By: Jamie Brace | Category: Other | Issue: January 2007
Karrie J. Cuttler, AuD, CCC/A, a Doctor of Audiology continues to provide a full-time presence to patients at Ear Nose Throat & Allergy Center in Claremore and Owasso. Dr. Cuttler is a National Board Certified/State Licensed audiologist with 10 years experience in hearing evaluation and rehabilitation with infants, children and adults.
“Did you know that hearing loss has been cited as the third most common health related problem, and the most common chronic health condition affecting older adults,” asked Dr. Karrie Cuttler, AuD / CCCA at the Ear Nose Throat & Allergy Center.
With over 28 million Americans having some type of hearing loss, only approximately six million own hearing aids. “Untreated hearing loss among older persons contributes to their sense of anxiety, depression, and causes social isolation. Persons with hearing loss tend to no longer attend social gatherings, church, or other get-togethers they once enjoyed because they tire of reading lips or constantly asking for repetition,” added Mark Welch, D.O. at the Ear Nose Throat & Allergy Center.
While seniors used to deny their hearing loss completely, a new study found that although a majority of seniors do acknowledge they have a hearing loss, they reported that it has no effect on them. “Because of this, it is usually a spouse, friend, or other family member that initially suggests a communication problem exists,” explains Dr. Welch.
“The advancement in hearing aid technology has been remarkable. With the miniaturization of the digital circuit, hearing aids are now able to amplify only those frequencies of each individual hearing loss without over amplifying those frequencies that are still within the normal hearing range. The digital circuits also allow for noise filters, feedback cancellation, and other advanced features,” explains Dr. Cuttler. Certain hearing aids now have rechargeable batteries! As seen in the GN ReSound Pulse hearing aids which can run 20 hours off a single five hour charge. This is a great option for those seniors with dexterity problems because hearing aid batteries are very small.
When purchasing a hearing aid, one can expect to spend from $1,200-3,000 per hearing aid for a quality digital hearing instrument. It is important to be educated when purchasing a hearing aid. “Purchase price should not be the only consideration in buying a hearing aid. Product reliability can save repair costs and the frustration of a malfunctioning hearing aid,” added Cuttler.
Cuttler suggest asking questions when considering a hearing instrument:
“Hearing aid options, which are appropriate for your particular hearing loss and listening needs, the size, and shape of your ear and ear canal, and the dexterity of your hands will all be considered in deciding what type of hearing aid is the best for you,” explained Dr. Mark Welch, Board Certified ENT Specialist.
Some common symptoms of hearing loss include: ringing in ears, frequently misunderstanding or asking for repetition, turning the television up louder than others, difficulty following television dialogue, difficulty understanding on the telephone, history of loud noise exposure, or history of hearing loss in the family. “If you experience one or more of these symptoms, a complete hearing evaluation from a national certified Doctor of Audiology is recommended,” said Dr. Mark Welch. Remember: Hearing loss is more noticeable than a hearing aid!