impairment as a disability or an obstacle. Since he does not have the access to funds, he is unable to put his ideas into practices and is hoping for an approval from the Civil Aviation Department.

As per his website, he is still unemployed, people willing to help him can SMS him on +91 94003 36313 or call on +91 94467 47473, the call will be taken by his Son Joshua or his wife, his e-mail ID is sajixair@gmail.com

Theertha Nirmal

Teertha Nirmal at the Huddle Kerala Conclave
Teertha Nirmal at the Huddle Kerala Conclave

The gutsy lady from Kerala who is Speech and Hearing Impaired from birth is the Founder of a startup aptly named Sign NEXT. Her startup won the third prize at the Huddle Kerala conclave organised by the State Startup mission at Kovalam.

The audience at the conclave roared in appreciation as her name was announced, it took her a few moments to realise that her startup has been declared the third prize winner, she looked towards her husband Sanu and her Co-founder Kingsley David, seeing their smiling faces she knew it was for real. Once again raising the question whether Hearing Loss is a disability? Not really! Not for all.

What is Sign NEXT?

Sign NEXT-SignSkool, is an educational mobile app, this mobile app will have educational videos, vocational courses, live streaming of video recordings in sign language. The App will not only impart academic education but will also ready them for the real-life challenges, Kingsley David, her Co-Founder mentioned that they will be offering tips to the Hearing impaired on how to prepare for interviews, how to write e-mails as well as hygiene and pregnancy tips for the females.

Theertha Nirmal’s Mission

Theertha wants to educate and empower the deaf community through the innovative use of Technology. Her immediate target is the 3.5 lakh Hearing impaired in the state of Kerala, she will subsequently reach out to the 1.8 crores Hearing impaired throughout the Country.

Theertha Nirmal – Early Days

Undeterred by her Hearing Loss disability, Theertha attended a Sign language school in her hometown Calicut, she was not really happy as she had to struggle with English words as her teachers were not well versed with the language. After her High School, she joined NISH (National Institute for Speech & Hearing) at Thiruvananthapuram and finished her B.Sc. in Computer Science.

Theertha married Sanu Chukkiri in 2016 and has a 6-month old daughter Eva.

Theertha Nirmal is a role model and will be an inspiration for the Deaf Community not only from Kerala but India and the world.

The Disability Affairs department under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment considers persons with a hearing loss of 60 decibels or above in the better ear as a qualification for benefits and concessions. This rule neglects everyone who is in the Mild and Moderate category. The Government should also form a separate category and offer jobs and facilities to this neglected categories.

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The post Is Hearing Loss a Disability? Not really! appeared first on Earguru.



Can Stress Cause Hearing Loss? 7 Simple Ways to De-Stress.

Stress related Hearing Loss is for real and is a direct outcome of high-stress levels. Read 7 simple ways to De-Stress and maintain good Hearing Health. The post Can Stress Cause Hearing Loss? 7 Simple Ways to De-Stress. appeared first on Earguru.

Stress has become a part of our fast-moving lifestyle. We are all aware that Cardiac health and Hypertension are direct outcomes of high-stress levels, but can stress cause Hearing Loss? It’s time you realise that Stress related Hearing Loss is for real and is a direct outcome of high-stress levels. We give below 7 simple ways to de-stress and maintain good Hearing Health.

Can Stress cause Hearing Loss_7 Simple Ways to De-Stress

How does Stress cause Hearing Loss?

Any form of Stress can cause havoc in the normal functioning of our body. Under high-stress levels, our body releases Adrenaline into our bloodstream. Adrenaline is a Hormone which increases the blood supply to the muscles for the body’s natural “Fight or Flight” response.

Occasionally the flow of Adrenaline is good for the body, but not on regular basis. Repeated stress affects microcirculation or reduces the blood flow through smaller blood vessels. Our inner ear receives blood for nourishment and proper functioning through small blood vessels, lack of blood supply to the Ear causes the Hair Cells to die resulting in Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Can Stress cause Sudden Hearing Loss?

Stress is known to cause sudden Hearing Loss in some people, sudden Hearing Loss can also mean Hearing Loss over 3 to 4 hours.

