Giving Hearing Impaired People earACCESS to Quality Life
According to World Health Organization (WHO), 360 million people or 5.3% of the world’s population have disabling hearing loss. Here in the Philippines, based on the National Registry of the Department of Health (DOH) in year 1997, hearing impairment cases were reported to be at 17% or 97,957 per 577,345 population. (source: senate.gov.ph)
A study conducted by Dr. Charlotte Chiong, Director of the Philippine National Ear Institute, reported that, “At least eight profoundly hearing deaf babies are born everyday in the Philippines or one deaf baby born every three hours.” Thankfully, now it can easily be detected. Hospitals nowadays are providing “Hearing test” to babies in order to detect this kind of impairment.
There are many more factors that can cause hearing loss such as follows:
- Excessive noise exposure
- Viral infections (such as measles or mumps)
- Ototoxic drugs (medications that damage hearing)
- Wax buildup
- Dislocation of the middle ear bones (ossicles)
- Foreign object in the ear canal
- Infections of the ear canal or middle ear resulting in fluid or pus buildup
- Perforation or scarring of the eardrum
- AND MANY MORE!
People suffering from hearing loss directly affects their quality of life. This type of disability limits a person’s capabilities leading to poor productivity. Some even suffer from depression and anxiety. The good news is 90-95% of people with hearing loss can be treated using a hearing aid.
Though hearing aids are greatly available in the market, unfortunately, most of them are usually expensive. But now, there is a chance for Filipinos with hearing problems to finally afford hearing aids. With the arrival of earAccess, Inc., a Canadian company that offers the ACCESS bran, more Filipinos will have the opportunity to avail, be able to hear properly and live quality lives.
ACCESS® hearing aids are made tough to withstand harsh climates, with their triple barrier that provides protection from dust, sweat and extreme temperatures. The exposed metal connectors are gold plated, while the electronic circuits are coated with protective polymer, with nanocoating of that ultra-thin layer of liquid repellent applied to all surfaces. They are easy to maintain, with spare parts readily available, and are wireless compatible with a telecoil that can be used for Bluetooth wireless compatibility.
The ACCESS line of hearing aids combines quality and low price and targets the underserved communities who cannot afford hearing aids. These products include ACCESS® 1 BTE 13 and ACCESS® 2 BTE 13 POWER.
ACCESS 1 BTE 13 and ACCESS 2 BTE 13 POWER are both entry-level, quick-fit and programmable hearing aids packed with utmost quality and advanced digital sound processors for high-quality sound and outstanding feedback cancellation. The two products come with voice clarifier, fixed startup delay and a notification feature in case of low battery. The audio settings can also be adjusted through a simple pivot of the trimmer to either a flat, gentle slope, slope or ski slope position. The two products also come with a 2-mm inner diameter tube that’s cut to length, with size 13 zinc-air 1.4-volt battery.
The ACCESS® 1 BTE 13 is designed for users with Mild to Moderate hearing loss while the ACCESS® 2 BTE 13 POWER, though similar to ACCESS® 1 BTE 13 in terms of features, comes with a more powerful speaker intended to suit Filipinos with Severe to Profound hearing loss. These models are 100-percent digital and comes with usual parts such as Mic, Hook, Volume Control, Battery Door and Trimmer Door, and with approximately 14 days of battery life.
The impact of hearing aids on people’s lives can never be fully quantified, according to earAccess Inc. CEO Audra Renyi. She tells the story of 16-year-old Maher from Jordan. Maher is from a poor family and has hearing loss in both ears.
“When I first met him, he was very shy and reserved. A year later, after we fitted him with hearing aids, he became a totally different person. He was outgoing, smiled and joked all the time. He learned to be a carpenter and sold his artworks and earned money to support his family. We even teased him about having a girlfriend. Access to hearing aids fundamentally transformed him.”
Renyi also related the story of Mahmoud, an 8-year-old boy also from Jordan. After being fitted him with a hearing aid for the first time, he smiled and started to laugh because he could now hear the voices of people around him.
“Mahmoud’s father then walked into the room without the boy seeing him. When the father called out his name, Mahmoud turned around to hear his father’s voice. The boy burst into tears because it was the first time he heard his father. Thanks to the hearing aid, he now hears everyone. He is now connected to his world.”
“earAccess is not all about just hearing. It is about our company giving people access to equal opportunities and empowering them to reach their full potential,” Renyi explained.
Soon, earAccess will launch an early childhood intervention program for children under 5 years old in the Philippines.
“We will expand our community screening initiatives to include day-care centers and kindergarten facilities. We will target parents to help them identify signs of potential hearing loss and encourage them to get their child access to hearing care when needed.”
earAccess is readily available in Watsons stores nationwide! To know more about earAccess and its ACCESS® 1 and ACCESS® 2 hearing aids, like the earAccess Facebook page, www.facebook.com/earaccessph or visit https://earaccess.com.