Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell are the primary senses that help make sense of the world. Though these senses are similar for all, each one has a different view of the world. This difference is because each one interprets the senses differently. For example, some people construe red to mean passion, and to some, it signifies anger. Unquestionably, all the senses are imperative for one to understand their surroundings and the world as a whole. The loss or impairment of even one of them can cripple people’s sensory information processing. All of them work together, and the information they receive is collated to form one single input of data. Losing input from one sense can skew one’s understanding; for example, humans cannot navigate spatially without one eye.
Hearing is perhaps one of the most crucial senses for human beings, and its impairment can be a severe setback. In India, almost 63 million people suffer from hearing loss. A hearing aid center in Mumbai exists to help this large population. But how to classify someone as deaf or hard-of-hearing? Traditionally, doctors classify hearing loss into four levels,
- Mild – When a person cannot hear sounds lesser than 25 to 40 decibels (dB), their hearing is mildly impaired. Effectively, this person can’t listen to sounds unless they are above 40dB (approximately).
- Moderate – When a person cannot hear sounds softer than 45 to 70 dB, their hearing is moderately impaired. People under this category can usually listen to sounds produced only above 70 dB (approximately)
- Severe – When a person can only hear sounds that are above 90 dB (approximately), their hearing is severely impaired. People who cannot hear below 80 dB also fall in this category. These people cannot participate effectively in conversations.
- Profound – When a person can only hear sounds louder than 120 dB, they are profoundly deaf. Usually, people unable to hear below 100 dB also fall in this category. Their hearing cannot improve, even with the help of a hearing aid.
You may know of someone close to you who could be facing hearing loss or who could fall into any one of the above categories, but without proper identification and treatment, their condition could worsen. The best course of action is to immediately book an appointment with the closest hearing aid center in Mumbai. Even in remote areas, there are several avenues one could take to remedy the hearing loss. The first step after booking an appointment is an Audiometry Test. This test is administered by a specialist working in these hearing aid centers.
HOW DOES AN AUDIOMETRY TEST WORK?
Hearing loss occurs due to one of two factors – damage to the cochlea or nerve (sensorineural hearing loss) and damage to eardrum or ossicle bones (conductive hearing loss). The specialist conducts an audiometry test to determine the underlying causal factor of the hearing impairment. This test helps understand a person’s hearing range. The patient is taken into a soundproof room and given headphones. Sounds of varying decibels keep playing, and the patient has to confirm the sounds they can hear clearly or faintly. An additional test called a speech discrimination test might also be administered for further analysis of the condition.
Based on the sounds the patient confirmed hearing, their hearing range is identified. Their range determines their level of hearing impairment, and the specialist suggests the appropriate remedies.
THE LATEST HEARING AIDS AND HOW DO THEY WORK?
People requiring hearing aids don’t have to worry about societal judgment as the latest technology hearing aids like In-Canal Hearing aids are nearly invisible.
A hearing aid works in three steps,
- A microphone picks up auditory vibrations and converts these vibrations into a signal (digital).
- The signal is forwarded to an amplifier that enhances the sound.
- A speaker outputs the auditory stimuli into the ear, like a regular ear canal.
A basic hearing aid does the above functions, but with advancement in technology, the following features are also available,
There are modes in a hearing aid that allow people to switch between audio like background noise, verbal stimuli, music, etc. High-end hearing aids automatically switch channels, while others may require a manual setting.
The hearing aid consists of two microphones; this picks up the auditory stimuli as two channels, allowing the person to toggle between two sound levels.
Unless hearing loss is profound, it is treatable. With the available technology, hearing aids have come a long way, enabling more people to regain their hearing. If you or a loved one have any hearing loss (even temporarily), it is best to visit a hearing aid center in Mumbai.