The Telemental Health Counseling

Have you ever heard about telemental health? What is it? What entails this type of telemental health counseling?

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According to my parents, I suffered from meningitis when I was only one year old. We did not have a lot of money back then, so they could not get me the medical help I needed at once. They thought that I would not survive the illness due to its severity and the delayed treatment, but I was apparently a resilient baby.

After two weeks in the hospital, they eventually managed to take me home, but not before the doctors told them that I might deal with hearing loss as a side effect of meningitis.

True enough, my parents noticed symptoms of it in me a few months later. It started with me not looking up immediately whenever they said my name. Mom told me that they had to be face to face with me before I could pay attention to them. My loss of hearing worsened slowly over the years until I could only perceive unintelligible sounds without a hearing aid at 13 years old.

Going To A Telemental Health Counseling Session For The First Time Ever

My parents were a bit too sensitive about my hearing loss, partly due to their conversations with parents of other kids with disabilities. Before my condition aggravated, they are worried that I might become rebellious because of it or, worse, too depressed to function. Thus, as soon as I got a hearing aid, I found out that they signed me up for counseling.

Let me emphasize that I was not showing depressive or rebellious symptoms at the time. My hearing loss did not happen overnight – I had years to prepare for it – so I did not have a hard time accepting the inevitable. Despite that, Mom and Dad wanted to ensure that my mental health would not suffer due to my physical disability, so they insisted on taking me to a counselor twice a month.

At first, I agreed to counsel to appease my parents. I had nothing against mental help; I was even fascinated by it. But as the sessions went on, I felt grateful for Mom and Dad’s decision to sign me up for counseling because my counselor inspired me to pursue the same profession and offer mental assistance to people with new hearing disabilities.

Telemental Health Counseling

Working As A Counselor In 2020

I earned my counseling certifications in the first quarter of 2020 and was preparing to open my clinic when the COVID-19 pandemic happened. I had to postpone the opening because it was inadvisable to meet clients in person. It devastated me since I knew that I needed to offer online counseling at the time more than ever. Luckily, I discovered that I could do it online.

What Is Telemental Health?

Mental health counseling is a new form of counseling that licensed counselors provide using technology.

How Do I Start Therapy?

If you want to start offering telemental therapy, you need to get some legal advice first. The most important thing to figure out is if your state license can be used in other states, too. If it is, then you are free to accept clients all over the US. Otherwise, an attorney who specializes in telemental health licensing can guide you on your next steps to mental health.

You should also review the HIPAA regulars before starting your mental health practice. The reason is that many individuals refuse to do online therapy in fear of their sensitive information getting leaked and reaching the hands of unlawful people. Thus, make sure to use encrypted software or sign up for a trustworthy platform before practicing virtually and educate your clients about telemental health.

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Telemental HealtH

Furthermore, since you are providing therapy online, you must find a way to increase your client’s comfort. It seems challenging to do in the beginning, considering you cannot even shake a person’s hand through the internet, but you can make it happen by fixing your posture, clothing, smile, and surrounding. You may even play some soft music if you prefer that. More importantly, your internet should be incredibly fast and stable to avoid losing rapport with your telemental health clients.

Is Telemental health covered by insurance?

Telemental health is covered by a handful of insurance companies, including Aetna, Blue Cross, Cignal, Humana, and United Healthcare. Despite that, you still cannot expect full mental health coverage up to this day.

How do you become a Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider?

The first step to becoming a  Board Certified-TeleMental Health (BC-TMH) provider is to apply for the certification via the Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE) website. Then, you will need to attend online classes and pass all the nine modules they will provide, as well as the final examination. You only have two years to finish everything; otherwise, you must send your application again.

What is the best computer for telemental health?

Apple MacBook Air (13 inches) is the best laptop for telehealth. It has a 1.2 GHz quad-core Core i7, long battery life, new keyboard design, 6K display, and improved webcam.

What is the best telemental health platform?

According to TechRadar, the best telehealth platform is Doxy.me.

How does Telemental health work?