Since the Stress reduces blood supply to the Ears, continuous exposure to high levels of stress can reduce the blood supply to a trickle causing the Hair cells to die. In some cases high-stress levels cause Tinnitus.

Symptoms of Stress-related Sudden Hearing loss.

If you are under constant stress, be aware of the following symptoms. Consult your Doctor immediately as timely treatment can save your Hearing.

  • Sudden pain in the ear.
  • Sudden pressure or blocked feeling.
  • Sounds are muffled or faint.
  • Sudden loss of Hearing in one or both ears.

Age-related Hearing Loss comes over time and is not immediate or within hours.

How do we protect our Hearing?

If the Hearing Loss is due to high-stress levels, the only solution is to de-stress oneself.

Destressing yourself can not only protect your Hearing but also reduce chances of Hypertension and Cardiac issues.

What are the Simple De-Stressing Methods?

Methods of stress relief | Types of Stress and Stress Relief Techniques
Stress Relief This Way

Since our work environment, daily commuting and family pressures are some of the major reasons for stress, we should be particular in de-stressing ourselves on regular basis. Following these 7 simple ways to destress can preserve your Hearing.

1. Sound Sleep

A Peaceful Sleep for Stress Relief
A Peaceful Sleep for Stress Relief

Sleep is an important human function, sound sleep allows the body to repair itself. Our body including the brain needs rest to function properly.

Sound sleep has been prescribed as the most effective method for destressing.

2. Take a Break.

In case you find yourself in a stressful situation, try to walk away for a few minutes, clear your thoughts and return to the situation. You will find yourself feeling less tense. If you are in a meeting and cannot excuse yourself, take a deep breath. Deep breathing has a calming effect on the body. Learn a few breathing exercises.

3. Take a Holiday or spend Quality Time with your Family

Quality time with your family for Stress Relief
Quality time with your family for Stress Relief

People in stressful jobs should take a Holiday, in fact, Company management should insist that their executives holding stressful portfolios should be sent on a compulsory leave. Spending quality time with the family can work magic on stress.

4. Animal Assisted Therapy

Playing with Pets for Stress Relief
Playing with Pets for Stress Relief

Domestic pets are one of the greatest stress busters, playing with your Pet Dog or your Pet Cat can do wonders for your Health. It is a known fact that playing with Pets increases levels of Oxytocin, a stress-reducing hormone and decreases levels of Cortisol, a stress-causing Hormone. Animal Assisted Therapy is an accepted form of treatment.

5. Listen to Music or Watch Movies

Music Therapy is also an established form of stress relieving treatment. Play your favourite soft soothing music and watch the stress disappear. Or play your favourite movie at home or go to a theater and become part of the movie plot and forget your worries.

6. Meditation, Yoga, Jogging or Gymming

Jogging for Fitness and Stress Relief
Jogging for Fitness and Stress Relief

Meditation and Yoga are centuries old solutions for stress relief and relaxation, meditation and Yoga not only help in stress relieving but also have a positive impact on Blood pressure, insomnia and depression. Jogging. Running or gymming keeps the body in perfect health, exercising releases endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals which are released into the brain and give a feeling of well-being and happiness which directly reduces stress.

7. Spa Therapy and Massage treatment

Spa therapy or a good massage can be an instant stress reliever. Massage is known to relieve stress, fatigue and physical pain. Massaging releases Endorphins in the body which helps in reducing stress levels. A good hot tub will increase blood circulation.

The other benefits of Massage are:

  • Reduction in blood pressure (A cause of Hearing Loss)
  • Improves Immune system (Fewer chances of getting Ear infections)
  • Improves Cardiac Health and blood supply (The inner Ear gets an abundant supply of nutrients thus delaying Sensorineural Hearing loss)

In recent times stress has become the biggest killer, many people who are unable to handle work-related stress “burn out” at an early age. Stress is a silent killer. Keep yourself fit and productive by de-stressing yourself.

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Best Hearing Aids – How to choose the right one

Which is the best Hearing Aid? Let us help you help choose the right one. The post Best Hearing Aids – How to choose the right one appeared first on Earguru.

Which is the best Hearing Aid?

Every Hearing Aid user must have asked this question to his dispenser before finalising, “Which is the best Hearing Aid?” The simple answer to this question is “The best Hearing Aid” is the one that suits your needs Let us help you to choose the right one.

