News - Page 45 of 46 - Peninsula Hearing Services

Can Hearing Be Restored?


Can Hearing Be Restored With so many medical advances in the 21st century, individuals with hearing loss yearn to know…can hearing be restored?  It is tempting to feel left-behind if you are hearing impaired.  The weight loss industry is rife with a dizzying number of commercials, books and advertisements Read more

Severity of Tinnitus Related to Emotional Sounds


Severity of Tinnitus Related to Emotional Sounds A research study out of the University of Illinois has suggested that the severity of tinnitus related to emotional sounds.  Not only do those with severe tinnitus process emotions differenty in the brain compared to those who report the severe tinnitus but also Read more

Rechargeable Hearing Aids


Rechargeable Hearing Aids Wouldn’t it be great if instead of replacing batteries every week in hearing devices, there were rechargeable hearing aids ?  Well, that is exactly what is available today.While hearing aid technology markets advances and exciting new features and capabilities every year that more often than fall Read more

Hearing Loss a risk factor for Dementia


Hearing Loss a risk factor for Dementia A new report  by the Lancet Commissions on Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care suggests hearing loss a risk factor for dementia. The good news is the report suggests that managing hearing loss may be one way  to help lower the risk of Read more

What is a Cochlear Implant

Peninsula Hearing Services Cochlear Implants, Hearing Technology Advances

new hearing technology

Every few months or so an individual with modest hearing impairment asks my professional opinion if they would “qualify” for the cochlear implant surgery they have heard about which has helped profoundly hearing impaired or persons deaf hear better.

Initially, I am usually taken aback by this question, mostly I guess, because I view surgery as a “last resort”.  I would never even consider undergoing a medically invasive procedure unless all other less drastic options failed and my health was in serious jeopardy.  But in retrospect, that is a bit unfair to the person who asked me the question.

Even though I work with hearing impaired persons and see firsthand the effects hearing loss can have on the quality of one’s life, I have good hearing and don’t experience the effects of hearing impairment. Secondly, I have 4 years of advanced training and education in hearing healthcare along with 14 years experience in the field  of audiology, and  thus know firsthand what a cochlear implant is and who benefits from it.

What is a Cochlear Implant?

So what is a cochlear implant?  Described here simplistically and in general terms, it is an electronic medical device, a probe actually, that is inserted deep into the skull using a surgical drill, that stimulates the tiny hearing receptors in the hearing organ called the cochlea.  The probe communicates with a magnet that is anchored to the inside of the head.  That magnet communicates with another magnet resting on the outside of the head which then connects  to a fairly large Behind-The-Ear hearing aid that captures sound and transfers it  through the magnets to the electrode where sound is processed along the hearing nerve to be interpreted by the brain (a video and more complete description of this process can be found at the following link from Cochlear, one of the manufacturer’s of a  cochlear implant (CLICK HERE).

Who Benefits from a Cochlear Implant?

Cochlear implants were first designed in the early 1980’s and initially were only given FDA approval for profoundly/deafened hearing impaired persons.  The technology has flourished since then and continues to improve.  However, due to the invasiveness of the surgery and the limitations of the technology, cochlear implants will only help those who:

  • Have severe to profound hearing loss in both ears
  • Receive little to no benefit from hearing aids based on a battery of hearing evaluations by hearing healthcare professional
  • Score poorly on word testing in both ears with hearing devices
  • Meet other specific medical criteria regarding candidacy for the implant process

 

Like any medical treatment, the benefit from a cochlear implant is different for different individuals.  If the surgery is not successful, the inner ear is essentially “dead” and the individual is left with no hearing, which is why candidacy is so selective.

According to the NIDCD, as of 2012, approximately 324,000 persons worldwide have received cochlear implants.  In the United States, approximately 58,000 adults and 38,000 children have received them.

To learn more about cochlear implants, please click on the links below:

Cochlear 

Food and Drug Administration

Hearing Loss Association of America

Advanced Bionics


Positive Impact Treating Hearing Loss

Peninsula Hearing Services Auditory Deprivation, Hearing Loss Consequences, Hearing Loss Treatment, Hearing Testing, How the Ear Works

free feeling manWhen considering whether to seek help for hearing impairment, some individuals cite the following reasons for that decision:  they know a friend or family member who purchased hearing devices but didn’t care for them; hearing devices “cost too much”; they can “live” with their hearing loss and it isn’t all “that bad”.  There are a whole hosts of reasons why some with hearing loss choose not to seek treatment.  However, an article by Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D., who is the past Executive Director of the Better Hearing Institute in Washington DC highlights some of the positive impacts treating hearing loss can bring.  The following is that article in its entirety.

Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D. – Better Hearing Institute, Washington, DC

“t would seem that hearing is a second-rate sense when compared to vision in our visually oriented modern society. People with hearing loss delay a decision toget hearing help because they are unaware of the fact that receiving early treatment for hearing loss has the potential to literally transform their lives. Research by the National Council on the Aging on more than 2,000 people with hearing loss as well as their significant others demonstrated that hearing aids clearly are associated with impressive improvements in the social, emotional, psychological, and physical well-being of people with hearing loss in all hearing loss categories from mild to severe. Specifically, hearing aid usage is positively related to the following quality of life issues. Hearing loss treatment was shown to improve:

  • Earning power
  • Communication in relationships
  • Intimacy and warmth in family relationships
  • Ease in communication
  • Emotional stability
  • Sense of control over life events
  • Perception of mental functioning
  • Physical health
  • Group social participation

And just as importantly hearing loss treatment was shown to reduce:

  • Discrimination toward the person with the hearing loss
  • Hearing loss compensation behaviors (i.e. pretending you hear)
  • Anger and frustration in relationships
  • Depression and depressive symptoms
  • Feelings of paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Social phobias
  • Self-criticism

If you are one of those people with a mild, moderate or severe hearing loss, who is sitting on the fence, consider all the benefits of hearing aids described above. Hearing aids hold such great potential to positively change so many lives.”  (this article can be found at http://www.betterhearing.org/hearingpedia/counseling-articles-tips/impact-treated-hearing-loss-quality-life)


Hearing Aid Tax Credit Reintroducted in Senate

Peninsula Hearing Services Financial Assistance, Hearing Aid Prices, Legislation for hearing aids

government pillarsThe Academy of Doctor’s of Audiology (ADA)posted on the website on 11/15/2013 some recent federal legislation regarding hearing aid tax credit.  It reads, in part:

“On November 13, 2013 Senators Harkin (D-IA) and Heller (R-NV) reintroduced the Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit Act, S. 1694, in the U.S. Senate. The legislation, if enacted, will provide a non-refundable $500 tax credit for the purchase of a hearing aid (or $1000 if two are needed) once every five years”.

This is a fairly significant tax benefit.  Please check with a tax professional, but a tax credit is much more than a deduction.  It is an amount of money that  a taxpayer is able to SUBTRACT from the amount of tax that they owe to the government, thus reducing the total amount of tax owed.

Per ADA, “similar legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives (H.R. 1317 on March 31st, 2013 by Representative Tom Latham (R-IA-3) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY).  The House Bill has 24 co-sponsors.”

Your support is most likely needed to see this legislation enacted into law so that all who purchase hearing devices may receive this significant tax benefit.  Please visit the link http://capwiz.com/audiology/issues/alert/?alertid=63001001 at the American Academy of Audiology to view an editable letter regarding this legislation that can be sent to your legislators.  to find your Federal Legislator contact information by zip code, visit the link http://www.opencongress.org/people/zipcodelookup.