Brain Hearing Restores Optimal, Natural Hearing

One of the latest breakthroughs in hearing aid technology is finally being integrated into hearing aids. Brain hearing, as it is known, promises to be able to offer people with hearing loss a better way to go about getting more natural, substantial hearing results. This is a vast improvement over the old, clunky hearing aids that have not worked to keep up with all of the changes in technology over the last ten years. We will examine the benefits of brain hearing and how you can get one of these devices prescribed.

Brain Hearing

Brain hearing is one of the best new approaches to hearing loss that has only been able to become a reality in the last few years. While any other hearing aids focus on amplifying all of the sound in the environment and then pumping it into the ear, brain hearing takes a vastly different approach. Brain hearing only uses some of the sounds that are occurring around the listener to create a level of sound waves that are specific to the user’s hearing needs. In essence, they focus on meeting the needs of the brain to create successful hearing using a very precise amplification system.

How Do They Work?

Brain hearing aids work by taking in sound from the environment around the user, and then discarding all of the sounds that are not needed by the inner ear. For people that suffer from hearing loss, there are levels of sounds that they can still pick up and those that they cannot. That is why brain hearing seeks to compensate for that lost hearing in order to allow the hearing impaired person to hear without amplification and exhaustion, leading to several advantages.

  1. Spatial Recognition: the problem with most hearing aids is that they leave the person unable to differentiate which ear the sound came in. This is not the case with brain hearing, and the person can locate the source of the original noise

  2. Sound Filtering: brain hearing aids only bring in the necessary sounds and filter out extra sound that would act as background interference in other models.

  3. Speech Recognition: since improved conversations are a goal of every hearing aid, speech recognition is focused on with brain hearing aids by emphasizing the importance of the sounds that are associated with speech.

  4. Sound Focusing: even in a room with many sounds occurring, you can pick them out using brain hearing.

Brain Hearing Aids: The Reviews

There are many opinions on the benefits and advantages of the brain hearing aid, but who better to tell us how they work than the patients who use them? So far, brain hearing aids have a 95% approval rate with the people what use them. When you look at digital models, this number drops all the way to 79%, showing just how much the improvements have affected the people who choose to use them.

Where Do You Get One?

You can get a brain hearing aid by going to a licensed and certified hearing specialist. Since these devices require so much customization on a person to person basis, they need to apply the science to the device through programming before they can let you wear it. This means you cannot just go to a store and buy one, but when you do get one, you will hear the tremendous difference in hearing abilities.

How Cell Phones Are Revolutionizing The Hearing Aid Industry

Over the last decade; telecommunications developers have pushed the boundaries of technology in order to help produce a more refined product for every consumer. With each passing year the advances in technology allow us not only a much greater understanding of the various forms of hearing loss and hearing related issues, but it also allows companies to help develop new sets of tools to aid those with long term hearing afflictions. In recent years cellular phones have made leaps and bounds towards helping audiology and the hearing impaired. In the paragraphs below we will examine some of the ways that this new technology is impacting the lives of those with long term hearing loss.

Cellular phones – Dispelling the Myth

Even today there are many modern misconceptions regarding hearing aids and their compatibility with new-age technology. They range from the simple misconception that they simply don’t mesh well with cellular phones to the more complex misunderstanding of how radio frequencies interact with one another. The former could not be any further from the truth. By utilizing telecoils internally within hearing aids, or externally on a mobile device, a user can boost electronic signals to better allow them to hear. These telecoils are comprised of a thin copper wire, and are found in all behind-the-ear hearing aid, and some in-the-ear hearing aid. One of the other concerns is how the radio frequencies interact between hearing aid and cellular device. Fortunately there is an FCC mandated rating scale for cellular devices to show compatibility between hearing aid and mobile device. The scale gives the device a rating from 1-4 for the microphone interference (M 1-4) and telecoil coupling capability (T 1-4)

Smart phones – The Next Generation

With the advent of the “smart phone”, the digital age has seen numerous applications created with the intent of improving the quality of life for everyone. The hearing impaired is not exempt from this. Developers with friends or family with hearing problems or who may be deaf themselves are banding together to create a world where hearing impairment is much less of a burden. Be it by applications that simply alert the user to high noise levels in an adjacent room, allowing them to preemptively change the settings on their hearing aid to avoid discomfort, or much more advanced applications that can transcribe phone calls in real time so that you can see a text representation of your conversation, thus allowing a much easier means of communicating. There is much untapped potential in the world of smart phones, and with more interest than ever in helping our friends and family with impairment, that potential is marvelous and limitless.

