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Learning to Live With Hearing Aids For Hearing Impaired people

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Age-related hearing impairment or Presbycusis happens gradually over time. It is the third most common chronic disease among older adults. About a third of adults older than 65—and half of those older than 85—have some kind of hearing problem and they are still learning to Live with Hearing Aids. Early detection and treatment can prevent or at least postpone some serious impairments. Elderly men are more likely than women to be hearing impaired. Around 33 percent of the elderly suffer from tinnitus. One-quarter of the population over the age of 65 in most industrialized nations, and perhaps more in the rest of the world, suffer from hearing loss.

Over the age of 75 years, half of us suffer from hearing loss. Over the age of 85, four out of every five of us have trouble hearing. 33 percent of the elderly suffer from tinnitus. In the United States, while men and women are more likely than African-Americans to be hearing impaired. Fewer than 10 percent of American family doctors screen elderly patients for hearing loss.

The ability to communicate plays an important role in every aspect of life. Older technology and now changes in hearing; adjusted to individual needs in a way older analog hearing instruments never could. What is different about today’s digital hearing aids? They’re smarter, smaller, more effective and easier to use than their predecessors. Today, microchips, computerization, and digitized sound processing are used in hearing aid design.

The Facts On Hearing Loss:

  • However, the noisy environment of modern living coupled with the lifestyle decisions young people are making such as listening to loud music. Most of the Indians have a greater risk of acquiring a hearing impairment earlier in life.
  • Approximately 3 million children in the U.S. have deafness; 1.3 million of them are under the age of three.
  • Conversations become difficult to get, especially when there is background noise.
  • Hearing impairment is more than an inconvenience. It can lead to, anger, loss of self-esteem depression, withdrawal, and overall unhappiness with life.
  • The age-related hearing loss has no known remedy, and while technologies such as cochlear implants hearing aids, and assistive devices improve hearing, they do not restore hearing to normal.
  • In age-related hearing impairment, known as presbycusis, changes in the inner ear that happen as you get older cause a slow but steady hearing loss. The loss may be mild or severe, and it is always permanent.
  • A congenital hearing loss means you are born without hearing, while gradual hearing loss happens over time

Headphones and sports a dangerous cocktail

A personal stereo and headphones have become part of your sports equipment. When you go running or jogging, But the volume at which you listen to your favorite music or radio program when you go running or jogging with your headphones. And the sweating from exerting yourself may cause hearing loss and other hearing disorders.

An increasing number of young Mexicans between the ages of 15 and 25 years suffer from hearing problems, according to specialists at the Mexican Institute of Social Security, IMSS. The number of visits to ENT doctors has increased up to 20 percent among young Mexicans over the past decade.

The specialists found that four in ten young Mexicans with hearing problems listened regularly to their MP3 with headphones while practicing sports. They concluded that this may be the main reason for the increasing numbers of hearing loss and tinnitus cases found in this age group.

The sound quality provided by recent personal stereo technology is better than ever. There is no sound distortion even when the volume is much too high. This encourages listeners to unknowingly turn up the volume to dangerous levels at great risk to their hearing.

Most of the young Mexicans affected by hearing loss and tinnitus listened to their MP3 at very high levels, from 80 dB to 120 dB, while practicing sports for extended periods of time. In most cases, they were found to be suffering from reduced ability to hear high pitched frequencies, a sign of excessive noise exposure.

Wearing headphones while doing sports was also found to increase the probability of getting ear infections. Body temperature increases when you do sports. And the sweat remains in your ears due to the lack of ventilation, allowing bacteria and fungus to grow faster. This may lead to ear infections such as otitis, which in turn, may result in further hearing disorders if untreated.

Using a hearing aid effectively is not just a question of technology but requires an understanding of oneself and society, as well.

One-third of all hearing devices end up in the drawer because of inadequate instructions and counseling. A Norwegian study showed the importance of an introductory course in making the use of a hearing aid a short-term as well as long-term success. Prior to purchasing a hearing device hearing screening is also very important.

Cost of hearing screening

The costs involved in the hearing screening are very small. In fact, the costs to society and individuals of not screening may be much higher.

According to Lynn Spivak, Ph.D., as cited in the November 2000 issue of The Hearing Journal, the price of screening an infant ranges from $17 to $33. The most expensive part of the screening is personnel costs. While expenses for equipment and materials are almost the same in all hospitals. However, personnel costs often differ depending on the qualifications of the hospital staff and on the local wage level.

To get a true picture of the costs involved in hearing screening it is important to include the costs of re-screening. The total cost per infant then rises to approx. $30, Lynn Spivak says. Therefore, the more effective the first hearing screening is, the fewer the number of infants requiring re-screening. And thus the overall expenses are reduced.

HOw do Counselling help?

Audio therapist Kari Antonsen described an experiment at Ullevål Hospital in Norway in the report “Rehabilitation of adult hearing aid users”. 54 hearing aid users and 11 relatives were given insights into the use of hearing aids in classes with 6-8 people lasting five nights. The classes dealt with every hearing aid aspect, from the anatomy of the ear to the possibilities. And limitations of the use of hearing aids in daily life.

As a result, the class participants became far better equipped to make good use of their hearing aids. In comparison with the other members of a control group who did not receive similar training.

Antonsen also investigated the long-term effects. Three years later, the class participants still enjoyed great benefits from their hearing aids. They were active and social and less irritated or angry about their hearing impairment.

According to Kari Antonsen, the study proved that information, service, and counseling is extremely important in maximizing the benefits of using hearing aids.

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