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Advantages of Digital Hearing Aids

hearing aid types and costsThough there are several types of hearing aids, the digital hearing aids are deemed the best in terms of reliability and efficiency. This is because of the quality of sound that comes from them. Today, more and more people with hearing difficulties have been gravitated towards digital hearing aids and have neglected the analog hearing aids.

Perhaps it’s due to the numerous advantages that digital hearing aids have over analog hearing aids. For the sake of this article, I am going to talk about the advantages of digital hearing aids. However, before we go into details about the advantages of these devices, let us first know the difference between analog and digital hearing aids.

Analog hearing aids generally takes and amplifies sound as it is without making any modification on the sound, just in a similar way cupping your hands behind your hear amplifies sound. Digital hearing aids, on the other hand, take in sound waves, translate them to a digital format, distort, filter, amplify, and finally deliver them to the ear canal, tailored according to your needs.

Digital hearing aids have a special chip known as digital signal processer that enable them to perform all these functions. Now that you have known the difference between analog and digital hearing aids, let us now look at the advantages of these devices.

They are small in Size Compared to Analog Hearing Aids

Generally, digital hearing aids are very small in size compared to their analog counterparts. They can be placed behind the ear without other people noticing. This means that the person using these devices will not be embarrassed in knowing that other people know about his or her deafness. This is the greatest advantage of digital hearing aids.

Improved Speech and Noise Filtering

Digital hearing aids are incredible multitaskers. Despite their small size, these devices can perform different sound processing tasks. In one function, the digital hearing aid is capable of differentiating between speech-sounds and noise and as such amplify the speech while reducing the noise at the same time. In analog hearing aids, the sound is amplified less discriminately, hence a lot of noise can get its way through a meaningful conversation.

They Can Be Specially Designed to Fit an Individual’s Needs

Digital hearing aids can be programmed using a special software to suit your hearing needs. Though analog hearing aids can also be programmed in a way, digital technology offers a far much greater degree of sound processing and fine-tuning. A better programming in digital hearing aids means ability to adapt in different sound environment. For instance from a quiet library to a noisy club or restaurant.

They are More Comfortable

One of the greatest disadvantage of analog hearing aids is the discomfort that comes from the noisy sounds. However, using the digital signal processor in digital hearing aids, the noise is reduced significantly. This is because digital hearing aids have specific input signal dependence band, many channels, and knee pints that lower the compression threshold. This helps to reduce the intensity of environmental sounds as well as noise from the microphone that makes most users of analog hearing aids uncomfortable.

programmable hearing aid

Digital Feedback Reduction

Digital hearing aids have feedback reduction systems that are so advanced that they can monitor feedback while the user is wearing the device. When this happens, moderate feedback is cut down through a cancellation filter in the device. People who bother the users when they are close to them or during jaw movement can benefit from this feature in digital hearing aids.

Digital Speech Enhancement

Digital speech enhancement technology was recently introduced to digital hearing aids, making it effective in intensifying specific segments of speech, making it a better device that the analog hearing aids. However, more studies are still being done on this feature to establish how effective it can be when it comes to enhancing speech.

Eye-Catching Designs and Color

Unlike analog hearing aids, most digital hearing aids have more eye-catching designs and colors such that most people mistake them for phone Bluetooth. Their design and colors make it less embarrassing to the users since most people cannot tell what they are. Most hearing aid users feel embarrassed when they realize that other people know about their hearing disabilities.

The beautiful designs and colors of these devices, therefore, helps in hiding their embarrassment since most people mistake them for communication devices. Not too long, the use of digital hearing aids will completely replace analog hearing aids. However, this may not be possible until the price for digital hearing aids are lowered. But who knows? People can as well decide to embrace the new technology over the analog given the several advantages it comes with.

deaf education

The Importance of Quality Education for Deaf and Mute Kids

We all deserve to have the proper education. Education is the basis of all learning of every single thinking human being. Especially when we are educating the kids, who are the next generation. From their generation will rise the next leaders of the country, the next big star, the next person that will discover a cure for a certain disease.

Just because some of the kids are deaf and mute, that does not absolutely deaf and mutemean that they would be receiving less quality education. In fact, they deserve to get more than what they truly need. Why should we consider on giving them the quality education that we give out to every other normal student?

Just Like Everyone Else, They Need it Too

We must never discount them or disregard them because of their disability. The more ‘disabled’ they are, the more that we should love them because, in fact, they need it.

They might not be able to speak, or they might not be able to hear either, but one thing is for sure, they have a heart that loves and a mind that thinks, and that alone is a huge factor on why all of the educational institutions should be giving them a quality education.

