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Hearing Impairment Tips

Cochlear Implants - How Do They Help?

Dr. Arpit Sharma 85% (10 ratings)
MS - ENT, MBBS, Diploma in Allergy and Asthma Programme
ENT Specialist, Gurgaon
Cochlear Implants - How Do They Help?

Cochlear implant is a medical device that provides direct electrical stimulation to the hearing nerve in the inner ear. Children and adults with a severe hearing lossmay be helped with cochlear implants. A cochlear implant is a prosthetic substitute directly stimulating the cochlea and it does not cure deafness or hearing impairment.

A cochlear implant completely by-passes the normal hearing mechanism and stimulates the auditory nerve directly by means of an internally implanted electrode assembly. The implant consists of an external portion that located behind the ear and an interior portion which is surgically implanted under the skin. An implant has a microphone, a speech processor, a transmitter and an electrode array. The sound from the environment is picked by microphone and transmitter and receiver/stimulator sends them to speech processor to convert them into electric impulses.

The speech processor placed with the microphone behind the ear, or it is a small box-like unit worn in a chest pocket. The speech processor digitizes the sound signals and sends them to a transmitter just behind the ear. The electrode array collects the impulses from the stimulator and sends those to different regions of the auditory nerve. The electrodes stimulate the fibers of the auditory nerve, and sound sensations are perceived.

A cochlear implant is very different from a hearing aid. Hearing aids amplify sounds so that they can be detected by damaged ears. Cochlear implants bypass damaged portions of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. Hearing via a cochlear implant is different from normal hearing and takes time to adjust. However, it enables many people to understand other sounds in the environment, recognize warning signals, , and understand speech in person or over the telephone.

The benefits from a cochlear implant depend on many factors, such as the age of the patient when he or she receives the implant, the hearing loss present pre or post patient developed language skills and finally the motivation of the patient and family support

Once a person is referred for cochlear implant, more testing is done which includes audio logic testing, psychological testing, medical examination, and tests performed by the surgeon. It is done to ensure that the candidate will benefit from a cochlear implant and will have the motivation to participate in the process. Once the decision is made to go ahead, the surgery is done. Sometimes it involves an overnight stay in the clinic, and sometimes it is done on an outpatient basis. Six weeks post-surgery, patient is fitted with the external microphone and speech processor and implant is activated and programmed.

The best candidates are those having severe hearing loss in both ears, limited benefit from hearing aids, medical condition that makes surgery risky. Children can be considered for cochlear implants if they have the similar conditions as adults and in addition have support from their educational institutions to development of auditory skills.

3527 people found this helpful

Tips To Treat Hearing Impairment Naturally!

Dr. Pankaj Gupta 89% (36 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Jaipur
Tips To Treat Hearing Impairment Naturally!

Proper and sound hearing is essential for a healthy living. If you are suffering from lack or loss of hearing, chances are that you are missing out on life itself. Therefore it is imperative that you undergo treatments in case you are suffering from any kind of hearing ailment. There are various reasons that contribute to loss of hearing.

Some of the common causes are-
1. Age
2. Increasing noise
3. Genetically inherited
Over the years various surgical and non-surgical methods have surfaced that repair hear loss and damage. Among the other branches of medicines, Ayurveda is the most old and ancient method. It uses natural herbs in order to correct and treat hearing loss. This has proved to be extremely beneficial and potent and it cures hearing ailments by various natural methods.

Some of them are:
1. Lukewarm mustard oil or sesame oil-
If you are suffering from ear ache or loss in hearing, try putting few drops of warm mustard oil and sesame oil in your ear and hold it with index fingers. At the same time store the air in your mouth and let your cheeks contract and bulge for a minute or so. This ayurvedic tip considerably improves hearing and reduces ear pain.

2. Raddish juice and sesame oil-
If you are suffering from sores and hearing problems, a mixture of the two can be beneficial. In this method, a small quantity of raddish juice should be boiled with a small quantity of sesame oil till the juice absorbs the oil. This mixture should be administered twice a day in order to experience the results.

3. Applewood oil-
A variety of ingredients are required in order to create the resultant oil. Initially cow's urine should be boiled and the applewood powder must be added to it. This mixture should then be filtered and further added with sesame and goat's milk. This concoction then should be boiled and the resultant oil should be stored and applied with cotton daily. This improves hearing a great deal.