Patients typically call the telemental health company’s hotline or use their account to request a visit. This visitation occurs online whenever a physician is available to diagnose, treat, or prescribe medication to the individuals.

What is a warm handoff?

A warm handoff is a common practice in a healthcare team in which one member practically transfers the patient to another member. It typically happens in front of the patient or their guardian.

Why would you want to be a counselor?

  • You have wanted to become a counselor for years now.
  • People have told you that you are an excellent listener.
  • You don’t mind becoming someone’s confidante and giving advice to everyone.

Will insurance companies pay?

Local governments are currently working hard to enable insurance companies to pay for telehealth. However, at the time of writing, more or less half of all the states have parity laws.

Does insurance pay for online counseling?

The truth is that not all insurance companies cover online counseling. Therefore, the answer to this question depends on your insurance provider.

How much does it cost?

Telemedicine costs approximately half of the regular clinic visit.

What is BC-TMH?

BC-TMH is the abbreviation for Board Certified-TeleMental Health.

Telemental health
Source: pixabay.com

Final Thoughts

Although I could have joined an online counseling platform initially, I thought against it because I wanted to cater to a specific demographic – people with hearing loss like me. In the end, I contacted the local support groups I was a part of, and they directed various clients to me for a consultation through Skype or Zoom.

I realized that it was not too different from traditional counseling, considering we could still use sign language.

Though I would eventually open my clinic and meet clients face-to-face when the pandemic ends, I would continue offering telephone health counseling.

 

Benefits Of Online Therapy For The Side Effects Of Hearing Loss

How effective is online therapy for hearing loss? How can it help people dealing with the effects of hearing loss? Will therapy allow individuals to function despite the effect of hearing loss issues? Let’s learn more about hearing loss treatment in this article.

Continue reading “Benefits Of Online Therapy For The Side Effects Of Hearing Loss”

The Stigma Against The Deaf And How To Deal With It

Lacking a fundamental sense, such as sight or hearing, is a very challenging obstacle. Dealing with such is made even more difficult by the stigma that society associates with the disabled. Even in the contemporary world, where inclusion is supposedly at its peak in human history, people still see forms of discrimination against the deaf and other disabled individuals. With millions of people around the world who are deaf or hard of hearing, this means that multitudes still suffer continuously from all the prejudice against them.

Much of the stigma associated with deafness is due to ignorance. By further understanding the plight of the deaf and how stigma against them arises, it becomes possible to create solutions that will help protect them from further discrimination.

Mechanisms Of Deafness

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Deafness is a complex condition that can be brought about by myriad factors. Irma M Munoz-Baell and co-author wrote that, “hearing loss is a very complex phenomenon, which has many and serious consequences for people and involves many factors and issues that should be carefully examined.”

Most commonly, deafness occurs gradually as a person ages. However, it may also be congenital, or it may suddenly arise anytime during the life of an individual. It may be due to genetics, infection, or exposure to overwhelmingly loud sounds. It may be a purely physical problem, caused by damage to the parts of the auditory system, or it might signify a mental disorder.

The point is that deafness is a complicated condition that can be hard to understand for some people. This misunderstanding can then give rise to stigma.

Misunderstanding And Ignorance

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When some people encounter deaf people, they tend to jump to unfair conclusions. As deaf people may have trouble understanding communication, they may be dismissed as ignorant or stupid. Unlike many other disabilities, deafness is mostly invisible, making it less likely for people to recognize that they do have a disability. People may believe that they are only pretending to not listen to them during conversations when in fact they really cannot hear the person properly.

Isolation And Discrimination

“Stigma appears to play a role in-group formation, particularly in minority group formation,” Megan A. Jones, Ph.D. said. Because of the communication hurdles of being deaf or hard of hearing, people who have auditory problems are usually forced into relative isolation. They have a harder time in social interactions than other people. Some people also believe they will be less likely to provide adequate work, less productive than other people, or be a nuisance.  As a result, they may be glossed over during job applications, refused admission into social circles, or even refused entry into establishments.