 

They Need it More

It might be stated in earlier point that they need the same quality of education or so. But the truth of the matter is that they need it more. You do not know what runs into their minds until you would be there to stand up and be with them. You do not know their backstory on how they got that, how things happened.

Also, you do not even know what they feel or think of in every situation that happens. Do they get angry? Do they get jealous? Do they get happy? You do not know! That is why they should be receiving more than what they deserve.

 

They are Kids, They are the World’s Future

It is a truth that they would be growing up. As older people, or people who do not have disabilities or what not, you should be that one who is going to shape their current situations and set it out for the coming days. These kids could be the future leaders of the nation, the future thinkers, the people who will push innovation forward, whatever their disabilities are, those do not disqualify them to think, love, learn and respect.

There is absolutely no point and meaning in giving these kids the less quality of education that they deserve. This generation is ought to live a generation that has equality amongst every citizen. That principle even serves in the aspect of education, they are kids, they are students, they have the rights to learn, to receive a proper and quality education. If humanity loves them, then they should be deserving to receive the love that humanity gives to them.

 

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How to Easily Learn Sign Language for Communicating with Deaf Kids

basic sign languageLearning a new language is not easy, especially if it is a language that is not spoken, but rather it is a language that is done by acting and by gestures. If as a person, you truly desire to learn sign language because you want to communicate the language that they speak so that you would have the sort of connection with each other.

But since, it is not actually easy to learn such, there are certain ways, means or methods on how to easily learn this language so that you could communicate to deaf kids with ease.

 

Learn it by Yourself

If you do not have all those financial resources, but you have all the time in the world to learn a language that you are very interested in, then you can absolutely learn it all by yourself. Apparently, there are a lot of ways on how to learn certain things by yourself. You could go and look for something online, you can search for ways on how to learn the sign language over the internet.

Watching DVD about learning the language is also considerable, if you are good at looking at a screen monitor and learn stuff, then go do it. You can also read books that teach sign language. If you are very willing to learn it all, then you would be very willing to do all those steps for you to learn the language.

These steps are good if you are a type of person that could finish the job by doing things alone, if you want to learn with a community, then you might have to consider other options.

 

Enroll in a class

This type of class does not matter, it depends on what suits you most. If you are the person who loves to stay at home and you have all those different platforms that could connect to the internet, then you could go and look for online learning classes. You can choose if you want to have a personal one-on-one learning with someone who will teach you or could choose a class type setting of learning.

But if you love to do things in a physical manner, you want to ask questions, you want to move and go somewhere else outside your home, then you can look for certain institutions that will teach sign language. There you could find a legit community that you could talk to and do things with. However, these methods are only very applicable if you have all those financial resources. If you can pay for a class that will run for days or weeks, then consider this method.

 

Have Someone to Teach You, Preferably a Friend

If you know of someone who is good at sign language, then you can ask him or on how to communicate using the sign language. If you want a real personal teacher, then you could talk between the two of you if you want to pay the person, if not, then you could just ask him or her occasionally every time you meet. You do not need to rush into learning the language unless you need to do so.american sign language classes

 

Be Dedicated

This might be the hardest part, but it’s the one that does not need too much of qualifications to do. Whatever method you have chosen, you must be dedicated to doing these. Make sure that you are willing, and sure of every that you will take.

As a conclusion, there are a lot of ways on how to easily learn the sign language. But since you are doing this specifically to deaf kids, then you must have the most important quality, which is to capacity to love.

You are not just doing this for your own gain, but rather you are doing this more for the benefit of the deaf community of kids. Your heart is the one that is needed in doing all those methods, if you love the kids, the deaf kids, then you have no reason to stop learning.

toddler hearing test at home

How to Choose School for Your Hearing Impaired Daughter

School for Hearing Impaired DaughterMaking choices for your child’s education can be complicated but choosing a school for your hearing impaired daughter certainly adds another dimension to the decision.

Since there are many paths to a child’s educational success, how do parents decide which kind of school is right for their kids?

The first thing to remember is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. The full educational potential of a deaf or hard-of-hearing child can only be supported with an emphasis on the individual needs of the child.

Here are the steps to follow when looking for a school for your hearing impaired daughter:

  1. Choose the right school

Searching for the best school is always the first option. A quick search on the internet will provide you with a list of school based on their performance on the standardized test and provide you with evaluations.

However don’t stop at this point, solicit personal recommendations from other parents who have had a similar experience. Remain open to all possibilities as you begin your search to enable you to exhaust the available options and come out with the best.