Digital Hearing Aid Fitting | Learn about the hearing aid selection and fitting process
Digital Hearing Aid Fitting

We are happy that you have made a decision to use Hearing Aids, the general procedure at your Hearing Aid Dispenser’s clinic will start with a detailed study of your Audiogram or your Audiometric report to determine the Type of Hearing loss and the degree, or percentage of Hearing Loss in one’s ears.

Select the right Hearing Aids

Different Types, Styles of Digital Hearing Aids
Types and styles of Digital Hearing Aids

Once your Audiologist or Dispenser has studied your Audiogram, he or she will select an appropriate Hearing Aid from the wide range available from the manufacturers.

Your Hearing Aid Dispenser has access to the technical specifications and the performance parameters of the Hearing Aids.

Each model will differ in specification like Power output, Gain, compression etc. Your dispenser will match the specifications of the Hearing Aids to the requirement as per the Audiogram.

While your Hearing Aid Dispenser will ensure that the Hearing Aid offered is technically suitable for you, what is more important is whether the Hearing Aid suits your lifestyle?

Why choosing Hearing Aids to fit your Lifestyle is important ?

While all Hearing Aids will technically deliver sound, your lifestyle should determine the style of the Hearing Aid. The right style will ensure that the Hearing Aid does not become an inconvenience. Make sure to discuss your lifestyle with your dispenser. Below are some of the common lifestyles, check where you fit in.

Common Lifestyles for Hearing Aid users

We can classify the Common Lifestyles into 3 broad categories.

  1. Hearing Aids for Professionally Active Lifestyle.

Hearing Loss is now affecting people in their 40’s, most professionals start handling senior level responsibilities at this age, any handicap at this stage will reduce their growth prospects. Yet they should not avoid using Hearing Aids as they may miss on discussions in the meetings.

The 2 main factors for selecting the type and style of Hearing Aids.

a. Visibility

b. Features

 Visibility

For professional reasons, it is understandable that people do not want others to know that they are using a Hearing Aid. Not a major issue as the latest Digital technology has enabled manufacturers to reduce the size of the Hearing Aids such that they are totally invisible.

The following Hearing Aids are advisable for working professionals.

IIC or Invisible in the Canal Digital Hearing Aid
IIC or Invisible in the Canal Digital Hearing Aid

These style of Hearing Aids slide deep into the Ear Canal, they are not visible at all. A nylon pulling string is provided so the user can pull them out when not needed.

CIC or Completely in Canal Digital Hearing Aid
CIC or Completely in Canal Digital Hearing Aid

A CIC or Completely in the Canal Hearing Aid is slightly larger than an IIC. It also fits into the Ear Canal but not as deep as the IIC. In a majority of the cases, a CIC is also acceptable.

ITC or In the Canal Digital Hearing Aid
ITC or In the Canal Digital Hearing Aid

The ITC style of Hearing Aid is slightly larger than a CIC type, the face plate or the front portion is slightly visible, it can be covered cosmetically with the hair falling over the ears to avoid people noticing it. The major advantage is that ITC Hearing Aids can cover very high losses.

RIC or Receiver in the Canal Hearing Aid user
RIC or Receiver in the Canal Hearing Aid user

The RIC or RITE (Receiver in The Ear) type of Hearing Aid has a very thin wire leading to the Ear, it is almost invisible or can be covered by the hair in case of ladies. These Hearing aids can suit people with profound losses also.

Features

The new technology offers a host of features, it all depends on your budget. Besides the regular noise cancellation and anti-feedback features, we would recommend Auto Acclimatization or a Remote control and Bluetooth connectivity.

Auto Acclimatization will help the Hearing Aid automatically change its setting as the user moves from one environment to another. If this feature is priced high, a Remote Control will do the job equally well. The Remote control can be carried in the pocket and used to change the volume, program without drawing much attention.

Bluetooth connectivity is equally important as mobile phone calls can be directly streamed to the user’s ears without external disturbances.

2. Hearing Aids for Socially active Lifestyle

A socially active lifestyle is when the user is professionally retired but socially active. The user visits clubs, attends social get-togethers and other outdoor sports activities.

Visibility.