Source: af.mil

Due to their disability, the deaf may be unable to enjoy amenities other people can enjoy. Many people do not go with the trouble of ensuring their products and services are accessible to the deaf. As a result, the deaf community is further isolated from a society that does not seem to care about them.

Empowerment

However, times are changing. Governments are passing and enforcing laws that ban discrimination against the deaf.  People with auditory problems are starting to form their social groups. They are speaking out for their rights, alongside their loved ones and other supporters who are fighting for greater inclusion. Many are also getting adequate help from platforms like BetterHelp, which allows them to get their message across digitally.

To be able to confront the stigma that surrounds them, they can take comfort in the fact that they are not alone in their struggles and that they are part of a caring and supportive community. Gaylene Becker, Ph.D. explains that “deaf identity and the development of a social support system are two factors that intervene positively in the management of stigma.” Finally, they need to realize that their disability does not reduce their fundamental humanity. Deaf or otherwise, they are still people who can surpass their limits and reach for their dreams.

Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss Everyday Struggles

Hearing loss is challenging as you’re faced with a lot of difficulties. Those who have loss of hearing experience mental health concerns. Because of the partial or complete decline of their ability to listen, disorders like depression, schizophrenia, substance abuse, and anxiety are some causes that those with hearing loss are facing every day.

“[Those with hearing loss] certainly understand that they’re outsiders in the hearing world, and no matter how good their skills at speaking and lip-reading, they may never completely fit in,” writes David Ludden Ph.D.

There's a struggle to interact with other people
Source: flickr.com

Understanding Hearing Loss

How Hearing Loss Impact People

People who have hearing loss also find it difficult to communicate with their care providers as sometimes, lip-reading isn’t enough. The communication gap is the issue, and there are only a few providers who are equipped with sign language. How can those with hearing impairment be fully understood when they cannot express themselves vocally, or people they are trying to communicate with have limited skills? Even those with a voice, find it hard to process their emotions. What more for those with complete hearing loss?

“Prior to diagnosis and learning that their child may have hearing difficulties, parents often have difficulty understanding the needs of their baby,” writes Robert T Muller Ph.D.

Hearing Loss Statistics

About 15-26% of the population will experience hearing loss but to have a complete disorder even before learning the spoken language is such a challenge. Nearly seven in 10,000 people have a loss of hearing, and their only way to communicate is through sign language.

In the world today, wherein hearing is a valuable sense, struggling to fit in and function well along with stress and prejudice may lead to developing mental health issues like depression or substance abuse in the deaf community.

Hearing Loss In Children

There are also students who have a hearing loss that also suffers from developmental delays and Autism Spectrum Disorder, among others. Deaf children who have difficulty communicating with their families can also be affected by mental health issues. What’s worse is that these children are also more likely to be deprived of when in school and become a victim of sexual assault.

“Deaf and hard-of-hearing populations experience abuse about one and a half times more frequently than those without hearing difficulties,” writes Mellissa Withers, Ph.D., M.H.S.

Seeking Mental Wellness Services For People Who Have Hearing Loss

People who have hearing loss find it difficult to obtain mental health services. In a small study with 54 respondents, more than half of respondents with these difficulties weren’t able to see and access the services that they needed for healing.

There are also times when people with an impairment who have mood disorders are underdiagnosed due to the following:
    • Lack of experienced sign language interpreters
    • Things getting astray in translation
    • Differentiation in how deaf people display their feelings to a mental health professional

Supplement Hearing Loss

You can’t substitute reading and writing for spoken language. Hearing loss can significantly affect vocabulary. Lip reading to communicate with those with hearing impairment isn’t accurate either with only 26-40% of adults being able to lip read.

Hearing issues: prompter doing sign language
Source: moody.af.mil

People with hearing loss who participated in the studies said that they prefer professionals with hearing difficulties to give them counseling services. The problem is that there are not many specialists who have deafness to cater to people with hearing loss. In case you run out of ideas, you may try chatting with a BetterHelp psychologist.

The only way to deal with hearing loss is to keep on moving forward. Losing one’s hearing is a lifelong challenge.

The only way to deal with hearing loss is to keep on moving forward and adapt to the best of their abilities.

