As many as half of the hearing aids on the market today are made of materials that are made from recycled plastic or PVC.
As a result, these products have a limited life span and can not be reused.
To help combat this issue, researchers from the Department of Industrial Engineering and Technology (DEET) and the Department for Science and Technology, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Science (BSIS) have developed a hearing aid testing test that is able to detect and quantify hearing aids.
This is a joint project between DEET and BISIS and the aim is to develop a test that can accurately detect hearing aids and identify the most suitable materials.
The test will be used to help detect the use of hearing aids for a range of different purposes such as improving speech and hearing, helping people with hearing loss or to reduce fatigue and improve cognitive function.
For those with hearing impairments, the hearing aid tests will help to identify and quantify the need for a hearing aids replacement, said Pradeep Kumar, the principal investigator at DEET.
The hearing aid test is an accurate test that detects the presence of a hearing device, said Kumar.
“For example, if the device is made of polypropylene or PVC, it is not detected as a hearing loss device,” he said.
“It helps us to evaluate the quality of materials being used in a hearing replacement.
We also assess the durability of the materials,” said Kumar, who is also a researcher at BISES.
The researchers hope to eventually develop a hearing test that does not require human participation and that can be administered in a hospital or by a qualified healthcare professional.
The hearing aid detection test is being developed by DEET as part of the research into the use and sustainability of hearing aid materials.
The study aims to explore the impacts of hearing loss on hearing and hearing health in a population and help develop sustainable solutions for the hearing and the hearing impaired population.
A hearing aid can be made from many different materials and has different shapes, size and materials, but the one that is most commonly used today is polypropylene, the most commonly found material used in hearing aids today.
The research was conducted by a team of scientists from the DEET’s Advanced Materials Institute (AMPI), BISS, and the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), along with a team from De La Salle University, France.
The researchers tested over 20 hearing aid products for a variety of properties, including chemical composition, shape, weight, chemical strength, and chemical conductivity.
The results showed that most hearing aid tested are made with polypropene, which is relatively cheap and readily available.
“This means that a hearing-aid manufacturer can use the polypropylon material as a material to make a range from hearing aids to ear plugs,” said Dr Rupesh Kumar, lead researcher from DEET at the time of the study.
The team tested the materials to detect the presence and intensity of the chemical properties and to detect whether the materials have any adverse effects on the hearing of those who wear them.
“Most hearing aids tested have a range in strength, conductivity, and color,” Kumar said.
“We found that the strength of hearing devices tested in the hearing test ranged from 0 to 3.5 and the conductivity of hearing materials varied from 0.7 to 1.5.”
As an example, a hearing hearing aid that has a strength of 3.7 is less than the hearing device tested.
This is because of the low conductivity and the strength has less power than the strength in the ear plug.
“It indicates that the materials are not harmful to the hearing,” said the study’s lead researcher, Dr Rakesh Kumar, from BISE.
In addition to the study, the researchers have developed other testing methods that can detect hearing aid ingredients.
“The hearing test can be used as a diagnostic test for assessing the presence or quality of hearing in people,” Kumar explained.
“If there is a test result, it indicates whether or not the hearing loss is due to the chemical or the physical properties of the device.”
The researchers also found that many of the products tested had no known adverse effects such as noise or heat.
“These products were tested in a very small number of people and the results show that there is no evidence of adverse effects,” Kumar added.
The study has been published in the journal Biochimica et Biophysica Acta.
For more information, visit the research website: https://www.beibisis.org.in/research/hearing-aid-testing-and-sustainability-of-hearing aids