4. Mixture of neem and turmeric
In this method turmeric and neem leaves are boiled together. The steam should be taken as well as the water must be applied on the ears and surrounding areas. This has proved to be an extremely effective remedy in treating puss in the ears and consequent hearing loss.

5. Mixture of raddish juice, turmeric, sesame oil and ajwain seeds
All these ingredients must be taken in selective quantities and boiled to get the resultant oil. This oil must be stored and used to treat hearing loss and other ear diseases. 

1 person found this helpful

Earaches - How Homeopathy Can Help?

Dr. Yamini Ramesh 90% (36 ratings)
BHMS, CCAH, Fellowship course in Advance Homoepath - FCAH
Homeopath, Indore
Earaches - How Homeopathy Can Help?

Earaches can make life miserable. At times, the pain gets so intense that it throws life in jeopardy. This is where homeopathic medicines come as a huge relief. Earaches of different origins can be effectively treated with homeopathic medicines.

*  Chamomilla:  Chamomilla is the best homeopathic relief for people suffering from excruciating earache. The pain usually aggravates at night. The maddening pain leaves the person mentally very agitated. The medicine is equally helpful for children who get agitated and irritated due to the unbearable pain.

*  Pulsatilla:  At times, the earache is accompanied by a thick (mostly greenish) discharge from the ear. As a result, the ear feels quite heavy. A person might also experience difficulty in hearing. The darting pain is at its worst self at night. Such earaches and associated symptoms are best treated with the homeopathic medicine, Pulsatilla.

*  Hepar sulph:  It is an excellent remedy for earaches triggered due to otitis, cold or any other upper respiratory infections. It quickle releives the earpain of children.

*  Sometimes, even a little exposure to cold air can result in earaches. Worse still, there is pus like discharge from the ear and fever. The ear is very sensitive to touch. Hepar Sulph is an ideal homeopathic remedy under such circumstances. Psorinum is mainly used when the pus like discharge has a very unpleasant odour.

*  At times, dental problems and throat infections can result in severe earache. Homeopathy has a solution for all. Plantago is an excellent homeopathic medicine to treat earaches resulting from toothache. Merc Sol is effective against earaches originating from dental problems. In such cases, there may be blood or yellow discharge from the ear. The pain gets unbearable at night. 

Lachesis and Phytollaca are known to provide great relief from earaches resulting from throat infections. Lachesis is helpful when the throat pain slowly shoots up to the left ear. Swallowing of food makes the situation worse. Phytollaca, on the other hand, is the best medicine when the shooting ear pain is right sided. Belladonna helps to deal with severe and throbbing ear pain.

*  Infection of the Otitis Media (middle ear) is a common factor, resulting in earaches. There may be fever and pus like discharge. The hearing is also greatly impaired. At night, the pain reaches the superlative degree. Go for Hepar Sulph if the pain intensifies upon slightest exposure to cold air. Use Belladona in case the ear infection is at a very nascent stage. Pulsatilla is equally effective to treat such earaches.

*  Many a times, the ear pain can be of nerve origin. It is more of a facial pain, with the ear being affected. Verbascum Thapsus (Mullen Oil) can be of great help and can also be effectively used as an ear drop to provide some relief.

1 person found this helpful

Constant Ringing In Ears - How Removal Of Earwax Can Be Of Help?

Dr. Anurag Tandon 88% (69 ratings)
MS - ENT, Diploma in Otorhinolaryngology (DLO), MBBS
ENT Specialist, Delhi
Constant Ringing In Ears - How Removal Of Earwax Can Be Of Help?

Tinnitus is a disorder which is characterized by a constant perception of a ringing noise in the ears. This is not the condition in itself, rather it signals some other underlying condition such as an ear injury or age related hearing loss. It is not a serious condition, although the symptoms can worsen with age. If you are affected by this disorder, you might experience or ‘hear’ a constant ringing sensation in the ears, even if there are no external sources of noise. These sounds could range from being a buzzing, ringing, to a hissing sound. This condition has mighty chances of interfering with your daily routine.

It is classified into two types:

  1. Objective tinnitus: This disorder is caused by muscle contractions or a blood vessel problem.
  2. Subjective tinnitus: The more commonly occurring type, it is caused by damage to the auditory nerves or regions of the brain that interpret sound.