  1. Evaluate the school

hearing loss or autismAfter carefully choosing the schools, evaluating each institution including its teachers and administration, here are some criteria you might consider when evaluating:

  • The level of experience of the school, administration, and teachers working with hearing impaired children.
  • The acoustics of the environment where your child will be spending her time. This should include the classrooms and hostels.
  • The level of accommodation offered by the faculty and staff, their comfort with hearing related technology such as FM.
  • Teaching style and class size.
  • References from other families of children with hearing difficulties or other disabilities.
  • Consider the amount of fees paid if it meets your budget.

After successfully evaluating the schools, it’s now upon you to choose which school best suit your child’s need.

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Foods That Improve Hearing in Children

vitamin b12 hearing lossEveryone knows how important it is to eat a healthy nutritious diet that helps keep our body healthy. However, hearing has always been taken for granted and not much is done to protect from damage especially among children.

As with most attributes, feeding your child with food rich in certain vitamins, nutrients, mineral, and acids will help prevent hearing loss among children or improve the hearing capability in children with hearing impairments.

To prevent your child from hearing loss or enhancing their hearing ability, doctors have recommended feeding children with food rich in minerals, nutrients, acids, and vitamins. Below is a list of minerals, nutrients, vitamins, nutrients and the types of food where they are found.

Potassium

This mineral regulates the amount of fluids in the inner most parts of the ear. These fluids translate the noises we hear into electrical impulses before sending them to the brain for interpretation as sound.

A drop in the level of these fluids contributes to loss of hearing in children hence the importance of potassium.

Food rich in potassium include; spinach, bananas, lime beans, apricots, oranges, yogurt and low-fat milk.

Folic-acid

Folic acid helps the body generate new cell growth that increases circulation in the body hence contributing to the overall health of the hair cells in the inner parts of the year.

Folic acid also metabolizes homocysteine, an inflammatory element that diminishes circulation which is essential in keeping the hair cells of the inner ear well and working efficiently.

Foods rich in folic-acid include liver, spinach, broccoli, and asparagus.

Magnesium

Recent studies conducted at the University of Michigan Kresge Hearing Research Institute have shown that children treated with magnesium in conjunction with vitamin C, A, and E are protected when exposed to high levels of noise. Magnesium acts as a barrier to hair cells in the inner most parts of the ear where noises are emitted.

Lack of sufficient magnesium in the ear causes the blood vessels inside the ear to shrink hence depriving it of oxygen.

Foods rich in Magnesium include fruits and vegetables such as: potatoes, artichokes, bananas, and spinach. 

Zinc

Zinc is highly known for cell growth and healing wounds in children. It also boosts the immune system of the body and helps to reduce the risks that may affect children’s ears.

Foods rich in zinc include: beef, pork, peanuts, beans, lentils, oyster, almonds, split peas and dark chocolate.

Omega-3 fats and vitamin D

tips for healthy earsYou must have probably heard of the anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties of omega-3 fats, but did you not that research has shown these fatty acids helps to prevent hearing loss, especially in children.

According to the studies, serving children with food rich in omega-3 fats reduces the risk of hearing loss by over 40%.It also helps brain function, sending signals between the brain and ears more efficiently,

Foods rich in Omega-3 fats include: soybean oil, sardines, flaxseed oil, krill oil, and salmon.

Folate (vitaminB9)

Folate or vitamin B9 help to prevent Tinnitus in children. Tinnitus is a noise-induced damage characterized by ringing in the ears and is capable of entirely damaging children’s ears if not well taken care of. Research has shown that consuming foods rich in folate helps improve this condition and also reduce homocysteine. Increased levels of homocysteine in the blood are related to hearing the loss in children.

The best way to increase the amount of vitamin B9 in children is by eating a lot of raw green leafy vegetables. Good natural sources of folate are: spinach, garbanzo beans, lentils, and turnip greens.

Summary

Taking a balanced diet free of processed foods and that includes vitamins from whole foods, our children’s bodies will get enough minerals for their hearing health. Always check with your doctor before adding any supplements that you think might be important for your child’s hearing growth.

As always, if you think you may suspect that your child is developing hearing loss symptoms, always seek the advice of a professional for a full hearing assessment.

first deaf school in america

My Experience with a Deaf Child in a Physical Education Class

When I was younger, I used to help instruct students for fitness, specifically, at a Tae Kwon Do Studio. I was only a teenager myself, so I was put in charge of classes made up of younger students.

It was harder for me to teach adults, since it was tough for me as a teenager to hold their respect. The kids were much better.

My favorite experience as an assistant instructor involved a Deaf student. He joined the class hesitantly, picking up that his parents weren’t sure if he would be able to participate successfully.

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To his credit, the main instructor was not hesitant but welcomed the boy as he would any other new student.

Of course the Deaf student struggled to understand and follow verbal instructions, but he was quick to pick up and follow what the other students were doing.

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