A decrease in hearing or a complete loss of it is, of course, not a death sentence for a person, and it is quite possible to exist with such a defect. However, the quality of life can deteriorate considerably. Once in a similar situation, do not despair and lose heart. Let's try together to understand what can be done to improve the state of shaky health and how to choose hearing aids that can restore the body to lost properties.
Why does hearing worsen?
Causes that reduce the acuity of perception of sounds, there are many. The most common and easily removable is the accumulation of a significant amount of sulfur in the ear canal. Also, the hearing may be affected by complications arising from infectious diseases. In such cases, it is sufficient to consult a specialist and undergo a prescribed course of treatment. As a result, a lost hearing can very soon recover.
The deterioration of the quality perception of sounds can be affected by professional activities. The noise from working machinery on the construction site, loud club music, the sounds of shots in shooting galleries - all this has a negative effect on human health.
The main causes of hearing loss include:
- trauma to the head or ear;
- congenital defects in the development of the auricle and auditory canal;
- effects of certain types of antibiotics;
- chemotherapy, irradiation;
- age changes;
- genetic predisposition.
The effect of hearing loss on a person’s life
Bad hearing interferes with normal communication. A man has to strain hard to hear the words of his interlocutors, and in turn, one must repeat his replicas several times. In order to understand the essence of the conversation, the deaf person has to constantly look people in the face. To catch the thread of the conversation becomes more difficult, and the patient often answers inappropriately. To watch TV or listen to the radio, it is necessary to increase the volume of the transmitters, which can hinder the surrounding people.
As a result of such efforts, a hearing-impaired person often experiences headaches, increasing irritability. The psycho-emotional state of the patient becomes unstable, and he increasingly evades communication with friends and acquaintances.
To neglect the inconvenience is in no case impossible. Timely appeal to a doctor will help improve hearing. In many cases, a hearing aid can come to the rescue. Its use in combination with therapeutic measures will significantly improve overall health.
With the apparent simplicity of the answer to the question of how to choose hearing aids on your own, it is quite obvious that you should not do this. Based only on the appearance of the sound conductor or its value, you can buy a device that will not only help to restore hearing, but also exacerbate the negative situation. So, improper adjustment of the volume level can provoke an increase in blood pressure in hypertensive patients, which will lead to a deplorable outcome.
Some people are strongly advised not to use sound-collecting devices. This should especially be paid attention, planning to purchase hearing aids for the elderly. Contraindications apply to patients who have acute or chronic mental disorders, as well as diseases of the central nervous system. One should be careful of those who have problems with cardiac activity, vessels, or have chronic ear diseases.
To find out which hearing aid is best to choose, you need to consult with your doctor and make the necessary examinations. The otolaryngologist will perform hearing diagnostics to determine the level of decrease in the perception of sound over the entire frequency range by the results of the audiogram.
Degrees of hearing loss
In medicine, there are several levels of hearing loss, in which one or another hearing aid is needed. How to choose it correctly, will prompt the classifier, compiled according to the results of numerous studies.
A normal hearing is the ability to hear noises between zero and twenty decibels. Anything that goes beyond the specified range is considered a hearing loss:
- light degree - from twenty to fifty decibels;
- middle degree - from fifty to seventy decibels;
- heavy degree - audibility from seventy to ninety decibels;
- super-heavy degree - from ninety and above 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 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 would be further amplified by an analog signal and become excessively loud.
As a result, a person gets an excessive noise load and loses speech intelligibility. As a rule, prolonged use of such devices leads to increased irritability and reluctance to use them all the time. The main advantage of analog systems is that they are inexpensive hearing aids, the affordable price of which makes them popular until now.
Devices are, in fact, miniature computers. The principle of operation is based on selective amplification of incoming signals. When processing incoming sounds, they are divided into speech and noise. As a result, a high degree of legibility of human speech is achieved with simultaneous lowering of extraneous sounds. For hypertensive patients and people suffering from headaches, the best hearing aids are those that have the function of noise reduction.
In order to set the device as precisely as possible on the hearing parameters of an individual, the audiogram should be more carefully conducted. The more active points will be taken into account in the study, the more accurately the apparatus will be adjusted to the individual. Accordingly, the perceived sound will be more distinct.
Features of microphones
Digital devices are equipped with a system of microphones operating in two modes.
Directional sound transmission devices provide a quality signal coming from an object in the immediate vicinity of a hearing impaired person. This is the best option for people leading a solitary and measured lifestyle.
Omnidirectional microphones allow you to hear interlocutors around. For the deaf people who lead an active lifestyle, communicate a lot, and also for children such hearing aids will do the most.
The latest developments in the field of sound-processing systems have created adaptive microphones. Such models are able to systematise surrounding sounds and adapt to them independently of the directing vector. The change of the surrounding noise situation leads to automatic switching to the appropriate program of qualitative perception.
Types of hearing aids
Sound transmitting devices have a variety of external forms. You can choose the appropriate for yourself, based on the design of the device, its size, the technology used, as well as the color solution.
To know how to choose hearing aids in accordance with the needs and lifestyle, you need to consider the advantages and benefits of the most popular models. By type of arrangement, they are divided into:
- in-the-ear - are located in the ear or ear canal;
- bTEs are placed behind the ear.
The device behind the ear or inside it - what to choose
The obvious advantages of in-channel devices include stylish design and miniature dimensions, which make them completely invisible, especially with a well-chosen color shade. In-the-ear devices are made for each patient individually according to the anatomical structure of the auricle.
As a disadvantage, it can be recognized that a compact hearing aid is more difficult to use and maintain. The influence of earwax as an aggressive environment negatively affects the quality of the device. The technical characteristics of the in-ear devices have a number of limitations that do not allow them to be used by people with a degree of hearing loss of over seventy decibels. Not suitable for miniature means and those people who are prone to frequent inflammatory processes in the ears. Also, do not recommend compact sound devices for use by children and the elderly.
BTE models look pretty cumbersome and attract attention to themselves. The aesthetic disadvantage of devices is compensated for by providing sound quality even in the case of a superheavy hearing loss of up to one hundred and twenty decibels. Easy maintenance and reliability make BTEs popular among older people.
Hearing aid service life
To ensure that the device lasts as long as possible, it needs proper maintenance. In accordance with the instructions, the device and the earmold must be cleaned regularly. For preventive actions, you should periodically contact the service center. If the required conditions are met, the service life of a quality hearing aid can reach five to six years.
When faced with the need to use hearing aids, it should be understood that high sound quality and comfort depend on the correct choice and quality of the device. This should help an experienced and qualified surdologist, whose task is to solve the patient's problem in the best way for him.