Stethoscope for Hearing Aid
Over the years I have had a lot of requests for a stethoscope for hearing aids from my patients that are nurses and doctors.
The stethoscope is one of the most commonly used devices in any hospital and clinic, thanks to the fact that it allows the wearer to hear noises and sounds that they would be unable to hear with their own ears. These devices listen for any sounds in the body that could help them to detect sounds that indicate whether or not the body is suffering from internal problems, and the amplified sounds projected into the ears through the stethoscope make it one of the most useful devices in any doctor's medicine cabinet.
However, what happens to a doctor when he loses his hearing? Will he be able to hear the sounds of the stethoscope if he can't even hear the sounds around him? Is there anything that doctors can do to improve their hearing to ensure that they will be able to hear the sounds from their stethoscopes? Can doctors find a way to use stethoscopes with a hearing aid, and if so, how does it work?
Medical personnel don’t necessarily want to remove their hearing aids in front of the patient so that they can use their stethoscope. So the issue becomes do I remove my aids in front of the patient or just not wear them at all. Unfortunately, many times they just don’t wear them and that can become a safety issue especially for someone working in the medical field.
Stethoscope for Hearing Aid: Problems
The good news for doctors with hearing problems is that there is a stethoscope for hearing aids, and the stethoscope for hearing aid is a tool that will make their lives a lot easier. Seeing as the stethoscope plays such a critical part in the job of a doctor, it is important that the stethoscopes are modified to enable the doctor to do his job while being able to hear.
There are a number of hearing aids of different styles, but the main ones are the behind the ear and in the ear devices. Using the hearing aid on its own will be no problem, but the problems only arise when the doctor needs to use the stethoscope for treating his patient. When the doctor goes to stick the stethoscope in his ear, the hearing aid blocks off the ear canal and impedes the doctor from being able to hear the stethoscope.
A doctor that wears hearing aids may decide to take out the hearing aids in order to use the stethoscope, and there are amplified stethoscopes that are designed for those who have hearing problems. However, this may be too complex a process, and the doctor is not even guaranteed to hear the sounds due to his poor hearing. It may not even be possible for doctors to hear the important sounds from the amplified stethoscope, meaning that he may miss sounds that may be an indication of a patient's condition.
Some doctors may prefer to simply use the stethoscope by placing it directly in front of their hearing aid. This, however, may also be a problem due to the fact that most hearing aids are not able to pick up certain sounds. Seeing as the sound of a heartbeat or of a breath is much lower than the ear would normally hear, most hearing aids are not designed to pick up these sounds. Even by using the stethoscope with the hearing aid, there is a risk that the doctor will not be able to hear the sounds and detect the problems. So became vitally important that a stethoscope for hearing aids be designed for people with hearing loss in the medical profession.
Stethoscope for Hearing Aid: The Solution
Because the manufacturers of hearing aids know how important it is for doctors to be able to work with a stethoscope, they have taken great pains to deal with the major problems associated with working with a stethoscope and hearing aids:
• Tuning the hearing aid properly to enable it to pick up the sounds that are of a frequency lower than regular sounds recognized by regular hearing aids. This means that the hearing aids need to be programmed to place emphasis on the lower frequencies, as well as maps of the cochlear implant that will lower the sound detection threshold and reduce ambient noise.
• Choosing the right stethoscope or the correct interface between the stethoscope and cochlear implant or hearing aid to ensure that the stethoscope interacts flawlessly with either device.
Many stethoscopes are designed to be amplified, but these are mainly used for doctors that have mild hearing loss. For those with a more profound loss of hearing, a stethoscope for hearing aid is the best solution, as these devices are designed to not only register and amplify these sounds, but they are also made to interact easily with the hearing aid or cochlear implant.
There are two types of hearing aids used by those who are hard of hearing:
1. Behind the ear hearing aids are designed to be placed behind the ear, with a special microphone inserted into the ear canal.
2. In the canal and completely in the canal hearing aids are actually placed inside the ear canal, as they are smaller devices that fit into the ear.
With BTE hearing aids, the solution requires a telecoil in the hearing aid itself, as that will enable the hearing aid to pick up the sounds being transmitted by the stethoscope. There may also be the option of cutting a hole in the earmold of the hearing aid, but this requires a large earmold that can have a hole cut into it.
A direct audio input, or DAI, is the best solution with a BTE hearing aid, as the DAI simply connects the hearing aid to the stethoscope itself for optimum hearing. The DAI boots can be added to the hearing aid to make it easy to connect the DAI device.
For ITC or CIC hearing aids, there is a special adaptor that connects the hearing aid to the stethoscope, called the stethomate tips. These tips make it easy for regular stethoscopes to be connected to the hearing aid, and doctors are finding that the stethomate tips are making working with their stethoscopes much easier despite their hearing loss.
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