Dr.K.O.Paulose FRCS , Consultant ENT Surgeon, Jubilee Hospital, Trivandrum, Kerala, South India.
Hearing aids are given for patients with deafness who cannot be helped by medical or surgical treatment.The patients first seen an ENT clinic and initial examinations of the ear including hearing tests are made.The treatment options are medical, surgical or hearing aid orÂ Cochlear implant, depending upon the diagnosis.
Types of Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss is caused lack of transmission of sound to the inner ear. Infants and young children frequently develop conductive hearing loss due to ear infections like glue ears. This loss is usually mild, temporary, and treatable with medicine or surgery.
Sensorineural hearing loss involves malformation, dysfunction, or damage to the inner ear- cochlea- and is rarely due to problems with the auditory cortex of the brain. The most common type is cochlear hearing loss and this may involve a specific part of the cochlea (inner hair cells or outer hair cells or both).
The degree of sensorineural hearing loss can be mild, moderate, severe, or profound. Sometimes the loss is progressive (hearing gradually becomes poorer) and sometimes unilateral (one ear only).
A mixed hearing loss occurs when both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss are present.
About Hearing Aids
(Ms Sandhya the Chief Audiometrist explains different models of “Intelligent” digital programmable hearing aids available for patients with hearing loss, in Diva hearing aid centre in Trivandrum Kerala ,South India.)
Hearing aids are the instruments used in the treatment for sensorineural hearing loss. The most common type of hearing loss involves outer hair cell dysfunction; hearing aids allow an amplification of sound to overcome this problem. A hearing aid’s basic components are the microphone, amplifier, and receiver. A number of circuit options modify how the hearing aid makes certain sounds louder.
There are several types of hearing aids; some are worn on the body while others fit behind the ear or in the ear canal. Some specialized hearing aids are attached to the bone of the skull to send sound waves directly to the cochlea and may be used in conditions of conductive hearing loss not amenable to standard hearing aids.
No single style or manufacturer is best; hearing aid selection is based on patient\’s individual needs.
Cost of Hearing Aid
Hearing aids are expensive due to their sophisticated technology, and cost varies depending upon the make and models. Digital computer programmable, so called intelligent hearing aids are expensive.
(How to get an “Intelligent” digital programmable hearing aid and approximate costs in Trivandrum, Kerala , South India -Ms Sandhya, the chief audiometrist in Diva Hearing Aid centre explains.)