Innovative Medical Equipment for Hearing Loss Treatment
Technology nowadays revolutionized the hearing industry in very modernized ways. The devices we use today are very simple and effective. Continue reading to understand how users are benefiting from the latest technology and what the future holds for those with hearing aids.
Regardless of the level and degree of hearing loss, it is affecting millions of people worldwide. However, with the help of technological innovations, people are now able to hear, understand speech and engage in many social activities.
Advancements in audiology, which is the field of science that deals with hearing and related disorders, are helping many people with hearing loss to live and lead a normal life while adapting to their new situation.
There are many different types of medical equipment that can help people with hearing loss. The best type of medical equipment for hearing loss will vary depending on the individual's needs and preferences. It is important to talk to a hearing healthcare professional to discuss all of the options available and find the right solution for you.
With the feature of Bluetooth connectivity, you can connect your hearing aids to additional devices that amplify sound such as your smartphones or TV.
It is a short-range wireless technology or “pairing”. It is used to connect televisions, computers, cell phones, tablets, hearing aids and even cochlear implants. The devices communicate with each other using very high frequency (UHF) radio waves.
You can hear phone calls more clearly, listen to the TV at your own volume setting that you choose, listen to music on your own hearing aids, and benefit from phone apps that are designed for Bluetooth hearing aids.
It is not suitable for long range transmission in large venues such as theaters or auditoriums.
Assistive Listening Systems (ALS)
They are devices that enable personal connections, making it easier to communicate or hear. In simple words, they are amplifiers that carry sound directly into the ear.
A hearing loop or audio induction loop is a distinctive type of sound system for use by people with hearing aids. It is the only assistive listening technology that can transmit directly to most hearing aids. This makes them one of the best options for accessible audio in public spaces.
They are commonly found in many locations, from service counters in shops, banks or reception desks, to meeting rooms, theaters, teaching spaces, cinemas, concourses and waiting areas, on board public transport, intercoms or museum exhibits.
They send magnetic signals to the hearing aid, carrying specific sounds directly to the ears.
When hearing aids are switched to “T” setting, which is the loop program, they cut out the background noise and focus only on sounds being picked up by the loop system microphone. For instance, if you are in a supermarket and you have your hearing aid adjusted to the induction loop system, you have the ability to hear the words spoken perfectly, without having to struggle to hear them over the other sounds in the supermarket.
They are compatible with all types of hearing aids. There is no need to buy a specific hearing aid for it or an extra headset or receiver.
They are cost-effective and can be used by multiple users at the same time.
Infrared Systems (IR)
They work like the TV remote control. The technology is line-of-sight and can’t be used outdoors during daytime because it will be affected by light.
This system uses light waves that can send sounds across the room and changes them to a receiver. This receiver can be worn alone or in your hearing aid.
Everyone using the infrared system need a receiver and either a neck loop or a headphone. Those using the telecoil-equipped hearing aids and cochlear implants, the neck loops eliminate the need of using headphones.
Frequency Modulation (FM systems)
They transmit low power and wireless FM frequency radio transmission from sound systems to the FM receiver. It can be used in conjunction with the hearing aid, but it can be also used alone in normal hearing cases.
The advantage of this system is that it is not affected by direct sunlight. It can be used everywhere. In large locations, there is a built-in microphone that is found in the sound system. It can transmit signals through objects including walls and can be used up to 30 meters away. You use a receiver that can be connected to the hearing aid. You can also have a headset to wear.
The system can be used to pick up a single voice or multiple voices. It is very effective for people with hearing loss and having difficulty hearing in background noises.
Implantable middle ear hearing devices
They are small, implantable devices that are typically attached to one of the middle ear bones.
These devices help amplify the transmission of sound to the inner ear.
Once they receive sound waves, they vibrate and directly move the bones of the middle ear. This generates sound vibrations in the inner ear, helping to detect sound.
They are generally used for people who suffer from sensorineural hearing loss.
Bone conduction hearing aids
They are also known as bone-anchored devices. They allow vibrations through the bones of the skull. Bone conduction hearing aids do not require any part of the device to be put in the canal of the ear, unlike the old and traditional hearing aids that need to transmit sound through the middle ear.
They are recommended for people with middle ear problems who have no hearing in one ear or who have mixed hearing loss.
They have external and implanted components. The implanted component is surgically attached to the skull bone behind the ear. The external component is a speech processor, converting sound into vibrations directly to the inner ear, bypassing the middle ear and connecting to the implanted component.
There are two types for bone conduction hearing systems: surgical and non-surgical options. Surgical devices include an external processor with and internal component. Nonsurgical devices are worn on a headband that is directly connected to the skin with adhesive.
They use modern wireless technology. Offering a personalized listening experience and better sound quality, they are now replacing the conventional hearing aids without Bluetooth.
They have become superior to the ones available throughout the previous years.
The design is sleek and smaller in size. It has built-in rechargeable batteries with improved microphone technology. It is compatible with Bluetooth-enabled devices and has better protection against moisture, dust and wax.
There is an intelligent sound processor that allows customers to focus on speech, regardless of the origin of the sound. These digital filters reduce any background noise, hence providing a better hearing experience for the user.
Experiencing ringing or other sounds in one or both ears is tinnitus meaning in simple words. It improves when you try to treat the underlying cause behind it or when you go after treatments that mask or reduce tinnitus symptoms, making it less noticeable.
Tinnitus maskers are considered electronic hearing aid devices that give out white noises at low levels. They are designed to mask or hide the presence and symptoms of tinnitus. White noises are sounds like the air which are being released from compressed containers.
For those that experience both hearing loss and tinnitus, the hearing aid and the masker will function simultaneously as a single instrument.
It can be inserted into the ear canal or worn on the outside of the ear for everyday use.
It remains one of the most significant advances in the hearing aid technology. It offers sound perception to people with profound hearing loss.
Improvements made in cochlear implants nowadays allow children as young as nine months old to be able to wear them.
Cochlear implants are approved for people with moderate, profound and even severe hearing loss. People with hearing loss in both ears can make use of it, as long as those with hearing loss in one ear.
The improvements made to the cochlear implants are housed in the processor, which is found in the external part of the device. It could be behind the ear, attached to the clothes or on the scalp. This allows patients who underwent previous cochlear transplant surgery to make use of the majority of these latest developments.
Cochlear implants avoid the damaged parts of the ear and stimulate the auditory nerve immediately. Signals from the implant are sent to the brain, which recognizes the signals as sound.
Hearing loss can have drastic effects on patients. Thankfully, technological advancements continue to develop new devices and tools that offer effective and personalized options for all those suffering from hearing loss. A new age of hearing treatments is coming!