American Hering & Balance

Learn How To Avoid
The Most Common Mistakes
With Hearing Aids
In 3 Easy Steps!

When it comes to better hearing,
it pays to be selective
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Professional musicians at greater risk of developing hearing loss

So what causes hearing loss in musicians? Obviously, it’s the loud music, but really it’s the repeated nature of the noise that’s at stake here.   Loud noise will likely irreparably destroy the hair cells of the inner ear, which are the sensory receptors responsible for sending sound to the brain. Like an ample patch of grass worn out from frequent trampling, the hair cells can in a similar fashion be wiped out from repeated overexposure to loud noise – the dissimilarity, of course, being that you can’t grow brand new hair cells.

A musician’s hearing can be damages from the continuous performance of their craft. Fame, wealth, and screaming fans — these are a couple of the terms and phrases you’d pick in order to summarize the everyday life of a professional musician. however, what you probably wouldn’t take into consideration is “hearing loss” or “tinnitus,” the not-so-pleasant side-effects of all that glory, wealth, and screaming.

How musicians, and fans, can protect their ears

The lead vocalist for the band Coldplay, Chris Martin, the lead has dealt with Tinnitus for a decade. Martin has been quoted as saying:
“Looking after your ears is unfortunately something you don’t think about until there’s a problem. I’ve had tinnitus for about 10 years, and since I started protecting my ears it hasn’t got any worse (touch wood). But I wish I’d thought about it earlier. Now we always use moulded filter plugs, or in-ear monitors, to try and protect our ears. You CAN use industrial headphones, but that looks strange at a party.”

Other significant musicians that suffer from hearing loss or tinnitus include Neil Young, Ozzy Osbourne, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, Bono, Sting, Ryan Adams, and more, many of which indicate regret that they hadn’t done more to take care of their ears all through their careers.

Hearing loss starts with recurrent exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels (decibels being a unit used to measure loudness). That may well not mean a great deal to you, until you reflect on the decibel levels correlated with common activities:

  • Whisper at 6 feet: 30 decibels (dB)
  • Regular dialogue at 3 feet: 60 – 65 (dB)
  • Motorcycle: 100 dB
  • Front row at a rock show: 120 to 150 dB

Rock shows are literally ear-splittingly loud, and continued unprotected exposure can cause some considerable harm, which several popular musicians know all too well.

Lars Ulrich from Metallica points out:
“If you get a scratch on your nose, in a week that’ll be gone. When you scratch your hearing or damage your hearing, it doesn’t come back. I try to point out to younger kids … once your hearing is gone, it’s gone, and there’s no real remedy.”

In reality, musicians are close to four times more likely to acquire noise-induced hearing loss in contrast with the average person, according to scientists at the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology. The scientific study also discovered that professional musicians are about 57% more likely to suffer from tinnitus — a disorder connected with a repeated ringing in the ears.  Unfortunately, most musicians don’t see an audiologist until it’s too late and they experience:

  • A ringing or buzzing sound in the ears
  • Any pain or discomfort in the ears
  • Difficulty comprehending speech
  • Trouble following discussions in the presence of background noise

The trouble is, when these symptoms are present, the damage has already been done. So, the leading thing a musician can do to deter long-term, permanent hearing loss is to schedule an appointment with an audiologist before symptoms are present.

If you’re a musician, an audiologist can recommend custom made musicians’ plugs or in-ear-monitors that will give protection to your hearing without limiting your musical performance.

Preventing work related hearing loss with high fidelity, custom-fit ear plugs

It’s time you started to preserve your quality of hearing by getting custom-fit ear plugs. If you work in a occupation that exposes you to a high risk for hearing damage, or if you participate in booming shows or sporting events, schedule an appointment with a hearing consultant today. Custom-fit ear plugs will protect your ears, and distinct from the disposable foam varieties, will also maintain the quality of sound.

Check out these little-known facts:
The sound measure at which repeated exposure can result in severe hearing damage: 85 decibels. The sound level hit by a rock concert, which is not-so-good news for musicians or show goers: 100 decibels. With 30 million people in the U.S. exposed to unsafe noise levels, this illustrates one of the top work-related threats over the previous 25 years, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Don’t think it’s just performers who are the ones at risk. Following are some of the decibel levels that come with normal work related activities: a power saw can reach 110 decibels, a newspaper press 97, a chain saw 120, a sporting event 105, and a aircraft takeoff 150. music players, manufacturing plant workers, construction workers, airport personnel, emergency personnel, plumbers, and craftsmen are all at risk of developing extreme hearing loss and tinnitus.