We estimate that the user with this type of lifestyle is close to 60 years. At this age visibility might not be an issue for everyone. People who are conscious about the cosmetic appeal can select Hearing Aids from the options given above for the professionally active users.

For those who are not very conscious but at the same time would like some convenience can opt for the BTE type.

Behind The Ear or BTE

BTE or Behind the Ear Digital Hearing Aids
Compact BTE or Behind the Ear Digital Hearing Aids

These types of Hearing are also quite small and are concealed behind the Ear. The only visible parts are the tube which carries the sound to the Ear and the Ear mould.

This style is advisable for the elders as they are easy to handle and operate. The elders do not have to depend on anyone to help them put on and use these Aids.

Features.

Socially active users who generally attend get-togethers also require features which can pick speech or sound signals while chatting in a group. Features like Noise reduction and anti-feedback are necessary. Study the features available and select the ones which benefit the most.

3. Retired Lifestyle

People leading a retired or semi-retired lifestyle are the ones who are generally at home but occasionally attend social and cultural functions.

Visibility

While visibility might not be an issue at this age, importance should be given to handling. The user should have steady hands to handle the small Hearing Aids like the IIC, CIC and ITC. These are made of an acrylic material which is brittle. If dropped on the hard floor the outer shell can crack or break. The Hearing Aids have to be sent back to the manufacturer for re-shelling and repairs.

A BTE or a RIC/RITE is advisable.

Features

The Hearing Aids can have the basic features which are available in most of the Hearing Aids. Though we call it basic, these Hearing Aids are multi-channel and have multiple program settings. The Program or setting can be changed while having a conversation or while watching TV.

The use of Hearing Aids can enhance the life of the Hard of Hearing person, one does not have to give up any of the enjoyable activities. Not using Hearing Aids can affect health, recent studies suggest that neglect of hearing Health leads to depression among the elders.  We hope our advice has helped you choose the best Hearing Aid for yourself or your loved ones.

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7 Simple at Home Hearing Aid Maintenance Tips

All you need to do is follow these 7 simple at home Hearing Aid maintenance tips to keep them in good working condition for years to come. The post 7 Simple at Home Hearing Aid Maintenance Tips appeared first on Earguru.

You could be a new Hearing Aid user or have been using Hearing Aids for some years, proper care and regular maintenance will extend the life of your Hearing Aids and reduce instances of repairs. All you need to do is follow these 7 simple at home Hearing Aid maintenance tips to keep them in good working condition for years to come.

Hearing Aid Care and Maintenance Tasks

1. Wipe your Hearing Aids clean with a Dry Cloth or Tissue

Water, Moisture and dust are the 3 biggest enemies of electronic devices. Sweating is very common in tropical Countries or with people working in factories and workshops. At the end of the day it is advisable to clean the Hearing Aids externally with a soft dry cloth or a soft tissue.

Caution: Do not use any spray or solvent to clean the Hearing Aid.

2. Use a Stay Dry box or an Electric Dehumidifier

Before retiring for the night put your Hearing Aids in a Stay Dry Box or an Electric Dehumidifier. It is advisable to remove the battery and leave the battery compartment open, this allows the air to circulate inside the Hearing Aid and remove the moisture settled on the circuit board.

What is a Dehumidifier?

Dehumidifiers for Hearing Aids | How to Use a Dry Aid Kit for Hearing Aids
Dehumudifiers for Hearing Aids

A Dehumidifier is a device which removes the moisture collected in the Hearing Aid due to Humidity or sweat.

 What are the different types of Dehumidifiers.

There are 2 types of Dehumidifiers which are commonly used.

  • The simple type uses Silica Gel which absorbs the moisture which has seeped into the Hearing Aid. Most of the Hearing Aid manufacturers offer a dehumidifier box with Silica Gel sachets or pellets. The Silica Gel is colour indicating, once the colour changes it has to be replaced. Replace the Silica Gel as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • The Electrical Dehumidifier is more effective as it blows hot air resulting in evaporation of moisture, it also draws out the moisture filled air.

Do not expose your Hearing Aids to rain or use it in a shower.

