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Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA) is a device surgically implanted to help people suffering from a loss of hearing. Most conventional hearing aids transmit sound through air conduction. The BAHA device is suitable for conductive or mild-moderate mixed hearing loss.
Problems with hearing in the middle or outer ears can be helped with the BAHA device. The sound waves received by the BAHA device bypass the middle ear and get delivered straight to the functioning cochlea in both ears.
A BAHA device comprises of two parts:
- The processor
- A fixture which is surgically implanted behind the ear in the bone.
The implant is embedded in the bone. The processor, which remains outside, is attached to the implant. There is a microphone on the processor that picks up sounds. The sounds are passed on to the implant. The implant vibrates which triggers the Cochlear. You can consider wearing a BAHA implant if other conventional hearing aids do not work for you. BAHA implants are also given to people with collapsed or irritated ear canals.
Cochlear Implant Surgery
A complex, small electronic device that helps hearing in people with severe hearing loss or deafness is used in the Cochlear Implant Surgery. The cochlear implant comprises of an external piece behind the ear and another piece that is surgically implanted under the skin. A cochlear implant comprises of four parts:
- A microphone which picks up sounds from the surroundings
- A speech processor which chooses and arranges the sounds the microphone picks up
- A receiver/stimulator and transmitter that picks up signals from the speech processor and changes them into electric impulses
- An electrode ray, a bunch of electrodes, receives impulses the stimulator sends and transmits them to different areas of the auditory nerves.
The implant does not cure deafness; it only gives you a useful portrayal of sounds in the environment and considerable aid in understanding speech.
The surgery is done in the following way:
- The area around the site of the implant is shaved or cleaned
- The patient's vital signs are monitored through cables, patches and monitors attached to him or her
- General anaesthesia is administered through IV or through a face mask
- After the device is implanted, the patient is taken to the recovery room for the anaesthesia effect to lessen. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can ask a free question.
Cotton swabs or cotton buds, are commonly used in our daily lifestyle. Many people use it for various purposes, such as make-up, bacterial culture, and most commonly for extracting wax and debris from the ear. Even though they are sometimes handy in our busy schedule, they usually cause much more harm than benefits.
How are they misused?
Cotton buds are toothpick like pieces made of wood, plastic, or rolled paper, which have cotton stuck at both ends with a roundish edge. It came into existence during the 1920s for a safe purpose of ear cleaning by Leo Gerstenzang, when he saw his wife cleaning their baby’s ear with a toothpick. They are until now used by the general population for ear cleaning, but these hardly remove the outer debris which are stuck near the outer edges. Impressing it inside the ear canal only does further damage, by forcing the inner wax further inside Sometimes extensive force also causes damage to the ear drums.
How does it cause the damage?
Applying a tool like the cotton bud inside the ear with hands usually creates a force that impresses upon the eardrum, also accumulating the surrounding earwax to that area, resulting in impaction of the wax. The force applied most often, if not always, causes a damage to the ear drums, which might cause severe pain, also leading to leakage, causing improper balance, deafness, and certain similar abnormalities.
Although we are worried about cleaning our ears, it doesn’t really require our notice, since our usual showers allow an adequate quantity of water to enter the ears and clean the accumulated debris automatically. The structure, in which our ear canal is designed, is usually naturally assisting in cleaning up the unusual wax around the ear.
If there is an uncontrollable build up of earwax that is not cleaned off normally, you can always consult an ENT or any general physician and get it cleaned under medical surveillance, which is best advised.
Doctors and medical practitioners all around the world have been trying to spread the message of preventing the use of cotton buds for ear cleaning. It is important that the message reach the greater part of the population. Spread it to your family, your closest friends, their friends, and as further, you can reach!
You may find out that your child is suffering from hearing loss when he is born or he may be diagnosed with the condition later in life. Hearing loss in children is commonly caused by otitis media, birth problems and on the account of certain injuries or illnesses.
Signs and symptoms
The early stage symptoms of hearing loss in children are as follows:
No reaction to extremely loud noises
No response or reaction to your voice
The child makes some sounds, which taper off
The other symptoms which follow include:
He may pull and rub his ears.
He may act cranky constantly without any proper reason.
He might stop paying attention.
Low energy levels are indicated.
He may find it hard to follow directions.
He may ask you to increase the volume of the radio or TV.
Fever and ear pain are also likely symptoms.
Early hearing loss can affect your child’s language learning skills. If the problem is diagnosed and treated soon, the problem with language can be avoided. The method of treatment depends on the cause of hearing loss in your child and the severity of hearing loss.
