3rd March 2018 – World HEARING Day in Review

March 12th, 2018

The World Health Organization has estimated that more than 5% of the world’s population has hearing impairment and this number is rising. By 2035, it is estimated that one in five people will experience hearing loss. Permanent hearing loss has a significantly negative impact on quality of life for both children and adults.

Both speech and language development can be negatively affected by minimal or severe congenital or acquired hearing loss. This can, in turn, affect cognitive development and cause poor reading and writing skills. Educationally this can result in poor outcomes and impact negatively on socio-emotional development.

Gradual or sudden hearing loss has a negative impact in the work environment and can ultimately result in independance being affected. Social isolation may occur and cognitive decline can be associated with long-term hearing loss in adults.

The good news, is that fitting the correct hearing amplification device can prevent the negative impact any of the above may have, especially considering the different types of amplification devices available.

It is important to get your hearing thoroughly tested at a registered Audiologist who will then discuss the options available, best suitable for your hearing needs.

Three basic amplification devices:

  1. Hearing aids

These are the most common types of treatment for permanent hearing loss.  It is an external device fitting on or in the ear, programmed and verified to ensure optimal amplification for your specific needs.

  1. Cochlear Implants

A Cochlear Implant is prescribed when the degree of hearing loss is severe and cannot be successfully treated with traditional hearing aids.  Dedicated multi-disciplinary specialist teams work with cochlear implants.

A cochlear implant consists of 2 parts:
1.Surgically placed electrode array inside of the cochlea
2. An external sound processor on the head.

  1. Bone Anchored Hearing Aids

This is indicated when traditional hearing aids are not an option in the case of a mixed or conductive hearing loss (problem in the outer ear/ear canal and/or middle ear) or single-sided sensory neural hearing loss.
Sounds are transmitted through bone conduction directly to the cochlea and therefore bypass the ear canal/middle ear problems.  There are a few different options available to suit different ages.

Ultimately, technology is on our side and improves at an impressive speed. This, together with years of knowledge and research, we have the ability to minimize the negative effect hearing loss has on the quality of your life, no matter your age or type of hearing loss.

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