Electric Cochlear Implants: Functions And Benefits

Electric cochlear implants are looking to be the hearing device of the future. While the device was shunned in the early stages of development due to its need for surgery, it is now using new techniques and technology to make its imprint on the hearing health industry. Even though it is beginning to experience a greater level of success, many people are still unaware of the great benefits that are offered by the electric cochlear implant and how it functions. Here we will examine the overall benefits and functionality of this hearing device.

What Makes An Electric Cochlear Implant

There are five essential parts to every cochlear implant device. There are the microphone, the transmitter, and the speech processor on the outside of the human body. These devices have the first interactions with sound before turning them over to those which are implanted within the human body. These devices are the receiver and the electrode bundle. All of these parts have to work together in order to create the effective sound upon which the person using the device relies.

So How Do They Work?

These hearing devices have a very simplistic form of functioning when looked at from the outside. For example, the first step of the hearing process is sound being taken in by the microphone from the environment. After the sound is brought in, it needs to be transformed into other forms like magnetic waves. This occurs in the speech processing unit which makes the sound into very specific forms of wavelengths based upon the incoming frequencies. From this point, the sound is shipped off to the transmitter device. Using a special transmission device that is mounted on the outside of the skin, the transmitter sends the sound waves into the human body to the receiver, which is implanted through surgery. After this, the sounds go to the electrode bundle, taken there using a small pathway created during surgery. The electrode bundle is attached directly to an auditory nerve near the ear and by the face, which uses electricity upon these nerves to make the brain think that it is hearing sounds, the same ones that were originally picked up by the microphone.

Results

The overall result of this electrical cochlear implant is that the person using it has a sensation that is similar to sound as though it passed through the human ear. The benefit of this is that it did not need to pass through the human ear in order to function, meaning that damaged internal organs in the ear can be bypassed in people who have terrible damage or deformity of their ears. These devices have let thousands of people who had no hope before hear their family and friends talking to them. With the technology surrounding this device quickly evolving, more people are opting for this surgery to aid their hearing health.

Advancements in Digital Hearing Aids

The growth of digital hearing aids is amazing. While some digital devices are available with remote controls that allow the user to adjust various settings, others come with omni-directional microphones to detect sound from multiple directions. Most hearing aids manufactured today are digital and there are many reasons for that. Incredibly, it’s been about two centuries years since the first inventions that explored the science of personal sound amplification, with the introduction of ear trumpets in the early 1800s. One would think digital technology has been around longer than that, but not so. Now, these state of the art devices utilize the latest technology to provide filtration of background noise, connections to Bluetooth devices and provide automatic volume adjustment. Advancements have come fast and furious, progressing from analog to digital as we see it today.

Better Connections

With the influx of digital hearing aids, users can now utilize Bluetooth and other wireless technological services to make it easier to use the device. Users can also benefit from digital noise reduction, better frequency transposition, and increased range.

Self-Learning

It’s possible for your digital hearing aid to learn on its own! Self-learning hearing aids are integral to modern devices because they have self-learning or regulating tendencies. Digital hearing aids are great for adjusting settings like volume automatically after a period of time according to how the user prefers it. Control is put into the hands of the person wearing it, which is yet another advancement.

Noise Filtration

Many manufacturers are implementing brand new technology through the use of digital magnetic wireless communication via chips in the devices that control settings like switch position and microphone modes. Today’s hearing aids can easily filter out that noise so that the user can hear words but not all the other stuff. Improvements in wireless technology have allowed for improved speech recognition and SNR, which stands for signal-to-noise ratio. Recent advancements mean hearing aids can actually communicate with each other, especially when it comes to left and right ear instruments. Many people says it’s hard to hear clearly with all the background noise, when using a hearing aid. Thankfully, the new digital ones can filter that noise easily.

Single Sided Deafness

Before the world saw all these big advancements in digital technology, individuals with single-sided deafness fell victim to greater background noise and were relegated to using their “good ear” to hear what was being said. Now, items like CROS devices and bone conduction devices, the good ear receives signals from the bad ear to improve on amplification.

