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Hearing Assistive Devices Essay

2020 words - 9 pages

Hearing Assistive Devices
There are several types of hearing loss, which can lead to the need for a hearing assistive device. The types of hearing loss are as follows: Conductive hearing loss, Sensorineural hearing loss, Mixed hearing loss, Central and Functional hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss is when there is not enough sound getting thorough the outer and middle ear. Sensitivity to sound is diminished, but clarity is not changed as long as the sound is loud. Sensorineural hearing loss, sound is flowing normal through the outer and middle ear, but there is impairment in the inner ear auditory nerve (CN VIII) causing hearing loss. A problem with sensorineural lose is that sound ...view middle of the document...

Otolaryngologist is an Ear, Nose Throat (ENT) physician. An ENT performs a complete medical history and physical exam of the head and neck. A hearing and balance test will be performed on supervised by this specialist leading to diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. This physician can prescribe medications and perform surgery, which can include cochlear implants, selecting, fitting and dispensing hearing aids. The credential for an ENT is board certification by the American Board of Otolaryngology. ENTs are required to have a medical degree (MD or DO) (Better Hearing Institute, 2014).
In order to determine the amount and types of hearing loss, there are many painless tests that can be performed. One basic test is the Whisper Test. An examiner will stand approximately one to two feet from the patient and speak using a low whisper. The patient is asked to repeat what has been said. Each ear is tested separately and the ear not being tested occluded. Another test is the Tuning Fork Test, which helps determine if the hearing loss is conductive or sensorineural. Then there is the Audiometer, an electric device to test a person’s hearing. This device consists of a head phone worn by the patient and an electronic device that produces sound. This device produces different tones ranging from high to low frequencies at different decibels. The patient signals which ear by raising the appropriate hand when they hear a tone. There are modified versions of this for young children or people who are disabled. The results from this test are put on an audiogram. An audiogram is a chart (Appendix A) that shows the lowest level that a person can detect sounds of different frequencies: which is recorded as a decibel. These are not all the tests that can be performed, there are more specialized tests that can be performed depending on the degree and cause of hearing loss(Berman & Snyder, 2012) (Lewis et al., 2011) (Mosby & Elsevier, 2009).
The most common hearing device used is the Hearing Aid. There are a wide variety of options to choose from depending on the persons’ activity level, finances, if you wear glasses, connection to a cell phone, the fit, cosmetic appeal, and type of hearing loss, amount of cerumen production or choice. They can be invisible, wireless, digital, have self adjusting volume, waterproof, and sweat resistant. Some models have rechargeable batteries. They come in many styles; behind the ear, in the ear, in the canal, and completely in the canal. There is also a middle ear implant; this type has an external part and an internal part. Some models can be color coded to determine which ear it is for or labeled left or right. Hearing aids require batteries, if they aren’t rechargeable, battery life can be approximately one week. Battery life will also depend on amount of usage and type or brand of hearing aid. Every time the batteries need replacement the cost can be around $6. There is care for hearing aids...

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