Hearing loss is the most frequent sensory deficiency in people today. According to WHO estimates, roughly 7% of persons in India have Significant Auditory Impairment. If left untreated, this disorder can lead to all sorts of unpleasant social, emotional, and physiological issues, such as social withdrawal, feelings of loneliness, sadness, anxiety, and even cognitive decline. Hearing impairments/loss can impair cognitive abilities because the brain has to work harder to hear; however, a new study reveals that using hearing aids might reduce this effect, even boosting speaking, concentration and memory. Therefore, continue reading to learn how hearing aids and proper nutrition may help children improve their hearing. (Types of Hearing Impairments)
What is a Hearing Aid?
A hearing aid is a small electronic device worn in or behind the ear to improve hearing. It amplifies some sounds so that someone with hearing loss may listen, talk, and fully engage in daily activities.
A microphone, amplifier, and speaker are the three essential components of a hearing aid. The sound waves are converted to electrical impulses and sent to an amplifier via a microphone in the hearing aid. The amplifier boosts the signal’s strength before sending it to the ear through a speaker.
How does a hearing aid help in hearing IMPAIRMENTS and speech development?
Hearing aids are most beneficial for those who suffer hearing impairments/loss caused by damage to the tiny sensory cells in the inner ear known as hair cells. Sensorineural hearing loss is the technical term for this type of hearing loss. Disease, ageing, loud exposure, and certain medications can also cause harm.
Sound waves entering the ear are amplified by a hearing aid. The remaining hair cells detect the higher vibrations and process them into neural impulses and send them to the brain. More the damage to the child’s hair cells, the greater their hearing loss will be, and greater hearing aid amplification will be necessary to compensate.
The amount of amplification a hearing aid can produce, however, has practical limitations. Furthermore, there is no conversion of huge vibrations into cerebral impulses in the case of severe ear injury. Hearing aids would not be useful in this case.
Different Types of hearing aids:
|Types of Hearing Aid||Image||Description|
|In-The-Ear (ITE) Hearing aid||These hearing aids are used to treat mild to severe hearing impairments/loss and fit entirely inside the outer ear. The electronic components are housed in a durable plastic casing. However, some ITE aids may have extra functions, such as a telecoil, which improves sound quality during phone conversations. Young children seldom utilise ITE aids since the casings must be replaced frequently as the ear grows.|
|Behind-The-Ear (BTE) Hearing aid||BTE hearing aids are made up of a hard plastic casing that is worn behind the ear and a plastic earmold that fits within the outer ear. The electrical components are kept hidden behind the ear in a casing. Sound goes from the hearing aid to the ear through the earmold. These hearing devices are useful for mild to substantial hearing loss by people of all ages.|
|Canal Aid||Canal aids come in two forms and fit into the ear canal. The in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid is customised to a person’s ear canal size and shape. Hearing aids that are completely-in-canal (CIC) are practically invisible in the ear canal. For mild to moderately severe hearing loss, both forms are employed.|
They are typically not advised for young children.
Who can benefit from hearing aids?
Hearing aids can help anyone who has hearing impairments/loss. However, several factors influence the type of hearing aid that a person can use:
- The outer ear’s shape (deformed ears may not accommodate behind-the-ear hearing aids)
- The length or depth of the ear canal (too shallow ears may not accommodate in-the-ear hearing aids)
- The severity and type of hearing loss
- Individual’s hand dexterity in removing and inserting hearing aids
- The quantity of wax that has accumulated in the ear (excessive amounts of wax or moisture may prevent the use of in-the-ear hearing aids)
- Certain hearing aid types may not be suitable for ears that require draining.
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Things to keep in mind while wearing a Hearing Aid:
Hearing aids should be gradually worn once they have been fitted to the individual’s ears. Because hearing aids do not restore natural hearing, it may take some time to adjust to the various noises relayed by the device.
Here are some recommendations to follow while wearing hearing aids:
- Firstly, Give yourself some time to adjust to the hearing aid and the sound it generates.
- Begin in peaceful situations and progressively progress to louder environments.
- Experiment with where and when the hearing aid works best for you.
- Also, keep a record of any questions or concerns you have and bring them to your doctor.
Foods that can help to improve hearing impairment:
When the inner ear is subjected to loud noises, magnesium can aid sustain nerve activity and protect the hair cells. Magnesium can also enhance blood flow, but a deficiency of it might result in oxygen starvation. Eat more magnesium-rich foods like dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, nuts (especially Brazil nuts, cashews, and almonds), whole grains, avocados, salmon, legumes, kale, spinach, and bananas to help keep your ears healthy and protect against hearing loss.
Hearing impairments/loss is thought to be caused by a decrease in fluid levels in the inner ear, however, having adequate potassium can assist the body manage fluid levels. Cucumbers, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, potatoes, eggs, bananas, apricots, oranges, peas, avocados, spinach, coconut, and watermelon are all potassium-rich foods that you should include in your diet.
Circulation is important for the health of your ears, and folate can assist improve circulation. Getting enough folate in your diet can also help prevent hearing loss by keeping the hair cells in the inner ear healthy. Eat folate-rich foods particularly sprouts, kale, spinach, broccoli, peas, kidney beans, chickpeas, whole grains, lemons, melons, bananas, eggs, peanuts, and sunflower seeds to increase your folate consumption.
Zinc is thought to aid cell development and can also improve the immune system, which can help prevent ear infections (Effective home remedies for Ear infection in kids). Dark chocolate, oatmeal, yoghurt, beans, lentils, peanuts, cashews, mushrooms, kale, spinach, garlic, and pumpkin seeds are all zinc-rich foods that can assist your immune system and capacity to heal.
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Omega-3 fatty acids are often ignored, yet having enough of them in your diet might help maintain your ears healthy as you age. Walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, sprouts, and spinach are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help postpone or prevent age-related hearing loss. (Brain Boosting foods for kids)
Hearing impairments/loss can also have a variety of consequences for your kid, so get medical care as soon as you see any indications of hearing loss. In addition to the medical assistance and support, good brain nourishment is also essential..
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