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Most of us easily remember those times when we went to a family birthday party or a restaurant and didn’t have to think twice before we could hear what everyone was saying around. from U.S. We might even remember times when we could follow two conversations at the same time. While it may seem like the background noise is just a nuisance, or maybe it’s all young people who like very loud background music, it’s more likely you.
If you’re having a harder time following a conversation at your favorite restaurant or hanging out with friends and you’re over 50, you may be among the 50 million people living with the third most common chronic disease. in the elderly: hearing loss.
Providing the proper diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss is an important part of the work that Dr. Keith N. Darrow, a clinical audiologist and neuroscientist, does every day at one of the centers of excellence in audiology across the country. He declares:
“The challenge is to help adults recognize their hearing loss early in order to have the best treatment prognosis and to help them avoid the pitfalls of life without good hearing. Unfortunately, too many people don’t understand that the value of hearing loss treatment includes not only helping people hear their best, but it also includes reducing their experience of tinnitus, helping them feel more confident. and to remain independent, and help them have less “old age” by preventing severe decline and dementia. “
Donna O, one of Darrow’s patients, knows firsthand the isolation and debilitating effects of living with hearing loss. Last June, at her birthday party – which is an annual family reunion weekend – Donna realized that she was missing most of the conversations around her.
She said: “Things really got out of hand for me when my son pulled me aside and asked me why I seemed to be mad at everyone and not be part of the party. . I was heartbroken when he told me that my granddaughter was upset that I wasn’t spending time with her. “
Once Donna heard this she knew something was wrong and she needed to get checked out.
After the weekend was over, Donna talked to her son more and they decided to seek help from their local Clinic certified Excellence In Audiology. Donna, her son and granddaughter all met Darrow’s team for almost an hour to talk about what she was going through, how her difficulty hearing others impacted her life, and how that everyone in the family cared about. They also discussed Donna’s goals and treatment expectations.
Once Donna passed all the tests, the diagnosis was clear. Donna, like so many others over the age of 60, has been diagnosed with stage 2 hearing loss. As Darrow explains:
“Hearing loss is a natural process of aging and can start even earlier for people exposed to loud noises or to certain medications like chemotherapy. Donna has had two hits against her, both her age and her treatment history. against breast cancer. So it was something we had to start treatment immediately to help her get her hearing back. “
Donna and her family learned that once she started treatment, although there would be an adjustment period, she would hear well on day one and hear well on day 30.
Many Darrow patients are anxious when it comes to treating their hearing loss. Darrow’s latest book, “Preventing Decline, Advances in the Medical Treatment of Hearing Loss and Dementia,” details many of the reasons so many patients fear treating their hearing loss; including fear of being sold something they don’t need, fear of getting old, and fear of the unknown. Her book also contains a Top 10 List which includes everything a patient needs to know to help them choose the right hearing health specialist.
“Every patient comes with a story of a loved one, friend or neighbor who has had a negative experience with hearing aids, which is why we take the time to discuss the progress of treatment, the affordability of our treatment program and our 100% satisfaction guarantee, this seems to help many patients overcome their fears, ”said Darrow.
Donna knows that her hearing loss is not something that can be cured and that the treatment schedule she follows today will change over time, but she also knows that she can hear better than she has. done over the past five years and is enjoying life again. She urges others like her to seek treatment at a Certified Excellence in Audiology center like the one she visited and follow the specialist’s treatment plan.
After reflecting on her own missteps and realizing that she should have sought treatment sooner, she is eternally grateful that her son had the difficult conversation with her and that she can now spend endless time enjoying each and every. conversation with him and the others.
Donna says, “I’m in my early sixties and I still have a lot of life to live. I don’t want to spend another birthday feeling lonely and isolated, so I made the decision to hear from me. better and in order to use each key, I must open the doors to a more fulfilled, independent and active way of life. “