How The Hearing Loss Community Should Be Differentiated

Mental health professionals should also know how to differentiate when a person with hearing loss shows their feelings as compared to those who aren’t. For people who can hear, pounding on the floor may seem like an act of aggression, but for people with hearing disabilities, this is a standard way to get attention. Those who have hearing loss also rely on showing strong expressions of feelings as these small details indicate their change of mood. This must be noted.

know how to differentiate when a person with hearing loss shows their feelings

a deaf boy communicating via sign language. He communicate with limited skills
Source: airforcemedicine.af.mil

An Issue Among People With Hearing Loss

A study concluded that people with hearing loss have a fear of being misunderstood. The participants in the study stated that there are times when they were misdiagnosed.

With that, the best people to assist those who have hearing loss with mental health issues must also have hearing loss, as well. The National Association of the Deaf has more information on this matter. Professionals with little to no experience in working with people with hearing imapirment should be careful in treating them.

Final Thoughts: In A Nutshell

Hearing loss is no joke. Despite several mediums that can assist with communication, a lot of people with hearing loss are still struggling to interact with other people. This leads to psychological problems that worsen their conditions. Hence, there should be more programs and tools to be developed to help the deaf community to lead better lives.

 

Are Gene Therapy And Cell Regeneration The Future For Deaf Community?

More than 30 million Americans are deaf of which causes and severity vary with each person.  Some people with hard of hearing use hearing aids to help improve their hearing.  But others have to suffer the implications of being deaf, until when no one knows.

“They certainly understand that they’re outsiders in the hearing world, and no matter how good their skills at speaking and lip reading, they may never completely fit in,” writes David Ludden Ph.D.

Almost 80% of the 30 million have the irreversible type deafness.   The remaining percentage have a profound hearing loss.  These profoundly hearing-impaired persons have few damaged sensory receptors in their ears called hair cells.

 

Source:  cdc.gov

Role of Hair Cells

A cochlear implant is surgically placing electrodes into the cochlea.  These electrodes bypass hair cells, stimulates the cochlea’s hearing nerve, and transmits the impulses to the brain perceived as sound.  This then allows some deaf to comprehend speech without doing lip reading, listen to music, talk to someone on the telephone, and basically, live a normal life.

“Dr. William House surgically inserted the first cochlear implant in 1961. Most considered his idea to tap into a deaf person’s auditory nerve radical and invasive. Today, thousands of formerly deaf patients around the world now have the ability to hear because of cochlear implants,” writes Jeffrey Pickens Ph.D.

Source:  dbhhearing.com

Hair Cells Regeneration

New findings show it might be possible to regrow damage hair cells.  Each ear has 15,000 hair cells.  Exposure to loud noises is what causes it to be irreparably damaged that lead to hearing loss.  While other parts of the ear can be repaired when damaged, repair of hair cells has not yet developed.  Continuous effort is being made to make this possible.   The idea arose when they were able to regrow cells in the intestinal lining.   Using the same method, they were able to grow hair cells in mouse cochlea successfully without inducing any drugs.   Hair cells grow naturally.

 

Source:  innovatemedtec.om

It is fascinating to know that there is hope for the hearing-impaired people to be able to hear again.  But even if the research turned out to be successful, not all deaf can benefit from it.  It will not work for those with an inherited hearing loss.  It is further explained that if a person’s hair cells damage is due to gene mutation no drug yet can fix the problem.  Even if they regenerate, they will still be dead hair cells because it will have the same mutation, unless gene mutation is fixed through gene therapy.

 

Will Gene Therapy Works

Gene therapy is one of the newest research for recovering hearing of the deaf by fixing defective DNAs.  Various tests in mice are showing positive results and giving hope to the scientists that it might be the ultimate answer to cure deafness.  Gene therapy worked in mice but still needs to be tested to other animals and human cells first before it can be stated that gene therapy is the future for the deaf to be able to hear again.

“Not long ago, this was science fiction. But today, gene editing is possible, and recently it has become much easier with new technologies such as genome sequencing and Crispr. These are helping to develop practical, clinical applications,” writes Marty Nemko Ph.D.