DNR

Digital noise reduction technology surpasses that of directional microphones because it is based on the physical characteristics of noise and speech; on the flip side of the coin, they used to be based on the separation of space in terms of speech modulation.

The Outlook

For top-notch comfort and versatility, hearing impaired individuals can count on digital hearing aids to take advantage of innovative wireless technology and microelectronics to bring about more sophisticated abilities. The future for digital hearing aids is superior over other types, as the technology will only continue to grow as scientists make more discoveries.

10 Ways Good Hearing Can Help Keep Seniors Young

Don’t allow lack of hearing get in the way of you feeling young. Seniors often fall victim to hearing loss and then it affects their lives in negative ways. Don’t let this happen to you as you age. Just as you would benefit from a healthier heart and fewer pounds by exercising and eating right, you can preserve your youth by protecting your hearing. Let’s see the many ways you can stay young through healthy ear care. This article will explore 10 ways in which good hearing can keep seniors like you young. These include increased attention to alerts, smoother daily interactions with others, and increased independence.

 

  1. Converse better with others. Did you know that hearing loss can alienate you from getting the information you need every day? Conversely, when you hear well, you can converse with others and get your point across, whether you’re speaking to the retail clerk or your boss.

  2. Be aware of your environment. When you can detect sounds like fire alarms and car horns, you can get out of the way of danger fast. With good hearing, your safety isn’t as threatened.

  3. Keep up with your job performance. If not, you risk becoming obsolete at work because you can’t communicate clearly or take orders. You need good hearing to listen to crucial instructions or safety precautions, plus it’s hard to be productive in coworker discussions or meetings when your hearing is sub par.

  4. Fewer hospital stays. Unfortunately, hearing loss can lead to more accidents, which can lead to more hospitalizations. Period of physical inactivity can then bring on depression and low self-esteem.

  5. Fall less often or not at all. You can trip and fall easier if you can’t hear well because of a lowered awareness of your surroundings. In fact, if you have a 25-decibel hearing loss, you’re are three times more likely to fall than others who don’t have hearing problems, says Johns Hopkins Medicine.

  1. Keep dementia from setting in. It’s well known that hearing loss and dementia are related. But the National Institute on Aging says that as seniors get older, their brains shrink, with the risk compounded when they have hearing loss. Dementia historically comes with brain shrinkage.

  2. Be a more attentive student. With bad hearing, you can’t understand what your teacher is saying and you can’t communicate with other classmates on projects.

  3. Enjoy a happier social life. This includes friendships and sexual relations. Hearing impaired seniors who use hearing aids have been known to experience an improved social life and sex life, along with improved mental health and independence.

  4. Increased confidence. If you have trouble with your hearing, you often experience a lack of self confidence or self-esteem. This is due to the fact that you can’t interact easily with others in social situations like parties and may start avoiding going altogether.

  5. Keep blood flowing to your ears. Every time you exercise, you send oxygen-rich blood flow to the ears. The ear canal needs a good flow of blood to stave off problems that may interfere with good hearing.

The Many Functions of Digital Earplugs

There has been a change in how people wish to approach their hearing health, one of the latest being ear plugs. This is one of the most popular ways that individuals are beginning to protect and improve their hearing. That being said, ear plugs, like most technology, have evolved a lot over the last few decades. Today, digital earplugs assist individuals in many aspects of their lives to prevent hearing loss. In this article, we will examine how digital earplugs work and what benefits they deliver.

How Do Digital Earplugs Work?

Although there are many forms of digital earplugs, they mainly work within the same bounds of function. Digital earplugs, then, need to strike a balance between protection and function. The first factor that digital earplugs address when used is limit the range of frequencies filtered through the earplug by changing the frequency response. What does this mean? Well, only certain frequencies can affect your hearing, providing both safety but limitations as well. Digital earplugs have another advantage of providing a physical barrier between your inner ear and outside sounds.

Specific Uses of Digital Ear Plugs

Available in a variety of formats depending on the needs of the user, digital ear plugs provide many benefits with what they can offer. For example, some digital ear plugs can increase the ability to hear faint sounds within the immediate environment, which makes them particularly great for rescue workers and other first responders. In addition, they can protect hearing from loud, blaring noises and from sudden, loud blasts of sound such as those found in combat training and the lives of police officers each day.

