Digital Hearing Aids

Analog and digital hearing aids are the two types of hearing devices available to people who have suffered a hearing loss later in life or who were born with defective hearing. There are pros and cons for each product and many differences exist between the two units. Fortunately, digital and analog hearing aids offer a choice for patients who have preferences about sound control, cost and efficiency. Sound amplification devices have evolved over the years from large, crude, trumpet-like devices to finely tuned, sleek aids that are largely invisible. In the 21st century, technology merged with medicine to make it possible for some people to purchase implantable aids that can be surgically or non-surgically placed. The device is totally invisible and provides 24 hour a day sound production. The draw back is that only those who have moderate amplification needs can reap the benefits of the implantation.

For most people, one of the two typical devices will more than suffice for all their hearing needs. Analog hearing aids are quite common and are the cheaper of the two which may account partly for their popularity. Some devices can be purchased for around $300 which is a plus for any budget. There are various models of this type and some are programmable for varying sound productions and stages of further loss. Some devices allow the wearer to program the unit in conjunction with a particular environment. While this type of unit can definitely make sounds much louder, the device is not able to discriminate between noises and sounds for clearer amplification.

The other type of device that has been growing in demand is a digitized version of personal sound amplification. Digital hearing aids can transform sound waves into digitized signals which present crisp, clear auditory reproduction of sounds. All units are extremely programmable with many different parameters available to the wearer. Digitized aids can actually make a distinction between sound and speech as well as diminish background noises that allow for clearer speech for the hearer. A down side for these units is the high price tag that is currently attached to each device. An efficient device can cost upwards of $5, 000 for a moderately produced unit. Some can be purchased for a bit less and some for a whole lot more.

As in other high tech advancements, digitized sound aids will most likely drop in price as the demand rises for the models and production is spurred. Most people that choose to wear one of these units attest to the clear amplification and exceptionally programmable features that reproduce speech and sound as authentically as possible. "And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth. And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground." (1 Samuel 3:10,19) For those who are purchasing analog or digital hearing aids for the first time, there are several things to consider in order to make a good purchase. The type of work, play or lifestyle in general a person has can be a determining factor regarding the type of unit to purchase. If a person works outside or travels a lot, a back up unit may need to be purchased in case something happens to the primary aid that is worn. That alone will affect how much can be invested in sound reproduction aids.

Another thing to consider is the amount of hearing loss a person has and what are the particular characteristics. A professional recommendation will generally be made for digital or analog hearing aids based on the specific needs of a patient. The technical advancements that are constantly being achieved in the field make it necessary to rely on an auditory professional when choosing among selections. Size and appearance are other issues that consumers should seriously consider. While it is tempting to lean toward the smaller, less visible units for aesthetic reasons, usability and sound clarity are really the most important issues. Older adults may have a harder time maneuvering one of the itsy bitsy units that are almost unperceivable to the eye when in place. Sometimes a larger model is easier to handle and may produce the correct clarity for the consumer.

Purchasing one or two models to be worn at the same time is often the best option for most people. It can save money to purchase only one model to be used in a single ear, but wearing binaural aids have proved to be much more satisfactory to most users over the years. Some people are not aware that they need either analog or digital hearing aids because their sound loss occurs slowly over time. These people can gradually compensate for the loss with small changes in their lifestyle until it is apparent that there is truly a need. For instance, a person who slowly loses the ability to hear sounds may begin to turn the TV up abnormally loud. They may also find themselves hearing speech but not readily distinguishing between the words. Some people may even begin to read lips as overcompensation for sound loss. Outdoor sounds fade that are produced by birds, crickets, thunder and other displays of nature. There are many reasons to consider the purchase of digital or analog hearing aids. Making an appointment with an auditory specialist can help in determining the severity of the disability and the proper recommendation for a hearing aid.

Hearing loss treatment can be approached in many ways and can range from simply flushing the ear out with water to complicated surgery. It all depends on previous hearing treatment and the condition presented. Knowing the options and the risks of any treatment plan is very important. It is also important to understand preventative measures and to reduce repeated treatments that can eventually lead to more damage.

