Add Hearing Test to Routine Screening Schedule

Long Island native Henry Resling is a retired investigator for the New York State Police. During his career in law enforcement, the 76-year-old was
regularly exposed to sirens and other loud noises. The constant, intense sound eventually had an impact on his hearing.

“My wife kept saying that my hearing was getting bad, and it was,” Henry admits. “I was missing some words when people talked to me, and I had a ringing in my ears for a long time. My wife also complained about my television being too loud. My volume level was a lot different than hers.

Henry Resling’s hearing loss was treated with a hearing aid by Sandra Maras, HAS, at Hearing 4 Life in Palm Beach Gardens and Greenacres.

Henry came to realize the importance of having a hearing test.

“Initially, I didn’t believe I had a hearing problem, so when I heard about Hearing 4 Life, I didn’t pay much attention to it. Then, a woman from the hearing center called me, so I decided to schedule an appointment for testing. My wife and I both went and got tested, and it was very evident I had a hearing loss.”

At Hearing 4 Life in Palm Beach Gardens, Henry consulted with hearing aid specialist Sandra Maras, HAS.

“Henry came in initially for a hearing evaluation because he noticed some issues with his hearing,” Sandra notes. “His problem was mostly that he wasn’t hearing clearly in crowded situations, and he couldn’t make out certain words in conversation.

“Through testing and evaluation, I determined he had a high-frequency loss, the type of loss is called sensorineural hearing loss. There’s no medication or surgery to treat this type of hearing loss. The only treatment is appropriate hearing aids determined by test results.”

Henry says he is often wary of store owners trying to sell him something, but he didn’t get that feeling from Sandra. Instead, he quickly developed a strong trust in her.

“Sandra was fantastic,” Henry raves. “She has a great bedside manner, so to speak. She’s very knowledgeable, and I was very impressed. She gave me a comprehensive evaluation and testing. It took almost two hours, then I got my hearing aids.

“Before I chose them, though, Sandra explained how different hearing aids worked, and we tested a few of them. Sandra had my wife go down the hall, and I could hear her all the way out in the front office. Without the hearing aids, I could barely hear her outside the door, so it was a considerable difference.”

After Henry and Sandra reviewed several hearing aid models, Henry chose a model that goes behind his ears with very slim tubes that go down into his ears. Henry learned that his hearing aids will help him in two ways.

“Sandra explained that these hearing aids will not only improve my hearing now, they’ll also stimulate my nerve endings to prevent my hearing from getting worse,” Henry relates. “I wear these hearing aids every day. They’re flesh-colored so they aren’t very visible. No one’s noticed them since I’ve had them, not even my kids.”

Hearing Screenings

Hearing is one of the body’s five major senses. It’s a key factor in human communication, and it helps people stay connected to the world around them. Sandra stresses the importance of maintaining good hearing. She recommends people add hearing testing to their routine health screenings.

“Not everyone has a hearing loss, but everyone should check their hearing regularly, just like they check their blood pressure,” Sandra suggests. “We go for annual physical exams to make sure everything about our health is normal, and if something is not, we take care of it.

“Hearing should be a part of that annual routine as well. We should be sure our hearing health is normal, and if it’s not, we can take steps to address it.”

Allowing hearing loss to progress without treatment can have a damaging effect on many areas of a person’s life. Unchecked hearing loss has been linked to a number of physical and emotional health disorders.

“Many studies have shown a direct link between hearing loss and Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia,” Sandra asserts. “When people can’t hear, they’re not processing sound, so the brain begins to forget specific sounds. And without sound, the brain is not being effectively stimulated, and it loses some of its ability to function.”

Depression and social isolation are also directly linked to hearing loss. There are several likely reasons that loss of hearing leads to these conditions in so many people.

“Communication, which is vital to social interactions, becomes a source of stress when someone strains to hear others speak,” Sandra explains. “The frequent misunderstandings that occur can result in embarrassment.

“Because of this, people often start to refrain from social engagements to prevent the embarrassment. They begin to isolate themselves socially, and that leads to loneliness and depression.”

Further, low-frequency hearing loss is associated with and could be considered an early indicator of a higher risk for heart attacks and stroke. Hearing loss is also tied to a three-fold higher incidence of injury-causing falls, as well as more frequent and longer hospital stays.

There are several types of hearing loss: conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss and mixed hearing loss. All three types can be treated with hearing aids.

“Conductive hearing loss results from a problem with the inner and middle ear,” Sandra educates. “Sensorineural hearing loss is the deterioration of nerves in the cochlea, and mixed hearing loss is a combination of both.

“Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common. About ninety percent of people with hearing loss have the sensorineural type. It can be caused by trauma, aging, the side effect of a medication, noise exposure or a combination of those factors.”

When people come to Hearing 4 Life, Sandra first completes her thorough evaluation and testing to determine which type of hearing loss they have and whether or not amplification is needed. If Sandra determines that amplification is needed, she then recommends hearing aids appropriate for their hearing loss type.

“The most important thing is for people to come in and have their hearing tested, whether they’re having trouble or not,” she urges. “Many people wait years to take action on their hearing issues when a simple test can point them in the right direction to correct them.”

Volume Reversal

After Henry got his hearing aids from Hearing 4 Life, he was amazed by the clarity of the sounds around him. He is extremely pleased with his hearing aids and points out the best part about having them.

“I can hear,” Henry marvels. “And yesterday, my wife asked me, How’s the ringing in your ears? It was then I realized I didn’t have the ringing in my ears anymore. I don’t know what the hearing aids do for the tinnitus, but it’s not a problem anymore. Until my wife mentioned it, I’d forgotten about it, and it used to be very bad.

“The volume on my television is down,” he adds. “Now, my wife sits next to me and asks if I can turn it up. It’s funny because the volume situation has been reversed.”

At Hearing 4 Life, a hearing aid purchase is not the end of the person’s relationship with Sandra. She provides a comprehensive maintenance plan as a complimentary service to all of her hearing aid patients.

“After you get your hearing aids, Sandra schedules you every three months for maintenance,” Henry verifies. “She checks your hearing aids, cleans them out and replaces the battery. It’s all part of her service, and you don’t have to pay for that, which I think is fantastic.

“Being in law enforcement for as long as I was, I got to where I could size up people pretty well, and Sandra is the real deal. I absolutely recommend her and Hearing 4 Life to anybody.”

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      At Hearing 4 Life , their mission is to improve the lives of people with hearing loss through better hearing. Hearing 4 Life provides comprehensive hearing care services including complete hearing evaluations, hearing loss rehabilitation, and ... Read More

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