Hearing loss or its complete loss is, of course, not a death sentence for a person, and it is quite possible to exist with such a disadvantage. However, the quality of life may deteriorate significantly. Finding yourself in a similar situation, do not despair and lose heart. Let's try together to figure out what can be done to improve the condition of shaky health and how to choose hearing aids that can restore the body's lost properties.
Why is hearing impaired?
There are many reasons for reducing the perception of sounds. The most common and easily eliminated is the accumulation of a significant amount of sulfur in the ear canal. Complications arising from infectious diseases can also affect hearing. In such cases, it is enough to consult a specialist and undergo the course of treatment prescribed by him. As a result, hearing loss can recover very soon.
A deterioration in the quality of sound perception can be affected by professional activities. The noise from working equipment at the construction site, loud club music, the sounds of gunfire in shooting galleries - all this negatively affects human health.
The main causes of hearing impairment include:
- head or ear injuries;
- birth defects of the auricle and ear canal;
- consequences of exposure to certain types of antibiotics;
- chemotherapy, radiation;
- age-related changes;
- genetic predisposition.
The impact of hearing loss on human life
Bad hearing interferes with normal communication. A person has to strain hard to hear the words of the interlocutors, and those, in turn, need to repeat their remarks several times. In order to understand the essence of the conversation, a deaf person has to constantly look people in the face. It is becoming increasingly difficult to catch the thread of the conversation, and the patient often answers out of place. To watch TV or listen to the radio, you have to increase the volume of the transmitters, which can interfere with other people.
As a result of such efforts, a hearing impaired person often experiences headaches and increasing irritability. The patient’s psycho-emotional state becomes unstable, and he is increasingly evading communication with friends and acquaintances.
In no case should you neglect the inconvenience that has arisen. Seeing a doctor in a timely manner will help improve your hearing. In many cases, a hearing aid can come to the rescue. Its use in combination with therapeutic measures will significantly improve overall health.
Despite the apparent simplicity of the answer to the question of how to choose hearing aids yourself, it is obvious that this is not worth it. Based on only the appearance of the sound conductor or its cost, you can purchase a device that not only does not help return the hearing, but also exacerbates the negative situation. So, improper adjustment of the volume level can trigger an increase in blood pressure in hypertensive patients, which will lead to a deplorable outcome.
Some people are strongly discouraged from using sound pickup devices. You should especially pay attention to this when planning to purchase hearing aids for the elderly. Contraindications apply to patients with acute or chronic mental disorders, as well as diseases of the central nervous system. Caution should be given to those who have problems with cardiac activity, blood vessels, or have chronic ear diseases.
To find out which hearing aid is better to choose, you need to consult your doctor and make the necessary examinations. The otolaryngologist will conduct a hearing diagnosis to determine the level of decrease in sound perception over the entire frequency range from the results of an audiogram.
Degrees of hearing damage
In medicine, there are several levels of hearing loss that require a particular hearing aid. How to choose it correctly, the classifier will tell you, compiled from the results of numerous studies.
Normal hearing is considered to be the ability to hear noises ranging from zero to twenty decibels. Anything outside the specified range is considered a hearing loss:
- mild - from twenty to fifty decibels;
- average degree - from fifty to seventy decibels;
- severe degree - audibility from seventy to ninety decibels;
- superheavy degree - from ninety and higher decibels.
To correctly answer the question of how to choose hearing aids, you should know that according to the principle of action, they are all divided into two main categories: analog and digital. Let's look at the properties of each of them.
Hearing aids equally amplify all the signals coming into the microphone. As a result, sounds that were indistinct will become quite clear. But those noises that the patient previously perceived normally will be further amplified by the analog signal and become excessively loud.
As a result, a person receives excessive noise load and loses speech intelligibility. As a rule, prolonged use of such devices leads to increased irritability and unwillingness to use them constantly. The main advantage of analog systems is that they are inexpensive hearing aids, the affordable price of which makes them still popular.
Devices are, in fact, miniature computers. The principle of operation is based on the selective amplification of incoming signals. When processing incoming sounds, they are divided into speech and noise. As a result, a high degree of intelligibility of human speech is achieved with a simultaneous decrease in extraneous sounds. For hypertensive patients and people with headaches, the best hearing aids are those that have a noise canceling function.
In order to configure the device as accurately as possible to the hearing parameters of an individual, an audiogram should be carried out more carefully. The larger the number of active points will be taken into account during the study, the more accurately the device will be tuned to the individual. Accordingly, the perceived sound will be more distinct.
Digital devices are equipped with a system of microphones operating in two modes.
Directional sound transmitting devices provide a high-quality signal coming from an object located in the immediate vicinity of a hearing impaired person. This is the best option for people leading a secluded and measured lifestyle.
Omni-directional microphones let you hear people around you. For hearing-impaired people who lead an active lifestyle, they communicate a lot, and for children, such hearing aids are most suitable.
Recent developments in the field of sound processing systems have created adaptive microphones. Such models are able to systematize the surrounding sounds and adapt to them regardless of the guiding vector. Changing the surrounding noise environment leads to an automatic switch to the appropriate program of high-quality perception.
Types of Hearing Aids
Sound-transmitting devices have a variety of external forms. You can choose the appropriate one based on the design of the device, its size, the technology used, as well as the color scheme.
To know how to choose a hearing aid in accordance with the needs and lifestyle, you need to consider the advantages and benefits of the most popular models. According to the type of location, they are divided into:
- intra-ear - located in the ear or ear canal;
- behind the ear - placed behind the ear.
The device behind the ear or inside it - what to choose
The obvious advantages of intra-channel devices include a stylish design and miniature dimensions that make them completely invisible, especially with a well-chosen color shade. Intra-ear devices are made for each patient individually in accordance with the anatomical structure of the auricle.
A disadvantage is that the compact hearing aid is more difficult to use and maintain. Exposure to earwax as an aggressive environment negatively affects the quality of the device. The technical characteristics of the intra-ear devices have a number of limitations that do not allow their use to people with a degree of hearing loss of more than seventy decibels. Miniature remedies will not work for those people who are prone to frequent inflammatory processes in the ears. Also, do not recommend compact audio devices for use by children and the elderly.
Behind-the-ear models outwardly look rather bulky and attract attention. The aesthetic disadvantage of the devices is compensated by the provision of sound quality even with an extremely severe degree of hearing loss reaching one hundred and twenty decibels. Ease of maintenance and reliability make BTEs popular among the elderly.
Hearing Aid Life
For the device to last as long as possible, it needs proper care. In accordance with the instructions, the device and the earmold must be cleaned regularly. For preventive measures, you must periodically contact the service center. Subject to the required conditions, the service life of a high-quality hearing device can reach five to six years.
Faced with the need to use hearing aids, it should be understood that high sound quality and comfort depend on the right choice and quality tuning of the device. An experienced and qualified audiologist should help with this, whose task is to solve the patient's problem in the best way possible for him.