There are certain medicines for hearing---prescribed by your ENT Surgeon. Pleas take the point watchful waiting. Even if you have slightest doubt of hearing loss contact ENT immediately.
The primary treatment methods of hearing loss in children include the following:
Watchful waiting: Sometimes, the condition may resolve on its own and the treatment involves simple monitoring of your child for positive changes.
Medicines: There are certain medicines for hearing loss in children, which may be prescribed by your pediatrician.
Ear tubes: Ear tubes may be recommended if medicines and monitoring do not work. The tubes allow fluid to drain and help in preventing infections. A minor surgery has to be undertaken on your child for getting the ear tubes placed. This will solve the hearing loss and other related issues.
Hearing aids: Hearing aids may be used to allow your child hear better. It is safe for children to use ear tubes after the age of one month. For the right hearing aid for your child, you need to consult a hearing specialist.
Implants: Cochlear implants are used to treat hearing loss in many children. These are electronic devices which are put in the inner ear to benefit hearing. These should be used only if hearing aids did not succeed and these are meant to be used only in case of children with serious hearing problems.
There are several other devices, which can help your child with hearing loss. For suggestions and recommendations, you must take your child to a hearing specialist.
I feel I am not able to hear properly. I feel that I hear my voice louder than the others. Please help.
I am having problem in hearing, I hear very low I have tonsils and had cold earlier Help me! What should I do to hear properly again.
My 8 years old daughter recently came across from less hearing issue. We have done audiolist test two time in 15 days and found that his hearing capacity is increased from early level. Many learned doctors on this site advice us to go for hearing aids for her betterment. Thanks to all. My further question is, if she do not wear hearing aids will her hearing will lose further? Any treatment in other pathy is useful. I am little reluctant to use hearing aids. She otherwise response normally. Only on some occasion she complaint of less hearing. Please Guide .
My mother in law is 75 years old having a pacemaker installed in her heart. She had to take off her hearing aid device since the cardiologist said the electromagnetic signals will interfere with the working of pacemaker. Can pacemaker and hearing aid both co-exist if the hearing aid battery is kept at a distance of more than 6 inches from the place of pacemaker installed. If yes then which hearing aid to be purchased. Request to reply.
My friend has high blood pressure and now he finds it difficult to hear very well what is the cause.
I have an ACL reconstruction on my right knee last 4 months ago . I have some pain when I hold my total weight on right leg . And when I'm doing squats I hear some sounds inner side So please help me about this issue I'm really scared of this.
I was good in my academics but not able to do better in making money. Sometimes I felt like a looser and helpless. I am feeling very depressed and do not want to hear my husband's curses. His annoyance make me cry sometime. All the time, I am going through a mental trauma that I am good for nothing. Please help me out.
Hearing is one of the five senses that you or anyone else relies on for communication and a whole host of other things. Among the five senses, touch, smell, taste, hearing and sight, it is often hearing, which is the most easily affected. You don't have to be a senior citizen to experience hearing loss as it is quite common among younger people as well. This problem is also getting widespread with each passing day.
Before coping with hearing loss, the first job is to detect it:
If you have a hunch that you or any of your loved ones is suffering from hearing loss, it is important that you get it diagnosed. Some of the common symptoms of hearing loss will be:
- Hearing difficulties while talking to someone over the phone
- Straining to hear conversations with family members or friends in household situations
- People usually need to repeat what they talk to you with a louder voice
- You often hear complaints that you keep the TV too loud.
- In crowded situations, such as family gatherings or a restaurant, you have problems listening to people.
Although this condition tends to affect senior citizens, an increasing trend shows younger people i.e. people mostly in their 40 and 50s and even younger than that suffer from this condition.
How to deal with hearing loss?
Some of the options to deal with hearing loss are mentioned below.
- Once diagnosed with hearing problems, change your ways of communication: If you or your loved ones have been diagnosed with hearing problems, it is important that both adjust your ways to deal with the problem. Rather than getting angry at the other for not being able to communicate effectively, develop and strategize ways to make communication less problematic and erratic.
- Cochlear implants: This is a newer technology, which has gained popularity in the past decade or so. These are directly implanted into the inner ear and are designed to bypass the damaged areas of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. These have become very popular, although, are not a replacement of natural hearing. It is only prescribed for people who have severe hearing loss or are deaf.
- Hearing aids: Although selecting a hearing aid is difficult as the patient needs to be comfortable, once selected it is one of the best solutions for the hearing impaired. The functionality of these devices can be extended with the hearing assistive technology or HAT devices that can focus the audio waves depending on the situations and give a more tailored approach for every individual's needs. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Ent specialist.