Hearing Loss: Warning Signs

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Hearing Aids: The Aid That Fits the Handicap

Monday, July 31 2017
Hearing Aids: The Aid That Fits the Handicap

Hearing problems or hearing losses are synonymous with a handicap. They can happen suddenly or from the slow and natural onset of sensory degradation. Those who suffer from hearing loss have the tendency to fold back upon themselves because exchanging information becomes such a challenge. The use and purchase of a hearing aid should be considered as soon as possible to avoid undue and permanent stress, anxiety and sadness.

Hearing Aids

There are all kinds of hearing aids; the choice of a specific type requires a complete hearing exam with a professional hearing aid acoustician. Such devices help to improve hearing and can vary greatly depending on hearing needs, desired appearance and budget.

There are many sorts of hearing aids:

• Small in-ear devices, which are nearly invisible, for slight to moderate hearing loss.

• Discrete in-the-canal devices for slight to moderate hearing loss.

• Half-shell devices that fill half the ear and improve moderate or severe hearing loss through a customized program.

• Full-shell devices, which cover the whole ear and include a very powerful system for severe hearing loss.

• Over-the-ear devices, which go behind the ears and are the most powerful, most resistant hearing aids; these can improve all types of hearing losses.

Assistive Listening Devices

Though hearing aids are efficient, quality products and they are almost all designed to separate ambient sound from the sound that needs to be augmented, they cannot improve hearing and reduce all ambient sounds simultaneously. That is why, in some cases, hearing aid users can be hampered by the ambient sound environment, still preventing their proper comprehension in a conversation. In a car, a public place or at work, sometimes the ambient noise, the room's acoustics or even mixed conversations can still create a great deal of confusion. Sometimes, the mere distance between two people can impede proper hearing even with the use of a high-quality hearing aid.

In these cases, the use of an assistive listening device can be helpful in order to ensure conversations are always audible and that the hearing aids' signals are always clear.

• The purchase of hearing amplifiers, such as an amplified phone, an amplified TV system or an amplified alarm clock, should be considered for certain specific needs. These add-ons are easy to use, eliminate annoying ambient sounds, are fully customizable and they both preserve and improve a TV or phone's base sound quality.

• Consider going for a personal amplifier to cover diverse needs, various situations and to amplify near sounds while reducing background noise. Such devices have a broad range of uses and are useful during conversations in small groups, in front of the TV, the radio or even to hear another person in noisy public transit systems. The system works with simple headphones and a microphone to be placed near the source of sound.

• Good news for those who enjoy sports, swimming or walks in hot and humid weather: if your hearing aid is not adapted to those activities and you have been forced to give up, fret not! A new type of completely waterproof hearing aid now exists, allowing the wearer to dive underwater. The device is also impervious to sweat, sand and dirt.

 

Hearing Clinic

An assessment by a hearing-aid acoustician is required in order to determine if the hearing aid is suitable for the patient's needs. Responsible for advertising: Annie Bouchard

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