Unilateral tinnitus can be the early symptom of CP angle tumour and acoustic neuroma or arterial loop around cochlear nerve. Tinnitus management is based on etiology.

The causes of this disorder are:

  1. Exposure to loud noise: If you are exposed to loud noises such as the ones emanating from firearms or heavy machinery over a prolonged period, it can lead to tinnitus.
  2. Ageing: Aging can cause progressive loss of hearing, thus triggering tinnitus.
  3. Blockage of the ear: There is earwax present in the ears, the function of which is to trap dirt and bacteria. Excessive earwax accumulation leads to loss of hearing, resulting in tinnitus.
  4. Modifications of the ear bone: Any stiffening of the middle bone in the ear could impair your hearing and result in this condition.

Certain factors such as smoking, age, sex (men are prone to this disorder) and heart-related disorders increase the risks of being affected by this condition.

Treatment
The treatment of this condition begins with the identification of the underlying condition if any. The various treatment options are -

  1. Removal of earwax: Excess earwax has gotten rid of which can relieve symptoms of tinnitus.
  2. Suppression of noise: Certain machines, known as white noise machines, produce random sounds such as the sound of rain or the sounds of waves, thus eliminating the ‘hearing’ of sounds which are common to this condition.
  3. Medications: Certain medications such as alprazolam and nortriptyline can help reduce the severity of the symptoms.
2589 people found this helpful

Advantages Of A Hearing Aid!

Dr. Yogesh Kakde 85% (10 ratings)
BASLP (Bachelor of Audiology Speech Language Pathology), DHLS Audiology
Audiologist, Pune
Advantages Of A Hearing Aid!

Using a hearing aid presents a number of advantages to a hearing impaired person. First and foremost, you will hear a lot better. Hearing aids do not restore your hearing to normal but they improve it significantly. It becomes easier to hear what other people say. Sounds you have not heard for a long time such as birds singing, door bell ringing, the howling of the wind and water running may become audible to you.

Hearing aid usually improves the user’s social, psychological and physical sense of well being.

Study as well as experience shows that hearing aid generally improve the quality of life and will help you:

  • Get a better relationship with your family
  • Feel better about yourself
  • Get better mental health
  • Improve your physical well being
  • To concentrate better
  • Feel more independent and secure
  • Feel less tired or exhausted
  • Be more able to participate in social gathering
  • Be able to increase your social contact
  • Be able to do better in your job  
  • Hearing aid will help you to reduce tinnitus
  • Hearing aid will help you to avoid dementia by helping you to hear and improve cognitive functioning
  • As you start hearing through hearing aid, you will start socializing yourself and indirectly improve your quality of life.

Why you need to wear two hearing Aids?

  1. Better understanding of speech
  2. Better understanding in group and even in noisy situation
  3. Better ability to tell the direction of the sound (Localization)
  4. Better sound quality
  5. Greater listening comfort
  6. Hearing is less tiring and more pleasant
  7. Keeping both ears active preserves speech understanding in both ears
  8. Effective tinnitus masking
  9. Better understanding of listening to radio and television
  10. Speech will be clear
2229 people found this helpful

4 Causes Of Constant Ringing in Ears And Its Treatment!

Dr. Sachin Goel 85% (10 ratings)
MS - ENT, MBBS
ENT Specialist, Ghaziabad
4 Causes Of Constant Ringing in Ears And Its Treatment!

Tinnitus is a disorder which is characterized by a constant perception of a ringing noise in the ears. This is not the condition in itself, rather it signals some other underlying condition such as an ear injury or age related hearing loss. It is not a serious condition, although the symptoms can worsen with age. If you are affected by this disorder, you might experience or ‘hear’ a constant ringing sensation in the ears, even if there are no external sources of noise. These sounds could range from being a buzzing, ringing, to a hissing sound. This condition has mighty chances of interfering with your daily routine.

It is classified into two types:

  1. Objective tinnitus: This disorder is caused by muscle contractions or a blood vessel problem.
  2. Subjective tinnitus: The more commonly occurring type, it is caused by damage to the auditory nerves or regions of the brain that interpret sound.

