Wednesday, Nov 18, 2015
It’s stealthy at first, almost unnoticeable. The slowly rising volume on the TV. The more frequent requests for people to repeat themselves. Not wanting to eat in noisy restaurants because you can’t hear conversations. And finally, isolating yourself from family and friends because it’s getting too difficult to keep up with what is being said. If these experiences sound all too familiar, you may be suffering from hearing loss.
You’re not alone if that’s the case. According to the American Academy of Audiology, nearly 36 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. It’s the third most common chronic health condition for older adults. While hearing loss is a normal part of the aging process, the consequences can be severe. Left untreated, it can lead to social isolation, depression, anxiety, cognitive decline and even mobility issues.
Recent studies out of Johns Hopkins University have noted those with mild hearing loss are twice as likely to develop dementia, while those with severe hearing loss are up to five times more likely to develop it.
Researchers also note hearing loss often contributes to social isolation, a known risk factor for dementia. They also suspect the strained effort of understanding sounds over time can overwhelm the brains of those suffering from hearing loss, leaving them more vulnerable to dementia.
While these facts can be frightening, help is available. Harbin Clinic Audiology Rome, which was voted Best Hearing Center in the Best of Rome contest, provides a variety of services to those suffering from hearing loss. Dr. Bayle Anderson and the clinic’s audiologists go beyond fitting people for hearing aids. They provide patients with thorough hearing tests to determine what type of hearing loss they have and create comprehensive management plans to provide the best possible solution.
The hearing tests are simple and painless. They often include a physical exam of the ear itself, where the doctor looks for signs of infection or wax build-up, and an audiometer test. This helps the doctor determine where the hearing loss is centered and if it’s mild, moderate or severe.
Once evaluated, Dr. Anderson can offer patients a number of reliable, trusted hearing solutions available on the market today, from the standard over-the-ear hearing aids to custom-fit, in-the-canal hearing technologies. One of the newest and most advanced options includes the Lyric hearing aid system.
The Lyric is the first and only completely invisible, shower-proof hearing aid that can be worn all day, every day without the need for removal until it’s time to change the battery. That timeframe depends on the individual wearer but can last up to three months.
“I work with the patient to provide a custom fit based on his or her ear shape and size and medical conditions,” explained Dr. Anderson. “Lyric hearing aids are positioned completely inside the ear canals without any need for surgery or anesthesia. Because it sits so close to the eardrum, it works with the patient’s own organic ear shape to capture sound and amplify it for a purer, more natural sound.
“Patients have said they’ve found it to be a great option since they can sleep, exercise and shower in it. It really is a ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ solution that doesn’t require any maintenance until the battery runs low. And that only requires a brief trip back to my office to change.”
Lyric offers a risk-free trial period without any obligation to purchase afterward. The fitting process takes about an hour, so patients can leave Dr. Anderson’s office with their new Lyric hearing aids the very same day. Lyric wearers can remove the hearing aids if necessary, and the volume can be adjusted at any time.
Studies have shown that wearing hearing aids like the Lyric can dramatically improve one’s quality of life.
The National Council on Aging commissioned the largest-ever study of its kind on the effects of untreated hearing loss and concluded that hearing aids are clearly associated with improvements in the social, emotional, psychological and physical well being of those with hearing loss ranging from mild to severe. Both those suffering from the hearing loss and their family members said their lives were greatly improved when hearing aids were introduced.
If you would like to have your hearing or a loved one’s hearing evaluated, call Dr. Bayle Anderson at Harbin Clinic Audiology Rome for an appointment at 762-235-2280. The tests are painless. There is no sales pressure, and it could significantly improve the quality of your life and those you love.