More research and test are still needed to be done to conclude if these hair cells regeneration and gene therapy are the future of those individuals suffering from deafness.   More patience, determination, and positivity is needed until such time that doctors can replicate hearing.

It may take more years to perfect these types of newly found ways of recovering hearing, but it is exciting to think that one important discovery of our time may help a lot of people with hearing disabilities.

5 Life-Changing Techniques for Better Living While Hard of Hearing

Like any health issue, hearing loss can lead to drastic changes in our quality of life. It’s stressful, challenging, and downright debilitating. The increased stress from needing to ask folks to speak up, repeat what they’ve said, or start over again can make us feel lethargic and apathetic. The need for hearing aids when watching television or even just stepping out for groceries can be frustrating, too, not to mention costly. Let’s take a look at five things we can do to improve ourselves when dealing with hearing loss.

“They certainly understand that they’re outsiders in the hearing world, and no matter how good their skills at speaking and lip reading, they may never completely fit in,” writes David Ludden Ph.D.

Not all these things will seem especially linked to being hard-of-hearing, but every one of them can be used as a tool for destressing. In turn, you’ll live a healthier life and — to borrow a current catchphrase — “have more spoons” to deal with the hardships you’ll face from your hearing woes.

Yoga And Tai Chi

 

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Proven sources of relaxation, yoga, and tai chi are designed to work you out in controlled motions which can calm the body and mind. They help to oxygenate you, too, by causing you to move in slow, methodical, and deliberate ways which ease your breathing. If you’ve struggled with moments where your hardness-of-hearing has brought you close to snapping at someone, you should consider pursuing one or both of these exercise routines. Mental clarity and emotional stability are improved through good health, and there are few better ways to see that happen than through this.

“Yoga is widely known for reducing stress, improving flexibility and concentration, and promoting a sense of peace—to name just a few of its possible positive outcomes,” writes Tracy S. Hutchinson, Ph.D.

You can attend a class and get direct tips from qualified instructors. Alternatively, you can look up exercise routines on YouTube; the modern information era has given us plenty of cheaper ways to discover new lifestyles.

Gardening

Like yoga and tai chi, gardening has a therapeutic quality. There’s a serene grace in helping things to grow and gradually reaping the fruit-and-vegetable rewards. While advanced landscaping is a tough gig, there are many relatively easy things you can grow for just pennies on the dollar that will only require occasional watering once the soil’s been made ready for planting. Spending several minutes each evening tending your crops will become routine for you, and you’ll know that no matter how stressful a day you’ve had dealing with people who mumble, your plants will always be there waiting for you.

Hiking

 

Source: rei.com

We sure are working you to the bone, aren’t we? Lots of exercise in this article. Then again, that’s intentional — get the blood flowing, get those muscles sore, all of it will help you to unwind. Hiking’s great fun, and it’s cheap, too! National parks are generally very reasonably-priced, and many of the local offerings only charge a few bucks for parking. You can wrap yourself in nature, far away from the stress of difficult communication. The sounds of birds chirping overhead and trees swaying with the breeze can both be heard at whatever volume your ears will allow, without the need to ask them to “speak up”. You’ll hear what you hear, and you can leave your aid at home; just immerse yourself in the gorgeous sights of your chosen destination.

“Being in daylight also boosts your mood and that makes it more likely that you’ll have creative thoughts and get along with your fellow hikers,” writes Sally Augustin Ph.D.

Support Groups

 

Source: wth.org

Well, at least you can rest your legs for this one. Support groups exist for just about anything you can imagine, so you’d better believe there are plenty of open channels for folks who are hard-of-hearing! You’ve got options here; you can either do this virtually or traditionally. Online support groups, like web forums, are filled with people overcoming similar struggles. They’re a great “sound-off” venue for you to ask questions, seek suggestions, and find all sorts of answers to better living while dealing with the rigors of hearing loss. Brick-and-mortar support groups offer the same deal, and you can discuss sensitive topics in the presence of others who are almost guaranteed to understand. You can probably snag a cup of coffee and a donut, too, while you’re at it.