Work-related hearing loss affects thousands

This story plays out time and time again. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that in 2009 there were 21,000 occurrences of occupational hearing loss reported. Kevin Twigg of Stockport, England knows all about the work-related risks of noise. He in fact worked on screening and fixing police car sirens — which reach between 106 to 118 decibels — for more than 30 years.

After retiring, Twigg started to experience severe tinnitus in addition to substantial hearing loss that required the use of hearing aids. Twigg’s employer was found responsible in court, losing a case in which Twigg would win a considerable settlement – all because he failed to take on the protective methods that would bring down the noise levels.

How to protect your ears at work

While you can’t always reduce the noise at work, you can reduce the amount of noise that hits your ear drum. You could just drive to the local store and pick up some disposable foam ear plugs, but as it turns out, there is a much more advantageous alternative. The preferred method requires the use of custom-fit ear plugs, often times referred to as musicians plugs, that your hearing practitioner can tailor specifically to you, your occupation, and your preferences.

Why are custom-fit ear plugs better than the cheap foam kind?

There are several reasons:

1. Prevention of the “Occlusion Effect”
With foam ear plugs, the wearer will perceive a hollow sound in their voice when speaking, singing, or playing an instrument. This bothersome sound is known as the “occlusion effect.” Custom-fit ear plugs are shaped to the ear, forming a deep seal that helps prevent this distracting sound.

2. Preservation of sound quality
Basic foam ear plugs mute speech and music. By suppressing noise mostly in the high frequency range, rather than in the mid-to-low frequency range, music and voices appear to be unnatural and unclear. Foam ear plugs also diminish sound by 30-40 decibels, which is not needed for the deterrence of hearing injury.

Custom-fit ear plugs will lower sound more consistently across frequencies while lessening sound volume by a lower decibel level, thereby maintaining the natural quality of speech and music.

3. Preserving the environment
Throw-away ear plugs are very wasteful:
5 days per week X 52 weeks per year = 260 pairs of foam ear plugs tossed out each year. It’s easier than you think to prevent work-related hearing loss. All you have to do is get custom ear plugs instead of the garden variety.

4. cost & convenience
Custom ear plugs can last up to four years, ordinarily at a price tag of well below $100.
Let’s do some calculations on the throw-away foam plugs:
$3.99 for 10 pairs equals $0.39 per pair
$0.39 per pair X 5 days per week X 52 weeks per year X 4 years = $405.60

With custom-fit ear plugs, you will save cash in the long run and will avoid all of those journeys to the store. No one enjoys purchasing ear plugs, so while the initial visit to the audiologist seems like a pain, you will appreciate the fact later that you went.

A Brief History of Hearing Aids

Consider what hearing aids provide the wearer today. The difference is staggering. They certainly providing an unmatched versatility and comfort level compared with old devices. They offer the user lots more advantages, including the ability to connect to Bluetooth and filter out distracting background noise.

With millions of people donning hearing aids every day to hear more clearly in their daily lives, it’s no wonder the history has evolved the way it has. The technology has gone through leaps and bounds, resulting in devices that are now available in many shapes, sizes, and even colors. Devices used to be hard to carry around, weighing several pounds, contrasted with today’s hearing aids which only weigh a few ounces, if that.

New Advancements

Just think of an old phonograph with the conical sphere and you’ll get a good idea of what the ear trumpet looked like. This was invented back in the 17th century, which were beneficial only to those who suffered from a partial hearing impairment. These were large, cumbersome devices that only served to amplify sound within the immediate environment. As the 18th century approached, they went through even more advancements. As such, several versions were created for the very wealthy, such as the Reynolds Trumpet. This was personally made for the famous painter Joshua Reynolds, featuring a horn-shaped instrument that basically funneled sound into the inner ear.

Vacuum Tubes

Vacuum tubes, put out by Western Electric Co., came next in New York City in 1920. Manufactures built upon the technology that came from Lee De Forest’s finding of the three-component tube years earlier. They offered not only better amplification but also better frequency. However, they were quite large and not very practical. They got smaller as the years wore on, though, until they got to about the size of a small box. The inconvenience of it all still wasn’t very helpful, plus the comfort level was pretty low.

New Possibilities

The 17th and 18th centuries brought with them devices that offered only limited amplification qualities. When the 19th century came about, electrical technologies emerged spurred on by the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876. This invention was a catalyst for advancement leading to electrical transmission of speech. Thomas Edison was inspired by this invention and came up with the carbon transmitter for the telephone in 1878. This was designed to boost the basics of the telephone as well as the electrical signal to improve hearing.