The causes of this disorder are:

  1. Exposure to loud noise: If you are exposed to loud noises such as the ones emanating from firearms or heavy machinery over a prolonged period, it can lead to tinnitus.
  2. Aging: Aging can cause progressive loss of hearing, thus triggering tinnitus.
  3. Blockage of the ear: There is earwax present in the ears, the function of which is to trap dirt and bacteria. Excessive earwax accumulation leads to loss of hearing, resulting in tinnitus.
  4. Modifications of the ear bone: Any stiffening of the middle bone in the ear could impair your hearing and result in this condition.

Certain factors such as smoking, age, sex (men are prone to this disorder) and heart related disorders increase the risks of being affected by this condition.

Treatment
The treatment of this condition begins with the identification of the underlying condition, if any. The various treatment options are –

  1. Removal of earwax: Excess earwax has gotten rid of which can relieve symptoms of tinnitus.
  2. Suppression of noise: Certain machines, known as white noise machines, produce random sounds such as the sound of rain or the sounds of waves, thus eliminating the ‘hearing’ of sounds which are common to this condition.
  3. Medications: Certain medications such as alprazolam and nortriptyline can help reduce the severity of the symptoms.
1 person found this helpful

Foreign Bodies - Are They Bad For Your System?

Dr. S M Gupta 89% (15 ratings)
MS - ENT, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
ENT Specialist, Ghaziabad
Foreign Bodies - Are They Bad For Your System?

Just because a person is not suffering from any ailment does not mean that there is no requirement of medical supervision. For example, a person’s ear, nose and throat are those passages of the body, from where maximum amount of organisms enter and exit. There is every possibility that unwanted elements or what is otherwise called a foreign body, may make its way into the system through any of these three body parts. These elements do not cause any necessary reactions in the short-term, but may have possible consequences in the long run.

Fungus is one such external element, which people are not able to see or feel the effect of. If it is allowed to accumulate over the years, it is likely that there may be some sort of hearing impairment and getting this fungus out is a difficult task for the ENT specialist.

Mucus in the nose is another element, which may tend to cause problems in the long run unless it is addressed immediately.  The mouth is, by far, the most susceptible area as far as foreign body intrusions are concerned because it is that part of the body that is used for ingestion.

An ENT specialist usually applies a number of techniques in order to remove such unwanted elements, which may have consequences;

Forceps are most commonly used in situations where the doctor can actually see what is causing the blockage. Water irrigation is one method by means of which a gush of water is used to flush out all the unwanted elements. This is used in a situation when the medical practitioner is not able to access the problem area directly.

Suction catheters are used when the unwanted elements cannot be seen properly and the only way of getting them out is to force them out. Since the exact problem area cannot be seen or identified, using techniques which may be intrusive and harmful can have detrimental outcomes. That is why using a suction to push it all out is the most effective because there is absolutely no harm that can come from air being pushed down.

However, the important thing to keep in mind is that long-term complications can be avoided by periodic trips to the ENT specialist. It’s not necessary that you should have some discomfort or problem in order to pay a visit to the doctor.

2898 people found this helpful

Cochlear Implants - 6 Amazing Benefits You Must Know!

Dr. Swati Tandon 88% (235 ratings)
MBBS, MS - ENT, DNB - ENT
ENT Specialist, Delhi
Cochlear Implants - 6 Amazing Benefits You Must Know!

You should consider undertaking a cochlear implant in case you are experiencing hearing loss or are turning deaf. This is a small device that gets planted in your ear through a surgical procedure. It sends impulses to your auditory nerves directly, as a result of which sound signals get carried to your brain. Cochlear implants may not make you hear normally again, but help you with different sounds, and in the recognition of the different sounds around you like alarms, telephones, and door bells.

How it works?

  1. A cochlear implant is fit for children and adults who suffer from the sensorineural hearing loss. This condition damages the tiny hair cells in your inner ear, which is called the cochlea. Hearing becomes impaired when these get damaged.
  2. The device consists of two specific parts. The first part or the receiver-stimulator is placed under your skin via a surgical procedure. The other part of the device is the speech processor. It has to be worn around your neck in the form of a hearing aid.
  3. The external device is, however, larger in size than a usual hearing aid. The receiver gets placed under your skin, behind the ear via a small incision. It is connected to electrodes.
  4. This is inserted into the cochlea of your inner ear. The surgery requires a few hours to be undertaken successfully.
  5. The speech processor has to be placed two weeks after the surgery is undertaken. The processor can be connected to the microphone, and this can be worn around the ear.
  6. You can wear it on any other part of your body, based on your lifestyle and age.

