Hearing loss is a common condition that affects one in ten Americans. It can affect one’s life experience and willingness to interact, resulting in social exclusion. Hearing problems can also result in depression, anxiety, frustration, and anger.
To overcome these difficulties, people with hearing loss may benefit from using technology such as hearing aids or cochlear implants. These devices help users process sounds more efficiently so they can listen better. Continue reading to find out how.
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Causes of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is a widespread issue estimated to affect 500 million globally by 2030. The factors that may contribute to such hearing problems include:
- Noise Pollution – Living in a noisy environment can cause hearing loss over time. This is especially true if you work or play in environments with loud machinery, construction sites, or concerts. You could also suffer from hearing problems if you use earbuds or headphones with too high a level.
- Aging – As you age, your body becomes less able to fight off infections that cause hearing loss. You also may experience age-related hearing loss if you smoke or are exposed to loud noises over time.
- Genetics – A few individuals are genetically attuned to hearing problems. If you have a genetic predisposition to deafness, your odds of having it yourself are higher.
- Ear Infections – Ear infections can lead to permanent hearing loss if they aren’t treated immediately. The bacteria that cause ear infections can spread into your inner ear and cause inflammation. This inflammation can damage the delicate hair cells in the cochlea, which help you hear sounds.
- Oral Medications – Medications such as aspirin and other NSAIDs can cause hearing loss. This is particularly apparent if you use them over an extended period or in heavy doses.
- IV Medications like Tepezza – Tepezza is the brand name of a drug called Teprotumumab. It belongs to the class of monoclonal antibodies, which are used as treatments for thyroid eye disease. This IV medication is reported to cause side effects, such as hearing loss and tinnitus.
The FDA has issued a cautionary statement on its use. The manufacturer, Horizon Therapeutics, is being sued for failing to sufficiently notify patients about the adverse effects of hearing problems after taking Tepezza injections.
If you have taken this IV med and suffering from hearing problems, you can join the Tepezza hearing loss lawsuit. It is a class action lawsuit that a law firm is filing on behalf of all patients who suffered hearing loss after taking this IV med. Filing the lawsuit might win you compensation, but it can’t compensate for the loss of hearing. Luckily, technology can.
Well, you can only do a little about aging and genetics. Still, you can surely save yourself from hearing problems caused by the remaining factors, such as restricting yourself to noisy environments and researching any meds before using them. And if the damage has already been done, leverage the below hearing aid technology and make your life less stressful.
Technology is a Blessing to People with Auditory Problems
Technology is a boon to the hearing impaired because it strives to reduce social stigma and make their lives easier. Understand this by looking at the four new hearing aid products listed below.
These are electronic gadgets positioned in the inner ear to improve hearing. Dogding impaired ear tissue, cochlear implants trigger the sensory nerves effectively. They serve to manage hearing problems, from acute to chronic. According to estimates, roughly 736900 users registered the gadget worldwide till December 2019.
Cochlear implant users experience a wide range of benefits from wearing them, including improved speech perception, reduction in tinnitus (ringing ears), increased ability to localize sound sources, a better quality of life, and increased independence about communication needs at school or work.
Wireless Hearing Aids
People who have hearing problems might benefit from hearing aids, which are compact electronic equipment. They are used to amplify sounds and improve speech understanding for the users. It is claimed that this gadget can help roughly 28.8 million Americans. However, just over 15% of individuals leverage this device.
There are two types of hearing aids: in-the-ear (ITE) and behind-the-ear (BTE). Both types can significantly improve your hearing ability in challenging environments such as noisy restaurants or conversations with multiple people nearby.
Eyeglasses Turning Speech Into Subtitles
With hearing loss, understanding spoken language is often a challenge. However, technological advancements have allowed those with hearing loss to understand speech better.
For instance, some eyeglasses turn the speaker’s lips into subtitles. The glasses use a camera to capture the speaker’s lips. The camera then converts them into text and displays the words on a screen in front of the wearer’s eyes. They can be used in live time or as video recordings.
You can still read their words even if someone is speaking softly or off-screen. This is a beneficial tool for those who are hard of hearing when watching television shows with closed captioning.
AI That Translates Sign Language
Another technology helping people with hearing loss is a new AI system that translates sign language into text. Sign language is a communication medium for the deaf and hearing impaired. It’s a visual language with its grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. There are over 200 distinct sign languages worldwide.
This new system uses AI to translate American Sign Language (ASL) into text on-screen via a smartphone app. This helps hearing people hear what their loved ones are saying. The app takes pictures of signs made by the user’s hands and then translates those pictures into text using machine learning algorithms.
The app currently only supports translation between ASL and English. It will help other languages soon. Adding support for translating facial expressions and other gestures into words or phrases, such as pointing at things around you if you’re out somewhere unfamiliar.
Hearing loss can significantly impact people’s lives and their ability to communicate. It may also cause issues in other aspects, such as social interaction and job opportunities. The good news is that technology is helping people with hearing difficulties by providing solutions for them so they can live more independently without feeling isolated or alone.