If all else fails, hearing aids can come to the rescue. Today’s hearing aids are a marked improvement from those of the past,
giving very good clarity and being virtually unnoticeable. Given that practically everyone these days goes around plugged
into earphones, earbuds and Bluetooth hands-free sets, there is also less stigma about having a little hearing aid which
can be barely visible or placed behind your ear. Hearing aids come in a range of colours and some are even waterpoof.
Although inconspicuous hearing aids are more popular, I would advise the elderly to wear the more noticeable behind-the-ear
hearing aids because they:
- are cheaper, the batteries last longer and they are less likely to get lost
- do not sit too deeply in the ear canal and therefore are less likely to cause impacted wax and ear infections
- they indicate to people that the wearer has hearing difficulties, resulting in speakers naturally talking more clearly, loudly and carefully for the hearer’s benefit
Using a hearing aid to address hearing loss is very important for children born deaf as the ability to hear is necessary for the development of the part of brain for hearing, speech and language. Hearing is also required for learning and communication. In fact, the importance of hearing cannot be overemphasised, as it is important for social, psychological and emotional reasons for both adults and children. If hearing loss is too severe to be helped by a hearing aid, a cochlear implant would have to be considered. Cochlear implants are inserted into the cochlea converting sound energy into electrical energy by a chain of electrodes laid along the damaged hair cells to be transmitted to the hearing nerve.
So do seek help if you, your child or elderly relatives are experiencing hearing difficulties.