Benefits of cochlear implant
The major benefits of a cochlear implant are as follows:

  1. You might be able to hear speech almost normally.
  2. You will be able to understand speech better, and will not have to depend on lip reading.
  3. It will be much easier and simpler for you to listen to the television and talk over the phone.
  4. You will be able to listen to music better.
  5. You may also be able to pick up various sounds around you that include soft, medium, and loud sounds.
  6. You will be able to control your own voice better. This makes other people understand you better.

If you are suffering from severe hearing loss, a cochlear implant may be able to change your life for the better. However, the results are not the same for all, and vary among people. It is possible for some people to benefit more from such an implant than others.

3903 people found this helpful

Hearing Aids - How Can They Help You Regain Hearing Ability?

Dr. Navin Kumar 87% (10 ratings)
Master in Audiology & Speech language Pathology
Audiologist, Ranchi
Hearing Aids - How Can They Help You Regain Hearing Ability?

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.

Read on to know how you can regain your hearing with hearing aids:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Modulation: The Audiologist, who are specalized in hearing assessment and diagnosis, will prescribe the type and detail 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.

2615 people found this helpful

Ear Troubles - How Homeopathy Can Help?

Dr. Kriti Mathur 95% (299 ratings)
BHMS, PGDCBM, MD(AM) , Diploma in Nutrition and Health Education (DNHE)
Homeopath, Gurgaon
Ear Troubles - How Homeopathy Can Help?

Earaches can make life miserable. At times, the pain gets so intense that it throws life in jeopardy. This is where homeopathic medicines come as a huge relief. Earaches of different origins can be effectively treated with homeopathic medicines.

*  Chamomilla:  Chamomilla is the best homeopathic relief for people suffering from excruciating earache. The pain usually aggravates at night. The maddening pain leaves the person mentally very agitated. The medicine is equally helpful for children who get agitated and irritated due to the unbearable pain.

*  Pulsatilla:  At times, the earache is accompanied by a thick (mostly greenish) discharge from the ear. As a result, the ear feels quite heavy. A person might also experience difficulty in hearing. The darting pain is at its worst self at night. Such earaches and associated symptoms are best treated with the homeopathic medicine, Pulsatilla.

*  Sometimes, even a little exposure to cold air can result in earaches. Worse still, there is pus like discharge from the ear and fever. The ear is very sensitive to touch. Hepar Sulph is an ideal homeopathic remedy under such circumstances. Psorinum is mainly used when the pus like discharge has a very unpleasant odour.

*  At times, dental problems and throat infections can result in severe earache. Homeopathy has a solution for all. Plantago is an excellent homeopathic medicine to treat earaches resulting from toothache. Merc Sol is effective against earaches originating from dental problems. In such cases, there may be blood or yellow discharge from the ear. The pain gets unbearable at night. 

*  Lachesis and Phytollaca are known to provide great relief from earaches resulting from throat infections. Lachesis is helpful when the throat pain slowly shoots up to the left ear. Swallowing of food makes the situation worse. Phytollaca, on the other hand, is the best medicine when the shooting ear pain is right sided. Belladonna helps to deal with severe and throbbing ear pain.

*  Infection of the Otitis Media (middle ear) is a common factor, resulting in earaches. There may be fever and pus like discharge. The hearing is also greatly impaired. At night, the pain reaches the superlative degree. Go for Hepar Sulph if the pain intensifies upon slightest exposure to cold air. Use Belladona in case the ear infection is at a very nascent stage. Pulsatilla is equally effective to treat such earaches.

*  Many a times, the ear pain can be of nerve origin. It is more of a facial pain, with the ear being affected. Verbascum Thapsus (Mullen Oil) can be of great help and can also be effectively used as an ear drop to provide some relief.

*  Earaches and ear infections very often trouble children. Usually these conditions are ignored which is not a good thing to do. The most common causes of earaches and ear infections in children are viruses or bacteria (germs). They lead to middle ear infections. The middle ear and the back of the throat are connected through eustachian tube. Germs travel from the back of the throat when the eustachian tube is swollen due to a cold, causing infection in the middle ear. This often causes pain and uneasy conditions among children.

These issues should never be ignored as it may lead to even severe complications. Visiting an expert doctor is advised in case you or your child is having any of the symptoms.

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