Hearing loss and deafness can affect individuals from all walks of life. Of the various types of hearing loss, noise-induced and age-related are the most common. To minimize the impact that such hearing loss has on quality of life, the healthcare industry offers a number of devices that are tasked with helping manage hearing loss. 2013 in particular has witnessed the introduction of new aids which will soon become widely available from private as well as state-run healthcare organizations.
How Does Hearing Loss Occur?
Our hearing is in fact a complex mechanism that comprises two important stages. The first is capturing sound and the second is translating the sound into meaningful information. Sound is in fact vibrations in the air that are captured by the inner ear hair cells. These are tiny hair-like organs that capture sound and deliver it by way of the hearing nerve to the brain.
In the case of age-related hearing loss, these hair cells die or damage due to the natural process of aging. In the case of noise-induced hearing loss, these die or damage due to traumatic exposure to noise. The result in both cases isn’t deafness in particular, but rather an inability to capture certain frequencies. Using digital and analog aids helps the situation by reducing its effect on the quality of life.
2013 Deaf and Hard of Hearing Aids
Until recently, individuals had only hearing aids to counting on. These are small computer-like devices that fit around or inside the ear. The device can capture waves of sound and deliver an amplified version of the sound into the ear. However, these devices as useful as they are don’t help in every single case. To which the industry offers alternative devices.
TV Amplification Aids – Normal hearing aids are made irrelevant when a hard of hearing and none hard of hearing attempt to listen to the TV in an adequate volume. TV hearing aids provide direct amplification by means of infrared or Bluetooth connection from the TV set to the user’s ear. In doing so, the none hard of hearing person can still enjoy listening to the TV in the normal volume, while a hard of hearing person can listen at an amplified volume.
Amplified Phones – Many types of hearing aids are uncomfortable to use with a phone. Hard of hearing and deaf phones in the form of the desk and mobile phones offer amplified ringer and speaker volume making it possible to hear the phone as well as the person on the other side of the line without the need for a hearing aid. Furthermore, even a smartphone can be made amplified using apps, though you need to ensure that the volume is within the smartphones permitted dB level.
Alerting Aids – The last group consists of devices that are tasked with alerting the hard of hearing and the deaf to an event. Most commonly are amplified loud alarm clocks which often include under pillow vibration pads and flashing lights.