Sunday, September 30, 2012

                   
  What’d he say? 
 A third of the U.S. population between sixty five and seventy five has hearing loss. Common symptoms include muffled speech, difficulty understanding words, asking others to speak more slowly, turning up TV volume, and social avoidance. 


 What causes it?  Construction and factory work, firearm shooting, snowmobiling, motorcycling, MPE players, lawn mowers, and power tools. In addition, certain medicines, over time, can reduce hearing. These include Gentamycin, antimalarial medicines, and some blood pressure medicines, such as Furosemide and Torsemide. Bacterial meningitis may lead to hearing loss. 

How can you improve your hearing ability? Face the person with whom you're having a conversation. Ask her to speak clearly and slowly. Turn off background noise. Find a quiet setting when you to a restaurant or sports event. Consider an electronic assistive device, such as TV listening devices and wireless headphones.

What are the benefits of hearing aids? Over the long term, they stimulate brain speech receptors. This sharpens mental focus, attention, memory, and auditory understanding. There is less “word finding.” Analog hearing aids are programmable for settings with a variety of listening environments. Digital hearing aids are more frequency specific.

Behind-the-ear hearing aids have a plastic case that houses the electronics. They are attached to a plastic ear mold that fits in the outer ear. Open-fit behind-the-ear hearing aids are completely behind the ear. In-the-canal hearing aids sit partially in the ear canal. They have a tiny case that is molded to the size and shape of the canal. 

Cochlear implants are helpful for severe hearing loss. They amplify and direct sound to the cochlea (see above illustration). An otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) appointment is necessary.  
 Reference: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hearing-loss/DS00172

For questions or comments, contact Dr.Clem at clementhanson@blogspot.com