3. Check the Hearing Aid for Dirt or Wax accumulation

Removing Wax from the Ear Mold | Learn how to clean your hearing aids
Removing Wax from the Ear Mold

If your hearing Aid output has reduced, first check whether the opening of the Ear Mould or the opening of the ITC or CIC is blocked. Chances are that dirt from the hand or Earwax has blocked the opening thereby reducing the output. Earwax is a natural secretion of the Ear, it is advisable to clean your ears regularly.

  •  Change Wax Guard regularly
In The Ear Hearing Aid Wax Guard
In The Ear Hearing Aid Wax Guard

If you are using an “In The Ear” Hearing Aid, the Earwax or Dirt blocking the opening cannot be cleaned or removed. You have to replace the Wax guard, every manufacturer provides additional wax guards for replacement. In case you are unable to change yourself please visit your dispenser.

  • Change Microphone Guard if blocked.

Some Hearing Aids also have microphone guards. These microphone guards are also replaceable. Your Hearing aid dispenser will help you source the guards.

4. Check the Batteries

 If you are a regular Hearing Aid user, you are more or less aware as to how long the batteries last. Always keep spare batteries at hand. In case you are not using the Hearing Aids for a few days, it is advisable to remove the batteries and store them elsewhere. A leaked battery can damage the internal circuit of the Hearing Aid.

It is important to insert the battery the right way keeping the positive and the negative polarity in mind.

Watch this informational video on insertion of batteries.

5. Keep your Hearing Aids away from Heat

Hearing Aids have sensitive parts which are responsible for the sound quality, keep your Hearing Aids in a cool, dry place so that they keep working flawlessly. Do keep the following tips in mind.

  • Do not keep the Hearing Aids in direct Sunlight.
  • Do not keep the Hearing Aids in the Glove compartment of the car while the Air Conditioner is off or the car is parked in the Sun.
  • Do not use a Hair dryer if you are wearing your Hearing Aids.

6. Keep your Hearing Aids away from Sprays, Powder etc.

Avoid Hairspray while using Hearing Aids | Proper Care & Troubleshooting for Hearing Aids
Avoid Hairspray while using Hearing Aids

Avoid use of the following while you are wearing the Hearing Aids

  • Hair Sprays or Hair gels
  • Spray Perfumes or Deodorants
  • Shaving creams or shaving foams
  • Powder
  • Insect repellent.

Avoid all sprays or fine dust like powder which can block the Hearing Aid openings or have solvents in them. Aerosol spray cans contain solvents.

7. Keep some simple cleaning tools handy.

Handy Hearing Aid Maintenance Tools | Hearing Aid Cleaning and Maintenance Kit
Handy Hearing Aid Maintenance Tools

Keep these simple cleaning tools handy at home.

  • Hand Air Pump.

A simple rubber pump, easy to use. Helps in blowing away the dust.

  • Battery Tester

Very simple to operate, insert the battery. It will show whether the battery is good to be used.

  • Hearing Aid cleaning Brush

Simple brush, clean the external part of the hearing aid, especially the In the Ear type as Earwax may stick to the outer part of the hearing aid.

  • Magnet Stick or Magnet Pen

Small Hearing Aids have tiny batteries, at times it’s difficult to hold them and insert, this simple tool will hold the battery which can be easily placed in the battery compartment.

  • Wax loop tool or stick.

The tool has a wire loop, this wire loop can remove the wax from the ear mould opening, keeping the mould clean,

CAUTION: Not to be used in Hearing aids which have Wax Guards.

  • Vent cleaning tool.

Some Hearing aids have vents, vent is a tiny opening for sound balancing. The tool can be used to clean and ensure that the vent is not blocked.

Hearing Aids have to be used and handled with care, after all they are an extended part of your ear. Avoid dropping them or keeping them carelessly on a hard surface. At night remove the battery, most Hearing Aids use the battery door as an On – Off switch. With proper handling and care your Hearing aids can give you years of trouble free service.

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Speech Disorders in Children- 6 common Myths and the Real Facts

Speech disorders in children are common. We list below the common Speech disorders - the 6 common myths and the real facts. The post Speech Disorders in Children- 6 common Myths and the Real Facts appeared first on Earguru.

World over communities have their beliefs which are passed on from one generation to another, it is more prevalent in societies where certain topics are not discussed freely and education levels are low. Speech disorders in children are common, tips are passed on from mother to daughter. Some are scientifically proven while some create misunderstandings. We list below the common Speech disorders – 6 common myths and the real facts.

