Hearing the problem, and addressing it when young

Larrissa Leung
Early and effective intervention is the key to ensure hearing loss is less of a problem for children in their future lives.
Larrissa Leung
Hearing the problem, and addressing it when young

Cloe Yang, director of audiology training at Sonova Grand Hearing Institute, showcases the new Phonak lines that are equipped with the new-generation PRISM chip, which features double the memory and more connectivity possibilities with low power consumption.

Early and effective intervention is the key to ensure hearing loss is less of a problem for children in their future lives, and Sonova, the world's leading hearing solution provider, has unveiled its global flagship Phonak Naida Paradise line in China for kids with hearing impairments.

Tian Hongbin, an official from the hearing science popularization committee of the Chinese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine, said hearing impairment will harm the development of a child's speech, grammar and communication capabilities. But early discovery and early intervention can help.

"Our ear has 15,000 cells, while the health and number of these cells are affected by the intensity and frequency of different sounds that are heard," Tian said. "When children with hearing impairments receive audio signals, there is no echo, failing to trigger a response from the brain."

With a lack of corresponding development from the auditory center, children will feel scared. This may result in children demonstrating extreme or abnormal behavior, such as isolation, and an unwillingness to communicate with others. Social integration becomes difficult. This can negatively impact schooling, employment, as well as familial relationships, he added.

Further, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it worse, as many lessons are now delivered virtually so children often wear headphones, which can be quite detrimental to their existing hearing impairment.

To address the problem, Switzerland-based Sonova has introduced its Phonak Naida Paradise in China.

It is expected to prioritize three main goals: improving social and emotional connection, awareness, as well as physical and mental health. The new Phonak lines are equipped with the new-generation PRISM (processing real-time intelligent sound management) chip, which features double the memory and more connectivity possibilities with low power consumption.

"One of the largest issues that children with hearing impairments face is the stigmatization of having to wear one, and that it is seen as a 'disability' that can negatively impact their mental health", said Cloe Yang, director of audiology training at Sonova Grand Hearing Institute.

"To combat this, developments in Phonak Naida Paradise have been tailored to the specific needs of our children. In addition to being waterproof, we have made the hearing aids in vibrant colors.

"Traditionally, hearing aids were skin-colored, so that they could be easy to hide. However, in our goal to destigmatize this, we have intentionally done so to tell our children that there is no shame in wearing a hearing aid," Yang said.

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