Correcting hearing loss helps prevent social isolation, depression

After college, Patty Simone satisfied the stringent requirements to become a certified public accountant. She then accepted a position in her native Cleveland with what was then considered one of the nation’s “Big Eight” accounting firms. 

“I chose accounting because I’m one of those crazy number gurus,” admits Patty, 68. “That was back in the day when women were really trying to make their mark in the world. I decided to go the numbers route as opposed to some of the other professions.” 

Patty enjoyed her

work at the Cleveland firm, but after becoming a mother, she retired from that company so she could spend more time at home with her two daughters. 

“In  1996, we moved to Maine, where I worked part time for an accounting firm doing tax work,” Patty recounts. “Then in 2002, we moved to Florida rather than the Midwest. The move was mainly an employment decision by my husband. 

“We’ve loved our ch

oice ever since we’ve been here. But I got bored with everyone at work or in school, so I went back to accounting for a couple of years with a local tax firm.” 

Patty officially retired in 2018, and for the most part, she’s enjoyed her downtime. In recent months, however, she became annoyed with a hearing problem that forced her to constantly ask people she was engaging with to repeat themselves. 

“Unless somebody was talking very loud or was very close to me, I had a difficult time hearing them,” Patty elaborates. “Just sitting across the dinner table, which isn’t that far, I would have difficulty hearing people when they talked.

“There are enough problems affecting senior citizens like me, and I didn’t want hearing loss to be one of them, so I asked my primary care physician to recommend someone. He referred me to Trinity Hearing & Balance Center.”

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Trinity Hearing & Balance Center is the New Port Richey practice of Kelly Hansen, AuD. Dr. Hansen and fellow doctors of audiology Nikki Goldowski-Richa, AuD, and Kayla Dub, AuD, CCCA, specialize in all types of balance disorders and hearing care, including the fitting of hearing aids.

When Patty arrived at Trinity Hearing & Balance Center, she met with Dr. Dub. The audiologist’s first step was to test Patty’s hearing and determine the type and severity of her hearing loss.

“Ms. Simone first came to us on September 12 of 2022,” Dr. Dub informs. “She was having trouble  communicating  with  her  family members, hearing the television, hearing others on the phone and hearing in other day-to-day situations. We performed her first hearing test, which revealed she had a mild sensorineural hearing loss.”

The most common type of audiological impairment, sensorineural hearing loss affects about 18 percent of Americans ages 20 to 69 and nearly 50 percent of those 75 and older.

“Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by permanent damage to the inner ear,” Dr. Dub explains. “This damage is generally the result of aging and/or prolonged exposure to loud noise. Fortunately, this type of hearing loss can be corrected with hearing aids.”

Patty’s hearing loss is mild, but if not treated properly, it can lead to more serious issues.

“One important reason to treat any level of hearing loss is it can lead to social isolation, depression and other mental health problems,” Dr. Dub asserts. “Ms. Simone did the right thing in being proactive. She noticed she was struggling to hear, and her family encouraged her to seek help.

“We fit her with our top-of-the-line hearing aids.  The  devices  are  rechargeable  and Bluetooth connected to her iPhone – which she really likes. They also have different programs to help her hear in noisy environments such as restaurants, where she had trouble clearly hearing conversations.”

“Amazing” Devices

Patty is astounded by how much better she can hear with her hearing aids.

“It’s wonderful. I don’t have any hearing issues at all anymore,” she enthuses. “Sometimes I hear too much. I can hear conversations down the hallway when I go to the clubhouse to play dominoes with my friends. These devices are amazing.

“And they’re so discreet. Sometimes, people I’m sitting right next to don’t know I’m wearing hearing aids because they’re so small. And I love how they’re connected directly to my smartphone. That way, if I’m with a group of people, they aren’t interrupted by my telephone ringing.”

Patty is equally thrilled with her hearing care provider.

“Dr. Dub is pleasant, very knowledgeable and personable,” Patty raves. “She was patient with all my questions, which I probably repeated a couple of times. She made sure I understood what was going on with my ears and what the hearing aids could do for me. And she always had a smile on her face.

“I highly recommend Dr. Dub and Trinity Hearing & Balance Center to anyone having issues with their hearing.”

article by Patti DiPanfilo otos by Jordan Pysz

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    • Trinity Hearing & Balance Center

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