A Happy Child
A Happy Child

1. It happens with Children at this Age.

Though the parents are well aware that the child stutters or does not pronounce the words properly, the general belief is that the problem will go away with age.

Fact

Not that it cannot happen, the child may stop stuttering or the speech will become clearer, but it is advisable to consult a Speech Therapist for an opinion, it should not be too late to start the treatment. Delayed Speech development will also result in delayed reading and writing skills which will ultimately affect the child’s progress at school.

2. The Child is too small to be tested.

Small Child with a Speech Therapist
Small Child with a Speech Therapist

Some parents think that their child is too small to be tested, these beliefs are unscientific.

Fact

It is not advisable to delay the visit to the Speech Therapist. The Speech professionals are trained and are expert at handling young babies. They can reliably check babies for speech disorders and hearing loss before the child can start speaking.

3. Boys are slower than Girls

Girls are Smarter than Boys
Girls are Smarter than Boys

Boys start speaking much later than Girls. Believe it or not it’s true.

Fact

It is a well-known fact that girls start speaking before the boys do, it does not mean that testing should be delayed. It is said that since girls mature earlier though the difference is not much, they also acquire other skills faster than boys.

If the parents feel that the boy’s speech is delayed, they should refer to boys of similar age and check if the other boys have started speaking.

4. Not speaking? The Child is Stubborn or lazy

Lazy Speaker
Lazy Speaker

In some cases it is noticed that some children are stubborn or lazy and do not talk.

Fact

It is observed that the child continues to speak in baby language much after the other children of the same age group are clear in their speech. Parents feel that the child is stubborn or lazy. If the child says “Poon” instead of “Spoon” omitting the word “P” while at the same time can pronounce the word “Sun” it is not being stubborn or lazy. Chances are that the child can have what is known as “Phonological Disorder”.

Observe the child carefully or consult a Speech Therapist for confirmation.

5. We can wait until the child starts going to school to confirm if there is a problem.

Child with Speech Disorder
Child with Speech Disorder

Some parents delay visiting the Speech Therapist hoping that the child may start speaking after joining the school.

Fact

Parents are advised to consult a Speech Therapist at the earliest as it may be too late if the child has a genuine Speech disorder. Delay in Speech therapy will also cause delay in reading and writing ability which will affect the education of the child. The more the delay in consulting and starting with Speech therapy the longer it will take for the therapist to bring the child back to normalcy.

6. Speech disorder is common in Mentally Retarded children.

The general belief is that Mentally Retarded children also have Speech disorders.

Fact

Even if the child has other problems, it is not necessary that speech will also be affected. It has been observed that children with low IQ can have exceptional conversational and foreign language skills. This is known as the “Chatterbox Syndrome”. The child can be trained by the Speech Therapist to express themselves though they might be mentally retarded.

You can checkout this video for some simple tips.

Age V/s Behaviour table for quick reference

The following approximate indicators may help in alerting parents whether the child is developing normal speech.

Age Vs Behaviour Reference Chart
Age Vs Behaviour Reference Chart

Parents should rely on professional help more than the myths and beliefs which have been passed down from generations, though the home remedies practiced in the past may not be entirely wrong but science has come a long way, new technologies and cures will be much better and help in early recovery of the child.

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5 helpful Tips to convince your Parents to use Hearing Aids

You know your parents do need a Hearing Aid but they think it’s not required. How do you convince your parents to use Hearing Aids? 5 helpful tips to convince your parents to use Hearing aids will come in handy and make your task easier. The post 5 helpful Tips to convince your Parents to use Hearing Aids appeared first on...

You know your parents do need a Hearing Aid but they think it’s not required. How do you convince your parents to use Hearing Aids? Convincing the elderly to use Hearing Aids can be a tough job, they have their own mind set and ideas which need to be understood, once you understand their thought process it becomes easy to convince them. The common points of resistance or reasons put up by them, the 5 helpful tips to convince your parents to use Hearing aids will come in handy and make your task easier.

Please speak a little Louder
Please speak a little Louder

Reasons for not using a Hearing Aid and 5 helpful Tips to convince them

Mentioned below are the most common reasons for their reluctance and the 5 helpful tips on convincing your parents to use Hearing Aids.

