Hearing Therapy

Hearing Loss – What Happens When You Leave It Untreated?

Neglect in the treatment of hearing loss will result in serious health issues along the way. Not to mention the immediate effects of hearing loss, there could also be long-term effects that compound your wellness, mental health, and psychological well-being.

 

Untreated Hearing Loss in Children

Children with hearing loss will most likely suffer difficulties in learning at school, language comprehension, speech impairment, social interaction, and behavioral complications. These difficulties are directly proportional to the severity of loss of hearing.

 

Pre-school children with this condition will not know the sound of words which leads to speech derailment. When at school, that same child will have lesser academic performance, peer isolation, loneliness that becomes depression which may lead to erratic behavior.

 

Untreated Hearing Loss and Serious Illnesses

A study in 1994 done by a group of physicians and health and hearing care professionals sought to compare brain changes over a set period of time of ten years. The study participants were all adults where one group is with hearing loss and the other group with normal hearing.

 

During and after the ten-year study, it was apparent to the researchers that hearing loss had a big influence on the brain. Normally, the brain does shrink as we age, but hearing loss is a catalyst, or makes the shrinkage even faster.

 

Brain atrophy, as the study had shown, was persistent in all the years of the study and the researchers had come up with a measure of the loss at a cubic centimeter, additionally annually.

 

They had also pinpointed the location of the brain loss at the place where processing of sound and speech would normally occur. This region of the brain loss has three parts. Two of these three parts are believed to be involved in another serious illnesses.

 

Alzheimer

This is the most common form of dementia and affects more women than men. The loss of memory in Alzheimer’s Disease may be characterized by symptoms of depression, sleep disorder, anxiety and agitation.

 

Treatment for this disease may not be that far in the future since in 2017 researchers had found an alternative route to reconnect brain synapses that may even prevent memory loss.

 

 

If your children suffers a hearing loss, it is necessary to take a hearing test to determine the extent of damage and the severity of hearing loss. For more details of our hearing aid prescription and hearing aid services, please contact HK Hearing & Speech Centre.

 

 

Source:

HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription

https://www.hkhearingspeech.com

Hearing Aids for Toddlers and Young Children

Babies have now grown into toddlers and they are beyond crawling, balancing to stand and walk. They have become toddlers that race through the living room, screaming and jumping with face covered in peanut butter. Not for long, they are young children in crude wooden carts in a race.

 

One good thing in the growth and development from a baby to a toddler to a young child is that they have become accustomed to the presence of the hearing aid on their ear; a big relief for any parent. The unintentional loss, the damage of the device will still be there, though.

 

If hearing loss, however, occurred or commenced within toddler age (three years old) to pre-teen, the same recommended steps are advised by leading authorities and organizations in health and hearing.

 

Evaluation

A hearing loss professional will do a hearing test on your child to determine the extent of damage and the severity of hearing loss. It is important for the parent to understand that early treatment will prevent the child from language and speech trouble and learning difficulty.

 

The same professional may also recommend the best and suitable type of hearing aid to that particular child. Not all hearing aids are exact remedy for every child. This device will also help the child socially in school and at home.

 

After selection of the hearing aid type, the audiologist will adjust the loudness of the sound that is most comfortable for the child.

 

Selection

Hearing aids basically fall into two types with variations for each type, namely:

  • BTE (Behind-the-Ear) and its lone variant, OTE (On-the-Ear);
  • ITE (In-the-Ear) and its two variants, ITC (In-the-Canal), and CIC (Completely-in-the-Canal).

Of the two main types, the BTE is best for toddlers and young children because:

  • these are sturdy and flexible;
  • tamper resistant battery doors to prevent a toddler from swallowing the battery;
  • earmolds are custom-fitted and can be replaced cheaply when the child grows;
  • some brands are hypoallergenic or waterproof.

On the other hand, an ITE hearing aid is not preferred because:

  • children’s ear canals are small;
  • of an ITE does fit in the canal, it needs to be re-cased when the child grows;
  • frequent re-casing as the child ages, makes it expensive;
  • battery doors are not tamper resistant.

 

Accessories such as retainer cords to prevent loss and damage, telephone coil, etc., are available.

 

For more details of our hearing aid services, please contact HK Hearing & Speech Centre to get a hearing aid prescription.

 

 

Source:

HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription

https://www.hkhearingspeech.com

Why are Some People Born Deaf?

Sadly, there are still quite a number of  incidences of babies born deaf or with hearing problems.

A baby can be born deaf for non-genetic and genetic reasons.

Some non-genetic causes are as follows:

 

Anoxia

When the baby gets caught in difficulties during birth, when the brain loses oxygen it could lead to a condition called Anoxia which causes loss of hearing.

 

Viral Infections

Herpes, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus, Toxoplasmosis, and Syphilis are some of the infections that can cause hearing loss in babies if their mothers had them during birth.

 

Jaundice

High levels of bilirubin in the bloodstream caused by a liver that does not function properly, can lead to sensorineural hearing loss if not treated.

 

Preterm labor

Babies who have low birth weight or born before the pregnancy reaches full term are susceptible to birth injuries that lead to loss of hearing.

Newborns who weigh less than 1500 grams (3 pounds, 5 ounces) at birth have an increased risk of hearing loss

 

Genetic factors associated with hearing loss on the other side, have this for an explanation:

 

Autosomal Dominant

This rare condition accounts for 15% of babies with hearing loss. This happens when one parent carries an abnormal gene. Even if the gene from the other parent is normal, the abnormal gene will still cause hearing loss.

 

Autosomal Recessive

This happens when both parents are carrying the recessive gene and pass it on the baby. Parents are usually not aware that they carry these genes so when the mother gives birth to a deaf baby, everyone will be surprised. 70% of incidences of hearing loss among babies are attributed to this inherited trait.

