CAN DEAFNESS BE PREVENTED?
Yes if action is taken early. In some cases the negative impact can be reduced.
Some ways to help prevent deafness or the impact is:
- Knowing about the problem early and seeking help.
- Hearing testing by a qualified hearing specialist.
- Early medical treatment of ear disease especially painful ears and ears with pus coming out.
- Not taking medicine that is not given by a doctor.
- Avoid loud noises and injuries to the head.
- Young babies should be immunized against diseases.
- Good nutrition and healthy environment for children.
- Fitting hearing aids that work efficiently by a qualified hearing health professional(Audiologist).
DO HEARING AIDS REALLY HELP CHILDREN TO HEAR?
Professionally fitted hearing aids with good diagnosis and follow up will improve the child's communication to "near normal" depending on the degree of hearing problem, the time it was detected and the cooperation of the family members and hearing specialist.
How do they help?
There are four types of hearing aids. Those worn on the body; placed behind the ear; those in the ear and others are inserted deep into the ear. They all work by making sounds louder and clearer. Some types of hearing aids can selectively keep off unwanted noise from getting into the ear and also pick up the wanted sounds and process them so that they are not only louder but also clearer. When this is accomplished the young baby can hear himself and receive sounds and speech in such a way as to develop language and speech. However this will develop much slowly than a normal hearing child but may eventually "catch up".
A child fitted early with a hearing aid can join a regular school(depending on the degree of loss) and cope with education with little or no additional support.
Youths are able to restore or retain relationships as they are able to participate in group interactions when the have a hearing aid.
The older person is able to interact with his/her family in a more meaningful way thereby improving on family interactions and relationships.
For the hearing impaired, life makes sense when sounds are easily identified with meanings attached to them and communication through speech flows unhindered due to efficient and effective hearing aids and other related appliances.
Do hearing Aids restore hearing to levels of normal hearing person?
Unfortunately not. However, hearing is brought close to normal. The gap is reduced by learning to observe the face and attach meanings to words that are not clear. For children who do not develop speech, speech training is usually done by a speech therapist. The older adult who looses hearing after speech is developed needs retraining and speech therapy