Alternatives to hearing aids at a lower cost

Deafness is a fairly common medical condition.. In Spain alone, more than one million people suffer from severe hearing impairment. Furthermore, 400,000 are affected by unilateral deafness and 120,000 are diagnosed with profound deafness. The technology, the headphones and the hearing aid are important aids.

Advances in modern medicine and technologies serving health provide solutions. They have allowed a large part of those affected to resolve some of the limitations derived from deafness.

THE “Traditional” hearing aids, devices that fit loosely behind the ears, have proven effective. For years, in fact, they have been the most used tools to help people with deafness hear better.

But they are not the only alternative. Depending on the particularities of each case and the disposition of the patients there are other options available

Causes of deafness and effectiveness with the hearing aid

Causes of deafness and effectiveness with the hearing aid

The sounds make a long and complex journey “in real time”, from their source of emission until they are processed by the mind. From external receptors (ears) to final decoding, a diverse range of organisms are involved.

All of them are vital to hear well. It only takes one link in this delicate chain to break for the result to become lacking or even non-existent.

Sound frequencies are picked up by the outer ear, and pass through the ear canal to the eardrum.

Next, sound travels through a ossicular chain located in the middle ear at the oval window. At this point, they pass into the inner ear. It is where sensory cells transform waves into nerve impulses. Then, crossing the auditory nerve, they access the brain.

The causes that can lead to failures at birth or at an early age within this intricate system are many.. Among them, genetic predisposition, diseases such as toxoplasmosis, syphilis, herpes or HIV during the gestation period. There may also be craniofacial malformations, low birth weight, mother-child blood incompatibility, meningitis, etc.

Already in adulthood there are other factors: this is the case of chronic infections, ear infections, traumas, constant exposure to loud noises and volume abuse when listening to music with headphones. These variables strongly influence the development of deafness.

Strain implant, the preferred alternative for otolaryngologists

There are many causes that can lead to hearing damage. There are also different types of hearing loss. The hearing aid is used, but there are more treatments to follow. Likewise, the devices to be used to minimize affectations are different.

The cast implant is the alternative for cases of profound deafness. ENTs use it on their patients, both children and adults.

It is a transducer that transforms sound waves into electrical signals to directly stimulate the auditory nerve.

Internal and external level

Internal and external level

Devices consist of a number of parts. which perform a specific function outside and inside the hearing organs.

  • Externally: sounds are picked up by a microphone and sent to a processor. A transmitter sends the encoded material to the receiver.
  • Internally: the receiver-stimulator is surgically implanted above the mastoid bone, behind the auricle. Its function is to transfer electrical signals to the electrodes. These devices installed inside the cochlea are responsible for stimulating nerve cells.

Once this process is complete, nerve stimuli end their journey to the brain. There they are classified as “sounds” and give people an “hearing sensation”.

Hearing aids and the aesthetic sense

Hearing aids and the aesthetic sense

Some people who were deaf from birth have refused to use hearing aids or cholar implants. Among the arguments, they state that they can fully develop their lives without the lack of hearing representing a limitation for them. Even the majority do not evaluate their condition as something negative and consider it a perfectly natural factor.

Moreover, a significant proportion of patients with hearing loss refuse to use devices such as hearing aids. Among other reasons, however flashy and unsightly they may be.

There are already a significant number of very small models on the market.. Its operation depends on components so small that they can be placed or implanted inside the ear, becoming imperceptible to the eye.

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