Monday, February 23, 2015

Here's to your Hearing

During the month of the year when so many healthcare providers and organizations are focused on promoting heart health, we wanted to do something different. Not that we don’t support raising awareness for heart health… in fact, we had several employees participate in the National “Go Red” Day on Friday, February 6. Those who made a $5 donation to our Cardiac Rehab Fund through the LMH Foundation got to wear jeans with their red shirts while giving to a good cause. The Cardiac Rehab Fund provides scholarships for individuals who need assistance to participate in our Cardiac Rehab program. It’s one way we can support heart health here locally!

Okay, enough about that. We’ve officially done our part to promote heart health awareness. This month, let’s talk about something that isn’t as commonly discussed… your hearing. Whether you are a child, a parent, or a grandparent, you need your ears to be working at their best. Think of all that you could miss if they weren’t – the sound of the ocean, birds singing, your favorite sports team’s fight song… the list goes on and on. (And if you can’t tell, I think I’m one of many who is ready for a season other than winter… bring on spring!)

What did you say? I couldn’t hear you.

Unfortunately, it’s estimated that 28 million Americans have some type of hearing loss. Because most problems develop gradually, many people don’t realize there is an issue with their hearing early enough. The good news is that we know a lot about how to recognize some common signs and symptoms of hearing loss so that we can get help for ourselves or for our loved ones.

Signs that you or a loved one may have a hearing problem:

  • Frequently asking people to repeat themselves
  • Often turning an ear toward a sound to hear it better
  • Understanding people better when you wear your glasses or look directly at their faces
  • Losing your place in group conversations
  • Keeping the volume on your radio or TV at a level that others say is too loud
  • Having pain or ringing in your ears
  • Noticing that some sounds remain clear (often low-pitched sounds like the bass line in music) while others seem fuzzy (frequently women’s and children’s high-pitched voices)

Hearing loss can be subtle. The people you care about might not realize how much of the conversation they miss, and they don’t want to be dismissed as “too much bother.” They also may be afraid to “say the wrong thing” if they misinterpret a comment. Try to help them understand that a hearing test could give them peace of mind, improve their quality of life, and protect them from problems that arise when they can’t hear… like when an oven timer goes off.

Let’s talk about Hearing Aids

Hearing aids have come a long way since they first came out as an option for hearing loss. Years ago, they used to be big and bulky – with even bigger batteries that felt clunky on your ear. Now, hearing aids are much less visible. Some are so small that others don’t realize you have one at all. They can be custom molded for comfort, and come with lots of other options to best meet your hearing needs. 

If you think that you or a loved one is having difficulty hearing, it’s best to consult with a certified audiologist, who can conduct a test to detect any hearing problems and develop a treatment plan to prevent additional hearing loss. In our community, we are fortunate to have an audiologist in our Ear, Nose, and Throat office who can work with you individually. You can call the office directly at (574) 753-2222 to schedule an appointment, or learn more about your options.

This month, take advantage of our services and employees that are “hear” to help. Here’s to your hearing, your heart, and your overall health!

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