Let's start with how to prevent hearing loss. Taking care of one's ears properly will reduce the chances of needing hearing loss treatment. By reducing exposure to loud noises or at least wearing protective gear when exposed, those at risk will reduce the chances of needing to address the problem in later years. Another preventative step to take is to get ears checked yearly. This will alert the doctor of any minor problems that may be reversible. Not all loss is permanent.

Knowing the options is crucial to making a sound decision. The best decisions are made when there is plenty of information gathered. The last thing a patient will want to do is have surgery when antibiotics or a devise would help solve the problem. Cochlear implants are a surgical option for hearing treatment. They are sometimes not a permanent fix to the problem, but offer continued success as far as possibilities are concerned.

Other options include hearing aids, lifestyle change, and medication. Aids and medication options are pretty self explanatory, but let's look at lifestyle change. If a doctor senses a need for hearing loss treatment caused by environmental factors, it is important to change a lifestyle as soon as possible to reduce the possibility of further problems. This type of hearing treatment may include using protective gear while performing a sport or job. Another option for addressing environmental concerns is the need to remove oneself from exposure to certain chemicals or allergens. Approaches to this problem do not have to be dramatic if the problem is small.

Educating oneself in the possibilities for treatment will help patients make a better decision. "The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge: and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge." (Proverbs 18:15) Depending on doctors can be risky and can leave patients with doubts if a inner ear treatment doesn't work as well as it should have. Make sure that the doctor is presenting all reasonable options for hearing loss treatment and is confident in the out come they will have.

Physical Therapy Equipment

Physical therapy equipment helps to restore physical function and mobility to patients who have suffered disabling illness and disease as well as those who have been injured in accidents. Treatment usually includes exercise that will help to improve strength and endurance. The amount of treatment will depend upon the severity of the illness or the accident. Physical therapy products include a variety of fitness and treatment products that will help the patient to return to a normal activity level. Some of these include but are not limited to exercise balls, home gyms, rowing machines, treadmills, whirlpools, and electrotherapy. Some of the conditions that respond to physical therapy include musculoskeletal system disorders and injuries, arthritis, joint replacement, and neurological disorders or diseases.

Back pain is a common problem that can be caused from many different types of problems and can often be treated with the use of physical therapy equipment. Some of the causes for back pain include irritation of the sciatic nerve, muscular or ligament injuries, lumbar strain, herniated disc, and compression fractures. When a person suffers with pain due to the compression of the sciatic nerve they usually have low back and leg pain. The compression is often caused by a herniated disc and can be very debilitating. Exercises can help sciatica pain by doing stretching that strengthens the muscles in the lower back. The best way to prevent back pain is to exercise regularly. Exercise will help to keep the muscles that support the spine strong so that compression is not a problem.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a concern for every person who finds that he or she is sitting for hours in front of a computer every day. This condition is caused by compression of the median nerve in the wrist. The median nerve is one of the main nerves in the arms and leads to the spine. The nerve becomes compressed when there is swelling and inflammation of the tendons. There are physical therapy products that can help with the pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome and there are some ways to use this equipment to prevent the occurrence of the syndrome. Sitting properly with the screen at eye level, resting wrists often by taking frequent breaks, and keeping wrists and elbows at a 90 degree angle when typing can all help with symptoms and with prevention. Some of the symptoms associated with carpal tunnel include numbness, pain during activities, and a decrease in grip strength.

Knee injuries are among the most common types of orthopedic injuries that people have. Knee injuries are often caused by common sports related injuries but they also happen to the elderly through the onset of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage becomes so thin that there is no cushion left. Osteoarthritis can also happen to the spine and hip joints. Treatment may involve the use of physical therapy equipment so that a person can walk without putting too much pressure on the joints. Hot and cold packs may help with the pain. However, the pain is usually relieved by resting and limiting activity. When the condition warrants it replacement surgery may be an option.