 

X-Linked

This is the rarest genetic cause of hearing loss. X-Linked  inheritance happens when an abnormal gene is lying on the X chromosome. Girls have two X chromosomes while boys only have 1 but even so, there are more cases of this among boys than that with girls.

 

While genetic causes are completely unavoidable, much can be done to avoid child hearing loss by making sure all the non genetic factors will stay as far away from both the mother and the baby since these situations are mostly within human control.

 

Keeping fit and religiously following doctor’s advice can minimise the incidence of child hearing loss. Being on a constant watch with what is happening to both the mother and the baby is a proactive move that can ensure accidents and birth difficulties have lesser  chances of happening.

 

 

If you think you need a hearing aid, make sure to get a hearing aid prescription. For more details of our hearing test & assessment, and hearing aid services, please contact HK Hearing & Speech Centre.

 

 

Source:

HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription

https://www.hkhearingspeech.com

Noise Pollution and Hearing Impairment in Hong Kong

Some of the subtle warnings of an impending hearing disability include difficulty hearing other people clearly or misunderstanding what they say, especially in noisy places and asking people to repeat themselves; having to listen to music or watch TV with the volume higher than other people need because the person cannot barely hear what was there.

 

When one is unable to hear clearly, it affects this person’s daily life as well as his physical, psychological and social well being.

 

In 2013, it was documented that there are 155,200 people who have hearing impairment in Hong Kong. That accounts to 2.2% of the total population of Hong Kong.

 

Hong Kong had been taking its problem with noise seriously even before the Environmental Protection Department or EPD was established in 1986 with noise reduction as its top priority project all the time.

 

This is why they have imposed strict regulations on construction noise, noise from commercial and industrial premises and neighbourhood noise. Noticeably, much of the effort is given into preventing noise.

 

The cramped living conditions, poor planning of the past and economic activities made Hong Kong remain a fairly noisy city, but efforts to reduce the problem are continuous.

 

Hong Kong’s economy has significantly grown in the past decades and this is why it no longer came as a surprise that factors that also grow in number along with progress such as transportation, construction, commercial and industrial sources will become very busy so it is going to be close to impossible to only create very minimal noise level especially in a compact and densely populated city such as Hong Kong.

 

This means, just like other large cities in the world, Hong Kong definitely has its share of noise problems.

 

Noise that is produced by construction, traffic, aircraft and other sources have become a real problem and it is good that the government tries its best to keep it under control.

 

Had the government been slow to give action, these noises can lead to mental stress and hearing loss,

 

It can also interfere with daily activities such as doing homework, watching television, talking on the telephone and sleeping.

 

This is why the Government has made sure that major forms of environmental noise are under statutory control.

 

The department focuses on restricting noise from construction activities, commercial and industrial activities, newly registered vehicles and air transport.

 

Planning, policy making and consultation with the public, minimised the number of people who are exposed to unnecessary noise in the past years and today while the problem is still unavoidable, it is still under control.

 

Prevention is better than cure. But, if you have a chance needing a hearing aid, make sure to get a hearing aid prescription. For more details of our hearing test & assessment, and hearing aid services, please contact HK Hearing & Speech Centre.

 

 

Source:

HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription

https://www.hkhearingspeech.com

Health Care Services in Hong Kong for Seniors with Hearing Problems

A survey in 2013 conducted by the Census and Statistics Department involving persons with disabilities and chronic diseases stated that there are 155,200 people who have hearing impairment in Hong Kong.

 

That accounts to 2.2% of the total population of Hong Kong and 117,600 out of the total 155,200 persons with hearing difficulty are aged 65 or above.

 

This includes people who perceived themselves as having long-term difficulty in hearing or using specialised hearing aids or rehabilitation tools at the time of survey.

 

A lot of elderly people lack the financial means to buy hearing aids, which could cost as high as several thousand to several tens of thousand dollars.

 

In Hong Kong, the government is providing subsidies to elderly people. They pay for the costs of hearing tests and hearing aids.

 

They impose no upper limit in the scope of application of the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme which aims to enhance the safety and quality of life of elderly people.

 

Hong Kong’s general out-patient clinics (GOPCs) of the Hospital Authority (HA) refers patients with hearing difficulty to the ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists which shall follow-up according to their clinical conditions and needs. They will provide appropriate hearing assessment and treatment for persons with hearing difficulty.

 

The Hospital Authority has 29 audiologists and audiology technicians that help provide timely hearing tests and treatment according to the diagnosis made by ENT specialists and the needs of patients.

 

The Department of Health reviews the manpower requirement from time to time  to monitor the service demand. This ensures audiology-related services for everyone who needs it.

 

Eligible seniors may use health care vouchers to pay for healthcare services provided by healthcare professionals assigned under the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme.

 

This includes hearing assessment services provided by enrolled doctors.

 

Medical items which are not covered by the standard fees and charges in public hospitals and clinics are provided by the Hospital Authority thru the Samaritan Fund safety net.

 

They pay for hearing aids, and the replacement of external speech processors of cochlear implants and other accessories.

 

Patients who needed financial assistance for privately purchased medical items or new technologies required in the course of medical treatment will be referred right away to the Samaritan Fund to get immediate assistance.

 

Patients who have met the specified clinical requirements will be referred to SF for financial assistance because health care vouchers cannot be used for purchasing products such as medication or medical equipment.

 

To sum up, the Hong Kong government is really extending all the assistance to their elderly who are most prone to the effects of hearing impairment.

 

If you think you need a hearing aid, make sure to get a hearing aid prescription. For more details of our hearing test & assessment, and hearing aid services, please contact HK Hearing & Speech Centre.

 

 

Source:

HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription

https://www.hkhearingspeech.com

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