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HEALTH   -   SENIORS
Senior Smarts
February, 2013 - Issue #100
Can You Hear Me Now?
"Hearing loss can be very subtle and develop gradually over many years so that people with hearing impairment don't recognize it," says Geneva Knoles of Visiting Angels (263-2273 www.visitingangels.com/santaclarita). "A loss of one or two decibels per year is not noticeable, but after 10 to 20 years, hearing loss adds up. It's also not uncommon for people to develop partial hearing loss for high-pitched sounds that affect the clarity in which speech is heard, but still have normal hearing sensitivity for low-pitched sounds, so seniors may hear other people talking but can't understand them. It's a frustrating experience to say the least. No dramatic signs or symptoms occur to alert people that their hearing is changing and the loss is often only detectable with a professional hearing test. Since early detection of hearing problems means there are more options in treatment intervention, seniors should be encouraged to have their hearing checked annually," explains the home-care professional.

"Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting seniors," shares Myles McNamara of Comfort Keepers In-home Care (287-4200 www.comfortkeepers.com). "Nearly 50 percent of Americans over the age of 75 have some degree of loss, with men suffering more commonly than women. That being said," says McNamara, "not all hearing loss is 'normal.' There could be medical reasons, like an ear infection or wax buildup, that cause the impairment. First, be sure to eliminate the chance that there is an acute medical condition causing the hearing loss. Once you do that, an audiologist will be able to provide you with many options to improve hearing and quality of life."

The Hearing Aid, Demystified
At the hearing aid fitting, you will receive the hearing aids you selected. They are programmed based on a prescription that is specific to each person's hearing loss. The hearing professional may make adjustments after you try the hearing aids to make sure the settings and fit are ideal for you.

To get the most out of your hearing aids, ongoing cleaning and maintenance after your hearing aid purchase is vital to ensure you receive optimum performance. All patients are encouraged to come in for regular hearing aid checkups and cleaning. Repairs, maintenance, cleanings and warranties come with all brands of hearing aids and in-office repairs are offered when possible on most makes/models.

When hearing aids are not enough or not appropriate, there are devices available for the TV, telephone, FM classroom amplification, conference mic's and sound alert devices.
Nola Aronson of Nola Aronson's Advanced Audiology has served the Santa Clarita community for 28 years and the LA County for over 30 years. She and her team of hearing experts love to help you hear. 253-EARS (3277) www.scvadvancedaudiology.com

Common Hearing Aid Concerns, Answered
I'm worried that I won't be able to afford a hearing aid.

Audiologists understand that people have budgets - and that you need to stick to yours. Special offers and discounts are available regularly. A unique program, Care Credit, is also available. Care Credit allows for 0-percent financing on approved credit for 12 months.

I'm worried that big, bulky hearing aids will make me look old.

The new devices are tiny, discreet, don't require bulky parts and can even allow you to be "linked" to your cell phone, television and/or landline by a touch of a button. (We think that makes you look cool, not old!)
I'm worried that I won't find "the best" hearing aid.

There is no "best" hearing aid. There is only the "right one" for you. Selection of the "right" hearing aid will depend on your degree of hearing loss, your listening needs and expectations. Your audiologist will fully test and evaluate your hearing loss before you can find the hearing aid that is most appropriate for you. You will then be provided follow-up care, education, training and hearing aid accessories so that you can achieve the best possible results from your hearing aids.

You owe it yourself to not miss a sound! Your hearing is an important investment for a quality life. Don't wait any longer to hear what you're missing.
At Audiology Associates, Patrice Rifkind, Au.D., and Kevin Bolder, Au.D. have over 40 years of combined experience. 284-1900 www.audiologyassociates.net
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