The ENT Clinic, A7 Neeti Bagh, New Delhi 110049
Telephone :+91 9958725553
Hearing Aids - Whats new?

Hearing aids are life saviors for the hearing impaired. The technology has improved so drastically over the last decade, that popular surgical procedures like Stapedectomy for Otosclerosis have become a second choice for the wise.

Advancement in Hearing aids have been on several fronts:

  • Quality of sound in patients with severe losses has improved hugely.
  • Dealing with multiple speakers and noisy environment is still not ideal but much better than before.
  • Special options for use with telephone via blue tooth etc
  • FM devices which pick up sounds from microphones planted near the speaker and feed it to the hearing aids directly bypassing the environmental sounds in the room.
  • Sleeker designs allow the hearing aids to be worn inside the ear canal itself making it near invisible.
  • Different settings for different situations allow optimal hearing results. These settings can be changed by the user manually or can even shift between different settings in different hearing environments automatically.
  • Special multiple microphones pick up sounds from all directions, so you miss nothing.
  • Optimal battery consumption allows longer battery life.
  • Reliability in terms of frequency for need of repairs etc has improved hugely in good brands.
  • Bone anchored hearing aid devices provide superior sound quality and leave the ear canal free. These however need a minor surgical procedure to be done. In some rare cases like bilateral microtia, they are practically the only option.

There are however some limitations that we have to accept:

  • Advancement has come with higher cost of device. In countries like India where the state does not bear the cost, it can be a big drain on ones savings.
  • In severe to profound losses in both ears, hearing aids may not achieve adequate outcome. These patients will need to be evaluated for cochlear implantation.
  • Hearing in noise, although better than before is still a problem for many patients, especially those using devices with fewer channels and programming options.
  • The overall dislike for a hearing aid device in comparison to something else like spectacles is still widespread. Its a strange backwardly thought process that is still prevalent, especially amongst the illiterate.

The future has surprises in store for us.

Implantable hearing aids that are completely invisible will be attractive to the conscious patient who doesn't want to wear any device at all. These devices are surgically implantable, but at present surgery for these are offered in very few centers in the world.

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