Benefits of Digital Ear Plugs

Because technology is so deeply ingrained in the development and use of these ear plugs, they have been able to generate a number of novel effects. Many ear plug types can completely stop sound from entering the ear canal. Others utilize technology that allows users to hear certain levels of sound, or only at particular intervals.
Another benefit of the technology? Digital ear plugs help people hear speech more clearly even if they are in a crowd. Whether you work in an industrial environment with a great deal of noise or you need to hear some sounds but not others, a pair of digital ear plugs can certainly benefit you.

Hearing Loss and Diabetes

Exploring the link between hearing loss and diabetes is easy when you have dedicated researchers with 20,000 people at their disposal. Although most people don’t correlate diabetes with hearing loss but the two conditions are actually closely related, which is why researchers undertook a study from thousands of people from the U.S., Asia, Brazil and Australia. The American Diabetes Association says both diabetes and hearing loss are two of the highest health concerns in America. Take a look at the stats: 30 million people have diabetes, and 34.5 million people have hearing loss. Recent studies illustrate that people are twice as likely to have hearing loss if they suffer from diabetes than those who do not have this disease.

Testing for Diabetes

First off, if you happen to be diabetic, a hearing test should be in your immediate future, which can assist researchers in finding out what the exact correlation is between the two conditions. When you visit your doctor, ask for a referral to an hearing instrument specialist for further testing. While diabetes can be to blame for many health problems, such as heart disease and vision loss, many doctors still neglect hearing tests as part of a full exam for diabetics.

Correlation Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss

A noisy workplace was initially thought to be to blame in the relationship, but this was found out not to be true. The medications and diuretics that lower the blood pressure in diabetics could be skewing the results and be accounting for the hearing loss. Even though there are many studies linking diabetes and hearing loss, researchers still aren’t sure exactly why diabetes causes hearing loss or the other way around. Many believe it has something to do with high blood glucose levels that come with the territory with diabetes, harming the small blood vessels in the inner ear. This is similar to how those levels can adversely affect your eyes, kidneys and feet over time. However, more research needs to be done to further examine the link between the two conditions. Researchers say age doesn’t play a role in these links, even though it’s been known for some time that hearing loss occurs as we age. One theory is that people should better control their blood sugar levels to reduce the risk of hearing impairment, but the jury is still out on this one.

Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Ask yourself some important questions: Do you feel like you have to ask others to repeat themselves? Do you pick up on muffling of sounds on a daily basis instead of clear words? You could be a victim of hearing loss. This may even cause you to avoid social situations, so make sure you visit an hearing instrument specialist for diagnosis and treatment. You don’t want to put yourself at risk of a dangerous situation, such as driving or operating heavy machinery. Some other hearing loss signs include difficulty following conversations with two or more people, hearing mumbling from others, trouble picking up on the voices of small children or women, and the need to crank the volume on the TV or radio up.

Read These 5 Facts About Hearing Loss among Soldiers

Missing appendages, post-traumatic stress, and brain trauma: These are what many people think of when they think about post-combat injuries. What many often don’t consider is hearing loss as a severe combat injury. Here are 5 facts you may not know about hearing loss among veterans.

    1. Hearing loss is the most prevalent injury among post-combat veterans. – Hearing loss is even more common than PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Severe hearing loss is commonly caused by bomb detonations and general military and combat noise. Improvised explosive devices, loud weapons, and other sounds such as the engines of ships, planes, and tanks can cause tinnitus and temporary to permanent loss of hearing. Soldiers who have served since September 2011 are especially afflicted with hearing damage. Indeed, the numbers of soldiers who suffered hearing loss or tinnitus after the attacks on the World Trade Center swelled to 414,000.
  • Soldiers are more likely to suffer hearing damage than civilians. – The CDC (Center for Disease Control) estimates that soldiers are 30 percent more likely to lose their hearing than civilians. Worse yet, those who served after 9/11 were found to be four times more likely to be afflicted with some sort of hearing impairment than nonveterans.

