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www.harfordsheart.com
If you remember Garrett Morris on Saturday
Night Live interpreting the news for the hearing
impaired by repeating everything that Chevy
Chase reported, only LOUDER, you may be
a potential candidate for a hearing aid. We
all begin losing our hearing in our teens,
although not everyone has hearing loss to
the extent that they need amplification.
Not surprisingly, women are more likely
to acknowledge a hearing loss than men;
according to Bob Perkins of
the Hearing
Help Center,
statistics show, on average,
most people seek help for hearing loss 7
years after problems begin to appear. The
sooner you seek help, the easier it is to
make the adjustment and to enjoy all that
you may be missing in social situations.
Answers to simple questions, such as:
do you find that you're asking people
to repeat themselves?
do you have trouble hearing in noise
situations?
do family members complain that
you turn the TV too loud?
could indicate that it's time to visit a hearing
specialist. Whether you visit an audiologist
or a hearing instrument specialist, the next
steps will be a medical checklist and an
examination of the ear canal to eliminate
issues that might be detrimental to the use
of a hearing aid, followed by a complete
evaluation with an audiometer. This
will measure your ability to distinguish
different tones and frequencies, as well
as your word recognition at various levels.
Thanks to advances in noise reduction
technology, today's digital hearing aids are
far more sophisticated, providing multiple
programming capabilities for different
environments. They can be programmed
to individual tolerances and hearing loss,
with sound frequencies tuned in increments
of 1 db. Whether in an intimate restaurant
setting, where the hearing aid can be
programmed to reduce background noise, a
noisy manufacturing plant, or a concert hall,
hearing aid users can rediscover all they've
been missing.
According to Bob Perkins, "Deafness is really
isolating and because it is gradual many people
are not aware of the extent of their hearing
loss . . . The satisfaction of restoring people
to whole hearing, watching their reaction
and that of their family members, is amazing!
I can't tell you how many people sit in my
office and cry because they can hear their
grandchildren for the first time, or they can
comfortably talk on the telephone for the
first time in years." He adds that "hearing
loss continues as we age . . . The beauty of
the newer technology is that hearing aids can
be adjusted to accommodate further loss."
There's no need to retreat from social situations
or to resort to INTERPRETATION FOR
THE HEARING IMPAIRED when a visit
to a hearing specialist may help.
Bob Perkins is a past member state Board of Hearing
Examiners, Audiologist and Speech Pathologists,
appointed by Governors Glendenning and Ehrlich.
He is certified by the National Board for Certification
in Hearing Instrument Sciences and a licensed
Maryland Hearing Aid Dispenser. Hearing Help
Center offices are located in Bel Air 410.838.0048,
Perry Hall 410.248.1114 and Timonium
410.252.9270.
Help for the
H E A R I N G I M P A I R E D
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HHT-090-01 Nov-Dec10:harford'sheart winter08 10/20/10 4:28 PM Page 70