1. I don’t need a Hearing Aid, I can hear fine

The most common reason is denial, they do not want to accept the fact that their Hearing is becoming weak. It starts with blaming others. Statements like “can’t you speak properly” or “why don’t you open your mouth and talk” are common, my father used to blame the phone “this phone is bad, can’t you get me a better instrument”

Tip 1

Explain to your parents that you are speaking properly and loud enough, wait for the right opportunity to prove your point. The opportunity might come when they miss out on an important family discussion or miss the dialogues of their favourite TV program. Request them to answer this Simple Questionnaire. If the answer to the questionnaire does point towards a Hearing Loss then the next step is to get a professional opinion about your parents Hearing loss.

Visit an Audiologist
Ear testing by an Audiologist
Ear testing by an Audiologist

How do I convince my parents to visit the Audiologist?

If your parents are reluctant to the idea of visiting an Audiologist, explain to them that the test is necessary and is as simple as taking an eye test. The Audiologist will conduct an audiometry test which will determine the severity or percentage of Hearing Loss and the type of Hearing Loss. After the test, discuss with the Audiologist and take advice regarding the type of Hearing Aid required.

2. Stigma of being called Deaf

Some of the parents who are socially active among the seniors club or associations do not want to be called deaf. If no one in their social circle uses a Hearing Aid they do not want to be the first to start using one. “Why do I need them? None of my friends use a Hearing Aid” is a common comment.

Tip 2

Explain to them that Hearing Loss though age related does not affect everybody equally or at the same age, some get it earlier than others. We should explain that Hearing Loss is as natural as deteriorating eye sight, if we can wear spectacles all the time why not Hearing Aids?

3. The Hearing Aid is too big and inconvenient.

A small In The Ear Digital Hearing Aid.
A small In The Ear Digital Hearing Aid.

Some years back the Body level or Pocket model Hearing Aids were big and bulky and had to be clipped to the pocket, the wire from the Hearing aid in the pocket led to the ear where the Receiver is fitted. Inconvenience was a genuine concern.

Tip 3

If size is the reason for them for not using a Hearing Aid, then you should make them aware that Digital Hearing Aid technology has improved a lot over the years. Currently very small Digital Hearing Aids which are only partially visible or not visible at all are available. Show them pictures RIC, ITC, CIC and IIC Hearing Aids.

 It is said that hiding a Hearing Aid is easier than hiding a Hearing loss.

4. Cost factor

Some parents do know that they have a hearing problem but do not want to burden their children with additional expenses. This could be common in Countries where medical insurance for the elderly is not available and they are reluctant to dip into their savings or depend on their children.

Tip 4

It is our responsibility to convince our parents that they are not a burden or a liability on us. Hearing Aids are available at affordable prices with excellent features, study the features before selecting the Hearing Aid. Many countries offer subsidy or totally free Hearing Aids for senior citizens the needy. The Government of India also offers Hearing Aids under the ADIP scheme (Assistance for Disabled Persons). You can check the ADIP distribution guidelines here.

5. Sound Quality

The elderly generally discuss their problems with each other in their social group, they will come across a lot of negative opinions on use of Hearing Aids. The 2 most common complaints are too much noise resulting in headaches leading to stress and unintelligible speech.

Tip 5

These reasons were genuine to some extent, the 2 main reasons for intolerable noise and unintelligible speech was the old analogue technology having limited setting features. Current Digital Hearing Aids offer special features to reduce background noise and enhance speech using microprocessors. Digital Hearing Aid technology also allows precise setting or tuning as per the needs of the user. An Audiologist is trained by the company to program or set the features making the Hearing Aids deliver natural and comfortable sound to the user.

The elderly playing with children
The elderly playing with children

Scientific studies prove that using Hearing Aids makes them healthy and happy. If they are unable to hear properly they will withdraw from family discussions and social interactions, this withdrawal leads to depression and even Alzheimer’s disease in some cases.

Convince them that using Hearing Aids will make them less dependent on others, tell them about the quality time they can share with the family and grandchildren and enjoy watching their favourite TV programs. We as children have to be very patient, caring, loving and a support for our parents.

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The post 5 helpful Tips to convince your Parents to use Hearing Aids appeared first on Earguru.



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