 

  • Soldiers now may suffer more hearing damage than those who have served in past decades. – With the advent of improvised explosive devices and more powerful combat technology, more veterans are coming home with hearing loss than their predecessors. Intensely loud field generators, bombs such as “bunker busters,” and even modern helicopters can cause hearing impairment if soldiers don’t take precautions.

 

  • Unfortunately, many of the soldiers who come home with loss of hearing do not seek help. – According to experts, many soldiers with hearing loss or tinnitus choose to live with the problem, rather than getting help. In fact, most people will wait an average of 7 years from initially noticing hearing loss to actually seeking medical attention.

 

  • Neuroscience innovations may be a way to alleviate severe tinnitus. – While there is no cure for tinnitus, some scientists believe there is a correlation between serotonin depletion (which can lead to depression, anxiety, and insomnia) and the severity of tinnitus. Tinnitus therapies combined with antidepressants have aided some veterans who are chronic sufferers of tinnitus.

 

Hearing Impairment and Driving Safety

Navigating through the world with hearing problems can be challenging at times, particularly when you need to depend on your hearing for health and safety. Many people with hearing problems find that driving can become a challenge. However, having hearing problems doesn’t imply you have to discard your car keys. Follow some simple driving tips and you can drive perfectly safely.

Eliminate distractions: Your eyesight is extremely important when driving a vehicle with hearing problems. Distractions that take your eyes off the road, such as food or electronic devices, can avert your eyes and put you and your passengers in danger. You’ll also find that it becomes more difficult to hear important traffic cues if you have the radio on while driving. Get rid of any influences that get between you and the road to make sure you aren’t missing crucial information.

Be mindful of your hearing aid: If you have a hearing aid be sure you don’t get behind the wheel without it. Be mindful of how your car’s atmosphere can influence your hearing aid’s functionality. Don’t be afraid to switch on the AC rather than driving with the windows open. Your hearing aid can become less effective if it is buffeted by a draft from an open window, impairing your hearing and putting you at risk.

Keep your car in good shape: Unusual noises are a typical warning sign that something is not quite right with your vehicle. If you aren’t able to hear when something is wrong with your engine you run the risk of driving an unsafe vehicle. Stay up to date with routine maintenance to make sure your car is in proper condition.

Don’t drive if you are not comfortable: If you are not at ease driving a car with hearing loss, the don’t! There are many alternatives to owning an automobile, including public transportation. Driving while stressed or uncomfortable may make you more likely to make dangerous errors, so don’t get behind the wheel unless you are feeling safe and confident.

Hearing loss doesn’t have to keep you from driving if your doctor approves. Stay safe out there!

The Genetics of Hearing Loss: An Overview

Everybody knows that noise, injuries and selected diseases can result in hearing loss, but are your genes involved? Yes. Hearing loss can be genetic. Believe it or not, industry professionals agree that most hearing loss is caused by some form of genetic abnormality. Additionally, developmental experts consider genetic hearing loss to be the most common birth defect in developed countries.

Essential genetics. Genes are essentially bits of code that make up our DNA and tell our bodies how to function and how to look. Researchers have identified over 100 genes that can impact hearing. Hearing loss can result from any one of these genes being absent or altered. Parental genes are passed to children, so any abnormal gene sequences which cause hearing loss are passed down.

Varieties of genetic hearing loss. Some types of hereditary hearing loss can visibly impact the outer ear, while other varieties just influence hearing in the inner ear. Conductive, sensorineural or mixed hearing loss may arise. Note that, genetic hearing loss can reveal itself at birth or later in life. One of the most common conditions to affect hearing is Usher syndrome, a condition that is thought to affect over half of deaf-blind individuals as reported by the National Institutes of Health. Waardenburg syndrome is another common condition that affects hearing in the inner ear but also causes streaks of white hair, pale skin, and light or multi-colored eyes.

The good news about genetic hearing losses. Thankfully, hearing loss isn’t necessarily passed from parent to child. The genes that cause hearing loss are usually recessive and therefore frequently don’t result in any outward symptoms because the child has received a normal copy from the other parent. Because there are hundreds of distinct genes involved in hearing loss, even if both parents are hearing impaired, their kids may not be since the parent’s hearing loss can have different root causes. For moms and dads concerned about a family history of hearing loss, genetic testing and counseling from an expert is advised.