A rheumatic condition known as fibromyalgia is a painful condition that tends to occur in women more than men. The condition involves widespread soft tissue pain, extreme fatigue, insomnia, and is diagnosed by the presence of trigger points located in various places throughout the body. Trigger points are accumulations of waste that build up around nerve receptors. These tight bands of fibers usually occur after overuse and injury and can increase muscle tension. One type of treatment that may help with the pain of fibromyalgia includes physical therapy products along with compression that helps the body to flush out the toxins. Massage therapy brings relief for some patients but the therapist should have experience with fibro trigger points. Some people get benefits from water therapy and stretching exercises. Another thing that can bring some relief to the pain is to use ice on areas that are hurting. An ice pack can be applied for up to 20 minutes at a time. Treatment for fibromyalgia usually includes antidepressants and pain relievers that help to improve sleep.

Neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and stroke victims benefit greatly from physical therapy products. Many of these types of patients have poor balance, paralysis, poor motor functions, visual impairments, and may suffer with speech problems. Physical therapy can help the patients who suffer with neurological disorders to learn to function again. Oftentimes patients who have suffered with a stroke need to learn to use their motor skills again and sometimes they need help in regaining the ability to talk. Even with extensive neurological damage, there is hope for those who have the will and determination to work at restoration. "And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Entreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before" (I Kings 13:6).

Osteoporosis occurs more often in women than in men and results from thinning of bone tissue. The incidence of osteoporosis can make a person susceptible to bone fractures and breakage. As a person ages he or she does not produce enough new bone to compensate for the normal process of old bone being reabsorbed. Calcium is recommended along with Vitamin D in helping to keep the bones strong. Bone tissue can benefit from exercise and a healthy diet. Physical therapy equipment that can help the person with osteoporosis includes a treadmill for walking and using a stationary bicycle. In addition, strength training exercises are the most beneficial for strengthening bone. Other health conditions should be considered when starting any new type of exercise program and a person should talk to his or her doctor to find out what is best for them.

MS treatments are used to target the inflammation of the brain and spinal cord that are the symptoms of Multiple sclerosis - a disease that attacks nerve fibres and interrupts communication between the brain and nerves in the body. The type and severity of the disease usually varies between individuals affected. Multiple sclerosis treatments are mapped according to the areas of the body that are affected by the disease. Damage referred to as lesions appear in random areas of the central nervous system. Treatments vary due to the location of the lesions and the parts of the body that they affect. Some of the problems that may result from multiple sclerosis are numbness, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, blindness, incontinence, constipation, slurred speech, nausea, disabling fatigue, depression, inability to swallow, among others.

The four main types of multiple sclerosis are based upon levels of disability resulting from the disease that involves the immune system. The body's natural defenses are actually attacking itself. MS treatments are concerned with overwhelming evidence of a genetic component regarding the disease. No specific genes have been targeted but with the advances in the medical field studies are hopeful for future findings. Multiple sclerosis treatments involve using drugs to target inflammation and nerve functions. Diagnosis of the life threatening and debilitating condition is very difficult to determine usually involving the elimination of all other medical conditions that could have the same symptoms. The subsequent procedures are evaluated by specific symptoms and how they are manifesting in the individual affected.

Diagnosis for this disease is usually mapped by multiple occurrences, and their severities. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans assist with diagnosis by showing images on the spinal cord where lesions usually show up. Performing a spinal tap when diagnosing multiple sclerosis aids in planning multiple sclerosis treatments by identifying immune system activity. There are no MS treatments currently available to slow the progression of the disease. Drugs available for treatments are geared to have different effects on the disease. Some drugs used for MS work with the body to interfere with inflammation, while other drugs used show reductions in lesions.

Steroids and immunosuppressants are prescribed as multiple sclerosis treatments. Both of these drugs have been observed through various studies, to reduce the symptoms. However, steroids have no effect on the overall progression of the disease except for helping by lessening the symptoms and the pain involved. Steroids have many side effects such as, acne, weight gain, seizures, depression, headaches, fatigue, facial hair, nausea, and other effects that can be more serious. Check with a doctor if experiencing persistent symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis. If developments show indications of the disease and MS treatments begin, trust the doctor and trust in the Lord. "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." (Isaiah 53:4)





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