Another option is to gain assistance from psychologists at BetterHelp. They are trusted by many in this business, and you can reach them through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Painting And Photography

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: a picture is worth a thousand words. I don’t know that I agree with that on a universal basis; sometimes words are more effective. But broadly speaking? Absolutely. Why not learn to communicate through beautiful tapestries and paintings? Paint to your heart’s desire. Boot up some of those aforementioned YouTube videos to learn innovative artistic techniques, then apply them as a hobby. You can also try your hand at photography. Pristine sunsets are all too fleeting, so capture them and post them all over social media. Bring your phone along, or a nice higher-end camera, while you’re hiking through parks. Take snapshots of all the beautiful scenery. Before long, your loved ones will be commenting on how great you’ve gotten at this, and you’ll be instilled with a creative confidence that will help you to move past the difficulties of your hearing loss.

The Importance of Auditory Rehabilitation

 

Source: aja.pubs.asha.org

 

If you’re one of the hundreds of millions of people worldwide with auditory challenges, you know how inconveniencing it can be. The difficulty can range from minute hard-of-hearing symptoms to near-deafness, and it can advance from one stage to the next as we age. I can speak from experience — at 29, I’ve already begun to face daily hardships and the need to ask people to speak up multiple times. I worry for what’s next, but I keep a positive outlook and gladly discuss the need for rehabilitation with anyone who will — pardon the pun — listen.

 

Know Who To Speak WIth

 

The first thing you need to consider is who to get in contact with for more information. If you’re suffering from hearing loss of any kind, it can be tempting to ignore it and put off help for many years, especially if you’re uncertain what your options are. According to David Sack M.D., “Most people can benefit from therapy at at least some point in their lives. Sometimes the signs are obvious—but at other times, something may feel slightly off and you can’t figure out what it is.” This is a mistake; procrastination is rarely the best course of action, and it’s certainly unwise when it comes to our health. Be proactive! Seek out aid in a variety of ways, starting with the world wide web. A simple Google search for “local hearing loss help” will bring up as many as dozens of health centers featuring qualified professionals who can quickly and keenly diagnose the cause of your trouble.

 

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Once you’ve scheduled an appointment, steel yourself for intensive testing. Hearing, like vision, involves a ton of tests. There are literally hundreds of possible reasons our sound comprehension can suffer, from obvious triggers like prolonged exposure to loud noises to more subtle and insidious triggers like white noise. Right now, what you need to know is that your new doctor will ask you all about your daily routine, so take some time before the appointment to think critically about it. Ideally, you’ll want to chart your activities from awake to in-bed for the week before your first check-up. This will give your doctor plenty to work with and help him or her to diagnose you. (And you’ll impress them with your resolve, too!)

 

Understand The Need

 

Now for the bulk of today’s blog post. It’s a little bit preachy, but you really do need to understand how vital it is that you get this looked into. Whether you face hourly struggles parsing sound or you’re just starting to notice a lack of complete auditory clarity, it’s never too late to get help. The simple truth is that hearing, like anything else physiological, gets worse with age. That’s not to say there aren’t newborn babies with hearing problems, because there absolutely are, and it’s a terrible shame. But you’re more likely to run into hardship the older you get. “People often avoid seeking medical care even when they suspect it may be necessary,” Jennifer M. Taber, Ph.D. and co-authors wrote. “Reasons for avoiding medical care were nuanced and highly varied. Understanding why people do not make it through the clinic door is critical to extending the reach and effectiveness of patient care.”

Along a similar note, early symptoms can and will increase with time. So no matter how young you are, if you’ve begun to realize that you can’t hear as well as you used to, you can bet that things will be worse five and ten years down the line. This is where my personal story comes into play. As I mentioned earlier, I’m only 29. A few years ago, a friend of mine was speaking to me in my house and I thought that he was whispering. I asked him to speak up. He looked at me, blank-faced and confused, and raised his voice. This happened again a few days later, and he finally said something about it. He told me that to the best of his knowledge he hadn’t been speaking any lower than usual that week and that I should get my hearing checked. He said it out of kindness, but I dismissed it out-of-hand. Over the course of the next year, this situation occurred numerous times with numerous people. I was in college at the time, and I found myself increasingly likely to sit closer to the front of the class because I couldn’t understand the instructor from farther back. I continued to ignore the telltale signs until a free medical examination was offered at my school.