First Wearable Devices

It wasn’t till the late 1930′s that hearing aids that could be worn on the ear with relative comfort got popular. These devices were made by a Chicago electronics manufacturer, featuring a thin wire connected to an earpiece and receiver. However, there was also a battery pack which attached to the user’s leg which posed obvious imitations. More compact models emerged during World War II for more reliable service to the user thanks to the invention of printed circuit boards.

Modern Models

Today, most — about 90 percent — of all hearing aids are digital in nature. Models that could be worn behind the ear relatively comfortably were invented in 1964 by Zenith Radio. They featured digital signal-processing chips, followed by hybrid analog-digital models and then fully digital models by 1996. By the year 2000, programmable hearing aids were on the scene that gave users increased flexibility, customization and comfort.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Hearing Aids

With so many critical advancements in hearing aids over the past two centuries, it’s no wonder why so many scientists were motivated in their research by loved ones who were hearing impaired. One good example is Alexander Graham Bell, whose mom and wife both suffered from severe hearing impairments. Take a look at some other little-known facts when it comes to hearing aids.

1. Induction loops were invented to help people hear better in crowds, which can better detect clear announcements in crowded places or in corporate meeting conferences, minus all that background noise and frequency distortion. This can be helpful in airports, stadiums, and other public transportation areas.

2. Hearing aids and wireless devices go hand in hand today, thanks to state of the art technology like Bluetooth which is responsible for sending direct signals from anything from a smart phone to an MP3 player to a TV.

3. Digital hearing aids have only come out in the last 20 years or so. Their emergence has helped reduce the feedback, echoes, and background noises that can be distracting to users — annoyances that were considered an unfortunate side effect of the older technologies.

4. Hearing aids don’t just concentrate on the amplification of sound – they actually help with tinnitus therapy for much-needed relief for users suffering from constant ear ringing.

5. Water resistant and waterproof hearing aids were created to match the active lifestyles of individuals with hearing loss. As such, water resistant hearing aids can withstand low levels of humidity and moisture, and waterproof hearing aids can withstand moisture that may occur as a result of a shower or a jump in the swimming pool.

6. Hearing aids are the smallest and most compact they’re ever looked. This is a relief from the large, cumbersome and uncomfortable hearing aids of years past that weighed several pounds. The earliest versions couldn’t even be worn solely on the ear because there were so many components to it, with sub-par sound amplification abilities. Users can now enjoy smaller and more light weight versions that weigh in at just a few ounces.

7. Simple sound amplification is not enough for modern hearing aids to be effective. That’s why they now have the capability of enhancing and clarifying sound for a much better listening experience.

8. Many hearing aids, now manufactured with rechargeable technology to better manage upkeep costs, allow the user to forget about having to replace so many batteries all the time.

9. A big part of the process of buying a hearing aid is the programming that must take place by a certified audiologist. This helps the hearing aid to automatically revert to the most comfortable settings that the user enjoys, based on previous use and interaction with the surroundings.

10. Hearing aids used to come in just one color: beige. This helped the hearing aid blend into the ear better. While practical and discrete, today’s young hearing aid wearers are seeking out the bold and beautiful, with devices that come in a rainbow of bright colors. This is one way people can embrace their devices and feel proud.

These interesting facts hopefully have enlightened you about hearing aids and the technology that comes with them.

How Ibuprofen can Lead to Hearing Loss

If you ever wondered what causes hearing loss, you probably never considered that over the counter medications could harm your ears. It’s true, thanks to a conclusive study just out that points to ibuprofen as a source of hearing loss in women. We all know that age as well as prolonged noise exposure can harm hearing, but now we know ibuprofen can too. One way to combat this from happening is to avoid certain medications in order to protect the health of your hearing, says the American Journal of Advanced Epidemiology through its research.

Conclusive Findings

The study we just mentioned revealed that a quarter of women who, more than twice a week, took ibuprofen and acetaminophen regularly reported increased incidents of hearing loss. The study spanned the country and involved 60,000 women over 14 years time. The purpose of the study was to determine whether pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen could bring on hearing loss in females. Researchers found that yes, they can.

What to Do

Instead of taking ibuprofen, if hearing loss is concerning you, is to pop naproxen for pain instead. This type of pain med has not been found to affect hearing adversely. You don’t necessarily have to stop taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen for things like muscle pain or headaches, but it is a good idea if you worry about hearing health. To be sure, take a look at all labels on cold and sinus medications at the store, as many have ibuprofen in them. To learn your risk factors, talk to your doctor.

