July 13th 2010 -
Losing the ability to hear is a scary thought. Unfortunately, hearing loss is an inevitable part of life for many aging Americans. Others are struck with hearing hardships at early ages, before they even have a chance to learn spoken language. Scarily enough, an estimated 38 million people in the US have a hearing lossthat’s one in every ten Americans. Even more depressing, 15 of children (18 and under) in the US suffer from some degree of hearing loss. One in five of those children have educationally significant hearing losshearing so poor it affects their day to day lives. The upside to this ill-fated fact is that specialists today are making tremendous progress in hearing technology.From simple hearing aids to cochlear implants, doctors are finding ways to reinstate the beauty of hearing for those who have lost it. First things first, it’s important to catch hearing loss early before it can progress untreated. Most elementary schools perform hearing screenings (audiograms) each year to check for hearing loss in children.Hearing aids are the most common form of treatment for hearing loss. These small electronic devices fit in your ear to amplify things you want to hear while reducing background noise. Hearing aids are a reasonable option for people with mild to severe hearing loss who can still understand speech. They are able to be used with infants, toddlers, children, teens, adults, seniors, and people with disabilities.If your hearing is more severe or profound, more extensive treatments are recommended. There are two common treatments for advanced hearing loss:Cochlear Implants: These medical devices take the place of parts in the inner ear that are not functioning correctly. They are used to treat nerve deafness. It works by combining a processor (this piece picks up sound, processes them, then sends signals to the Cochlear Implant) and an Implant (placed under the skin behind the ear during surgery, it receives signals and sends them to the hearing nervesskipping any no-working parts in the middle and inner ear).Baha: The Baha System uses direct bone conduction to help hearing loss caused by blockages or damage to the outer or middle ear. The implantable medical device can also be used for single sided deafnesssound is picked up on the deaf side then sent to the inner ear of the normal hearing side.Remember that it is important to consider the severity of your symptoms before picking the right solution.