 

Get Help Today

 

Source: assets.nydailynews.com

 

I was shocked by what I’d learned. My hearing ability had decreased by over 30% and I was firmly informed that I should have sought medical help the moment I realized something was amiss. We implore you to do the same. “More than 90% of newborns in the United States are now being screened for hearing loss,” Danielle S. Ross, PhD and co-authors said. Once a loss has begun, depending on the circumstances you can expect the issue to amplify relatively quickly. It’s a terrifying prospect, but what’s scarier is the thought of not doing anything about it until a great deal of damage has occurred. You have a better choice, so don’t let that happen. Even if you’re in a rut because you’ve already suffered a large amount of damage to your hearing, it isn’t too late. Schedule an appointment and start down the path to renewed clarity!

Now Hear This: The Future of Hearing Loss Treatment

We live in an amazing world. Medical breakthroughs occur everyday, and many of our leading researchers believe that the next 20 to 30 years will see the eradication of thousands of common ailments. It’s absolutely fascinating, but depending on the health issues which ail us, it might seem hard to believe. Despite advancements in technologies, those of us who suffer from hearing loss still don’t have a cure-all; the deaf remain deaf, and it seems like there’s no answer in sight.

“They certainly understand that they’re outsiders in the hearing world, and no matter how good their skills at speaking and lip reading, they may never completely fit in,” writes David Ludden Ph.D.

 

Source: kind2hearing.co.z

 

But help is on the way. Today we’re going to take a look at some truly cutting-edge solutions on the horizon in the field of aural rehabilitation. Keep tabs on these hot stories and in a few years you might just benefit from their widespread distribution!

 

An Upcoming New Drug Cocktail

 

For those with sensorineural hearing loss, an answer may be close in the form of an experimental drug. Thanks to researchers at MIT, a discovery has been made which links intestinal stem cells with the structural support cells located in the cochlea. What this means is that as stem cell research enters its next phase, it may be possible to acutely treat sensorineural deficiency — a big deal indeed, since there’s currently no true solution. And sensorineural hearing loss is one of the biggest sources of auditory frustration around; in America alone, 48 million citizens identify themselves as having hearing problems, and a large percentage of this is related to this particular type.

 

The researchers hope to begin major testing in the next year. Like any drug, the tests will be rigorous. It could be several years before this is ready for distribution, but if it all goes as planned, it will be a significant milestone in the medical world and it might just help us to get back to hearing crystal-clearly.

 

Gene Therapy

 

Source: cdn.slidesharecdn.com

 

Similar to the proposed drug cocktail, ongoing gene therapy experiments aim to treat issues around the cochlea. The overwhelming majority of hearing loss issues worldwide involve the degradation (and eventual death) of inner ear “hair cells”. They’re not really hair follicles, but when looked-at up close with a microscope, they rather look like it! What happens is that as these cells break down, either through age or genetic misfortune, our ability to comprehend sound waves diminishes.

“”Not long ago, this was science fiction. But today, gene editing is possible, and recently it has become much easier with new technologies such as genome sequencing and Crispr. These are helping to develop practical, clinical applications,” writes Marty Nemko Ph.D.

The good news is that researchers are currently undergoing the world’s first cellular regeneration therapy experimentation involving cochlear disability. There’s an excitement and a cautious optimism in the marvelous results posted thus far, and a real hope is in the air that gene therapy can and will bring a gradual end to many forms of hearing loss. Again, it will be a while before we can regularly reap the benefits of this painstaking research, but it promises to improve our quality-of-life considerably once it’s ready for rollout.

 

Next-Generation Hearing Aid Technologies

 

It will be awhile before these two groundbreaking medical experiments yield help on a wide scale, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t great products on the market right now that can make a sizable difference. Hearing aids have come a long way over the past few decades, and while the price for the best can be somewhat steep, they’re worth every penny.