More Research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has recognized the need for more evidence on hearing loss causes, so it is conducting research on 150,000 women country wide. The goal is to find out the many factors that can contribute to hearing loss, from diet and hormones to alcohol consumption and prolonged noise exposure.

Causes

You may be thinking: how does ibuprofen encourage hearing loss? It all has to do with the reduction in normal blood flow to the cochlear, situated in the inner ear. Acetaminophen, in particular, can attack those structures that are meant to protect your cochlear, leading to hearing damage over time. In previous studies, ibuprofen has been found to worsen symptoms of tinnitus, dizziness and vertigo in people. Any medicine, like analgesics, that hurts your kidneys can also hurt your ears. Just keep that in mind. This is the first time research on women has been done in connection with ibuprofen. Researchers already knew that this effect was seen in men.

How Hearing Loss Can Affect Your Holiday Gatherings

Check out the following negative effects of hearing loss on social happiness. We’ll also tell you how to best manage hearing loss, and also how to help people who suffer from hearing loss. The holiday season is a time when family and friends can come together. Just be sure everyone’s having fun. Don’t let the holidays get you down if you or a loved one has a hearing impairment. While millions of people around the nation will gather together and have a great time in one another’s company, people who suffer from hearing loss will not have such an easy time with one another. Hearing loss can deeply affect various aspects of a person’s overall happiness and health.

What Can We Do About Hearing Loss In The Holidays?

It’s a helpful idea to invite your hard of hearing family members to events and make them feel welcome in your home. Specifically, bring them over and make sure that everyone completely understands their situation. Do not be afraid to break the ice and build the room’s conversations around them in order to build their confidence. Also, you can be sure to help people with hearing loss by making sure that you are speaking to them loudly and slowly depending on their overall preferences. Take a person-first approach to their needs.

There are ways that you can do something about it, even though hearing loss can have a huge impact on the way that people approach and celebrate the holidays. The first type of help that you can provide is by working through the basic barrier of isolation that these people with hearing loss put up with.

Another way that you can combat hearing loss is by consulting a hearing specialist. These specialized medical professionals can work to the advantage of their patients by giving them the ability to examine possible hearing solutions available to them. After all the best way to help integrate family and friends with a more active community is being sure that they can actually hear conversations as they are happening. A hearing specialist will typically offer two great ways to go about helping your hearing- surgical options and device solutions. Surgery can repair the physical structures of the ear that have been harmed throughout your life. For hearing devices, there have been many advances in technology that have allowed hearing aid devices to give an incredible amount of hearing back to the patients. With all of these means, hearing specialists are able to help people with their overall hearing health and with making the most out of the holidays.

Hearing Loss Problems

The problems posed by hearing loss can be looked at as chiefly social in nature. This is significant in terms of hearing loss during the holidays because, more than anything else, the holidays area a time to gather with your close family and friends. If you cannot communicate with these people that you love, it can cause some significant effects on your overall sense of well-being. For example, people who suffer from hearing loss are much more likely to have issues with depression as well as anxiety. After all, not being able to take part in the holiday festivities is enough to get anyone feeling the holiday blues. This is only compounded by the fact that hearing loss may stop people from even going out and participating in any form of family activity in the first place. This social isolation will result in other problems in life as well, and can manifest in health problems such as brain damage and even dementia in severe cases.

How Hearing Aids are Programmed

Bet you never knew just how much programming goes into your hearing aid. It’s a lot, and it’s all done with software. Your hearing aid should be custom made, matching your hearing loss needs and feeling comfortable within your ears. You can’t just buy a set of hearing aids off the rack without having them programmed, similar to the way you can’t buy generic lenses for your prescription glasses. This is why a hearing aid won’t benefit you without programming by a certified audiologist. So, no two hearing aids are the same because everyone has different needs. How your hearing aid is programmed depends on your personal comfort level.

Programming Hearing Aids

As part of the process, a surround sound system can actually simulate crowd noises to determine how they will achieve noise reduction. This is helpful because so many people with hearing aids say they work great when all is quiet but as soon as they are in a restaurant, or even at a train station, they have to work hard to compete with all that background noise. During the actual programming process, many doctors use a surround sound system to simulate real noise from the outside world and make adjustments based on real-time feedback. Many people learn to program their own hearing aids but the equipment can get expensive and the level of accuracy goes down. You should always have a qualified audiologist perform this important task for the ultimate in hearing health.

