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Loss or impairment of hearing can happen due to a variety of causes and may be temporary or permanent in nature, depending on the type and severity of the condition. One of the most common causes of hearing impairment is age. The degeneration of one's vital organs and senses becomes a reality for many people as the advancement of age happens, and the delicate insides of the ears are no different. Noise pollution, injury to the ear drum or any other part of the ear, as well as the movement of particles inside are only a few of the many reasons for loss of hearing. One of the many ways of dealing with long term hearing impairment is by using a hearing aid.
- Long Forgotten Sound: A hearing aid will help you reacquaint yourself with long forgotten and subtle sounds that you may not have been able to hear for a long time. Many times, this kind of impairment also makes us forget to notice the fact that we do not hear so many normal sounds in our everyday lives - sounds that we probably did not notice even earlier. This may include the whirring of a fan, the whoosh of the air, the pitter patter of pets' feet and so much more. A hearing aid will help in bringing about an adjustment to these sounds that you will actually end up discovering again.
- Technicalities: The hearing aid basically works by letting your hearing and ears readjust to the various volumes, intensity and vibrations that one feels when different sounds reach the ears. This helps in hearing better.
- Amplification: A hearing aid is basically an electroacoustic device that fits in neatly behind your ear where it is tucked away from plain sight. This device helps in amplifying sounds so that you can catch them and hear them more clearly.
- Modulation: The ENT specialist will usually prescribe a certain kind of hearing aid based on your individual condition in terms of volume, size, power and circulation. These factors help in modulating the sounds in a certain way so that they reach the nerve pathways from the inner ear and travel to the brain in a proper and effective way. This is usually done in a customised way to cater to the specific type and cause of your hearing loss.
Using a hearing aid is a matter of retraining your hearing rather than restoring it completely. These aids will be helpful in regaining a better sense of hearing within the condition you are going through, rather than reversing the condition completely.
When it comes to the birth control, most women opt for oral contraceptive pills (mostly containing estrogen or progesterone) or the use intrauterine contraceptive device or IUD to deal with unwanted pregnancies. Most of these, however, provide only temporary freedom from pregnancy. When we talk about the permanent birth control measures, not many people (especially in India and the neighbouring countries) are aware of Essure. Essure is a female sterilization procedure which, when performed, makes a woman infertile for the lifetime. In this article, we will discuss Essure in detail, including its merits and demerits.
What is Essure?
Approved by FDA in 2002, Essure is a relatively new procedure that sterilizes a woman permanently by placing an insert in each of the fallopian tubes. The event serves as a trigger for the formation of a barrier (mainly comprising of scar tissues) around each of the flexible inserts. It is this barrier that prevents the fertilization of the eggs to take place (the sperm fails to cross the barrier to reach the egg) thereby preventing pregnancy.It takes between 2.5-3 months (approx) for the barrier to form. During this period, a woman should continue with the birth control pills and oral contraceptives to negate the chances of her getting pregnant. There is an Essure Confirmation Test performed at the end of 3 months, after which a woman can discontinue the use of the oral contraceptives and pills.
Who should avoid Essure?
In spite of its effectiveness and being minimally invasive, Essure may not be a wise option under the following circumstances.
- A woman who has plans of conceiving in the future.
- There is unusual and unexplained vaginal bleeding.
- A woman who is already pregnant.
- A woman being allergic to metals (silver-tin, titanium, platinum, stainless steel, nickel) or fibres (especially polyester).
- Cancer affecting the ovary, cervix, and other female reproductive organs.
- Women with gynaecological infections (active) or tubal damage should refrain from undergoing Essure.
Merits and demerits of Essure
Essure comes with a myriad of benefits, some of which include:
- Essure is a minimally invasive sterilization procedure that comes with a success rate of almost 99.3% (once there is an Essure Confirmation Test).
- In most cases, the entire procedure of Essure takes a maximum of 40 minutes with the patient getting back to normal life within a day or two.
- Unlike the various birth control pills, Essure does not involve the use of any hormones (especially the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, which can trigger many complications and side effects including a hormonal imbalance).
Unfortunately, with merits come the demerits. Many medical practitioners are skeptical about the effectiveness and safety of Essure.
- Many women having undergone Essure have complained of moderate to excruciating pain (short-term or chronic).
- Following Essure, there have been uterine and fallopian tube perforations in some women, though the percentage of such women is really low.