“Dr. William House surgically inserted the first cochlear implant in 1961. Most considered his idea to tap into a deaf person’s auditory nerve radical and invasive. Today, thousands of formerly deaf patients around the world now have the ability to hear because of cochlear implants,” writes Jeffrey Pickens Ph.D.

You can think of improvements in the hearing aid industry somewhat like televisions. Remember back before HDTVs were sold when the best anyone could hope for was a big, fuzzy picture? Massive televisions were considered a status symbol, but picture quality was never amazing. Nowadays, young folks can hardly fathom what they’re seeing when their parents and grandparents bust out the standard-definition fare, and new HDTV models are made every year which make the older ones look like dinosaurs, too.

 

Source: pisces.bbystatic.com

 

Of course, at the end of the day a TV is a TV. But when it comes to hearing loss, it’s all the more pivotal that our hearing aids deliver great sound. Here’s where my analogy makes sense: the past few years of hearing aids have often used the “HD” moniker to denote that they’re a definite cut above what came before them. These devices can cost several thousand dollars, but there are many very solid models in distribution for a fraction of that. $500 can afford you a more crystal-clear sound pickup than the earlier models could have ever hoped to achieve. Those who make this kind of purchase can expect much improved aural clarity; in fact, many people who don’t even believe that they have any sort of hearing loss have tested the products and come away impressed.  It’s a bit like buying a Bose for your eardrums. You’ll have a tough time going back to stereo.

 

Hearing Aid Updates 2017

You may have been wearing that hearing aid for several years now and probably experienced some issues related to its functions. The question to ask yourself now is, “should I upgrade mine?”

You should consider an upgrade if you are experiencing any buzzing and whistling sounds, you are having trouble hearing on the phone, and your hearing aids do not function as good as they used to before. It is better to change your hearing aids than continue using them.

This year, we have the newest innovations, latest concepts, and radical designs in hearing aid technology that can give you a run for your money! You can check the following hearing aids online and in the market for the specific price:

LiNX 3D Hearing Aids

 

Source: macrumors.com

 

This is a very impressive 3D hearing aid that is “made for iPhone”. This device boasts the following interesting features:

  • You will have 50% more improvement in speech identification in any kind of environment
  • You will have 80% more hearing of the sounds around you
  • You will have 40% better speech understanding in a noisy and crowded location

 

Signia- Pure 13 BT Primax Hearing Aids

 

Source: signia-pro.com

The company called Signia, formerly known as Siemens, introduced a new and interesting concept for hearing aids. This particular model is their first “Made for Iphone” innovation. They claim the following revolutionary features in the world of hearing:

  • It delivers top connectivity
  • Provides industry leading hearing care
  • Good energy consumption and battery life which means less battery changes for you
  • Connection between wearers and their hearing care professional is possible
  • Three levels of technology
  • This will be the “first telehealth supported hearing aid” in the market
  • iPhone motion sensors for better hearing in specific situations
  • High definition technology for binaural hearing

 

 

Unitron- Tempus Hearing Aids

Source: keytohearing.co.uk

Unitron came up with the newest and smallest rechargeable hearing aid. This model has five technology levels which aim to deliver improved conversations for wearers.

These five technology levels will let you hear automatically in every kind of conversation even with a noisy background. It will also help you focus on speech that is coming from different directions.

Phonak- Virto B-Titanium Invisible Hearing Aids

 

This is Phonak’s newest concept in hearing aid design; they made use of medical grade titanium for its outer shell, making it first time a manufacturer used this specific kind of metal. It was used to create the most discreet hearing aid or should we say the smallest one in the market.

It features three kinds of receivers, which will enable you to cover hearing loss better than before. It has larger vents that can benefit you with less occlusion especially, if you have low frequency hearing capability.

The metal titanium is radically strong, which made it possible for Phonak to make the design thinner and slimmer but still robust. It is said to be an almost invisible hearing aid that has a very good fit in the ears.