The process of programming a hearing aid requires the proper hardware, software and cables to connect to the hearing aid. Due to the incorporation of real ear measurements, visual mapping and environmental simulations, a hearing aid can be customized to the individual. Also used are real-ear probe microphones which can pick up on how much sound is reaching the eardrum so the doctor can be the most accurate in his programming.

Processing Time

Hundreds of elements can be fine tuned within digital hearing aids to accommodate the hearing needs of someone with hearing loss. Programming takes place as a result of a complete hearing evaluation with the user on his or her subjective preferences. Digital hearing aids are great because they can undergo troubleshooting. Most hearing aids manufactured today are digital and can be programmed via software, while older devices only required a screwdriver to make tweaks. It’s important to know that once a hearing aid is programmed, this doesn’t mean it can’t be adjusted again in the future. In fact, most people come back to their doctor with suggestions on how the device could work better or complaints about what the device can’t do for them. This is because the brain needs a bit of time to adjust to the new sounds emitted by the device, which can only be determined in certain listening environments. The device can then be tweaked as a result of those suggestions.

What Factors can be Adjusted?

Volume, frequency, levels of intensity, compression ratios, max power output, noise reduction and microphone parameters can all be adjusted. This ensures your hearing aid can be programmed exactly how you want it, all depending on the model type you have, along with the software contained within. If one setting is too sensitive to noise, it can be changed to accommodate the user’s comfort level, with background noise able to be filtered as well.

Brain Hearing Restores Optimal, Natural Hearing

With hearing aid technology outpacing its former reputation for clunky, cumbersome models, it’s harder for people to catch up with the level of technology that is immersed in this industry. It’s important to realize that the hearing aids of today are not associated with the unattractive, burdensome contraptions years ago any longer. Today’s devices are, instead, sleek and nearly invisible. They also work as intended, and then some.

The past 10 to 15 years have brought a lot of growth in the industry. Hearing aids that were once bulky, expensive, and ineffective are now discreet, affordable, and capable of reproducing the subtleties of natural sound. What makes them work isn’t just technology but the basic shift in a better method of research and design. This is called “brain hearing.”

So what is brain hearing, exactly?

Brain hearing begins with the simple acknowledgment that sound actually occurs in the brain, and not in the ears. Traditional hearing aids, designed with the ears in mind, tend to amplify any and all sounds, pushing through a mass of noise directly to the brain. The result is terrible sound quality that causes the brain to become overwhelmed and fatigued. And that, unfortunately, sums up the majority of the history of hearing aids.

The good news is that researchers have finally figured out that the processing of sound within the brain, and quality of the signal the brain receives, are just as important as the amplification of sound in the ear. By considering the entire hearing process, brain hearing research is leading to the development of some incredible hearing aids.

How do brain-focused hearing aids work?

Simply put, brain hearing leads to drastically improved hearing aid performance. By modifying only the sounds that the inner ear cannot already hear well, the natural quality of sound is preserved, and the brain is not fatigued and overwhelmed with unnecessary amplification. By preserving a natural, clear signal that is full of detail, brain-focused hearing aids work with the brain’s four key functions used to make sense of the sound it receives:

1. Spatial recognition – brain hearing preserves the difference in sound between the two ears, allowing for the ability to accurately locate sounds.

2. Speech recognition – brain hearing preserves the natural characteristics of speech, making it easier to focus on conversations and switch between speakers.

3. Sound filtering – brain hearing preserves the ability to identify and separate relevant information from background noise.

4. Sound focusing – brain hearing preserves the ability to focus on relevant sounds and speech, even in noisy environments with abrupt changes in background noise.

How you can benefit from brain hearing

At this point, you may be asking yourself how you can get your hands (and ears) on this new brain hearing technology. While hearing aids are not off-the-shelf products and need to be professionally fitted and programmed, the process is likely to be easier than you think.

The first step is to schedule a hearing test with any board-certified audiologist. Next, your audiologist will precisely measure your hearing loss, using that information in the custom programming of your new state-of-the-art hearing aid.
And finally, best of all, you can start enjoying the sounds of life again, free from the burdens of hearing loss courtesy of brain hearing.

Consumers love brain-focused hearing aids

Søren Nielsen, President of Oticon, tells us why brain hearing is so important. “Brain Hearing is a natural evolution of Oticon’s long-standing commitment to putting the needs of People First,” says Søren Nielsen, President of Oticon. “This comes back to our research from our Eriksholm research facility, where we have understood that treating hearing loss is much more than presenting sound through amplification. We have known for some years that the brain has a unique ability to process sound if it receives a robust signal that is full of detail.”

Oticon, a global leader in the hearing industry, specializes in brain-focused hearing aids with positive reviews. Oticon, for example, reports that while average hearing instrument user satisfaction is 79%, user satisfaction associated with one of its brain-focused hearing aids is 96%.

How Cell Phones Are Revolutionizing The Hearing Aid Industry

You may have thought all hearing aid devices could provide a hearing impaired person with all the benefits they need to hear better. While this is somewhat true, the burgeoning technology of cell and smart phones are making these experiences even better. With the ability to achieve more positive results when used together, cell phones and smarts phones pave the way for those with hearing loss to go about their day with bravery. The hearing aid industry, receiving a big boost by cell phones and smart phones, is utilizing devices that are a leading force in the hearing impaired community because they can be used in conjunction with the capabilities of modern day hearing aids. Often times, hearing aids on their own can’t provide the power or convenience that a phone can, which is where apps on your phone come in. You receive a higher level of sound in return.

Smart Phones- Leading The Way

One big way that people who use hearing aids are taking advantage of using smart phones is through the static and noise cancelling technology inherent in the latest models. This makes sure that using a hearing aid in tandem with a cell phone will not result in feedback or static, which allows for almost total clarity while in use. This is referred to as hearing aid capability, or HAC, which means that hearing impaired people can gauge their device’s abilities before they make a purchase. Smart phones can help individuals with hearing impairment by leading the charge with superior technology. Similarly to regular cell phones, these devices often come with high-level telecoils built into their construction.

Yes, you are right, there’s an app for that! Some apps can find a syndicated television program on television while others can pinpoint subtitles for a movie a user wants to watch. In addition, users can be alerted via blinking LED lights, or they can be sent vibrations to inform them of an incoming message, phone call or text. The smart phones of today feature helpful applications for hearing impaired individuals, thanks to built-in components that make users feel safe and secure each day.

Cell Phone Technological Advancements

Most cell phones feature a T3 or T4 standard, meaning they have met and surpassed the overall power and efficiency that they are required to have in order to function well with the hearing impaired. Sufferers of hearing loss, in turn, experience a far greater range of accessibility to their cell phone. To make this clear, many modern cell phones come with a telecoil, which that is responsible for changing magnetic signals from the phone into sound signals that can be interpreted by the user. This occurs when the telecoil and the cell phone are used in conjunction.

As you can see, there are many benefits to how smart phones and cell phones bolster the use of hearing aids today, allowing for a clearer experience on a daily basis for hearing impaired individuals.

Electric Cochlear Implants: Functions and Benefits

Historically, hearing aids, which have gone through many iterations over the last couple of hundred years, have been the traditional solution to hearing loss. Recent technology has shown that cochlear implants are becoming even more popular for individuals with high degrees of hearing loss. Those who can’t benefit from a simple hearing aid can opt to get a cochlear implant, which has several parts that are implanted beneath the skin. They are meant for both children and adults. These devices essentially are attached surgically to the wearer’s skull, allowing for a special bypass that helps interpret sound waves by the auditory nerve. These devices are ideal over hearing aids because they address much more severe forms of hearing loss.

How Do Cochlear Implants Function?

Cochlear implants are crucial for many people in which a hearing aid simply won’t provide the help they require. They operate through the use of four major components that simulate hearing, resulting in crisp, clear sound waves for optimal enjoyment. The microphone is located on the outside of the ear, which detects sounds and sends them to the speech processor that sits near the microphone. Consequently, this can be worn in other places on the body, and the place where interpretation and digitization of sound occurs. This puts it in a great place to be picked up by the transmitter. The transmitter, which fires off signals to the receiver underneath the skin, sends the signals to the electrode cluster within the cochlea. This component sits directly behind the ear and under the skin, where electrodes activate fibers on the auditory nerve for processing.

What Makes A Cochlear Implant?

Cochlear implants have many fine tuned components, most of which are located on the outside of the ear. Other components are anchored under the skin and behind the ear. The microphone, speech processor, and a transmitter comprise the external parts of the device, but the receiver and an electrode cluster comprise the parts underneath the skin.

Benefits of Cochlear Implants

Cochlear implants allow the individual to clearly pick up on sounds such as speech and surrounding environmental sound, leading the user to feel safe and secure on a daily basis. In regards to the most integral hearing devices available to the hearing impaired community, these devices are excellent for people kids and adults who live with a high degree of hearing loss.