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(ARA) – “If you think hearing aids are synonymous with getting old or becoming less capable, think again,” says Dr. Kathy Landau Goodman, chairperson of the Audiology Awareness Campaign. Most individuals experiencing hearing loss are younger than 65, and hearing loss is significantly affecting their lives at work and home. Fortunately, with today’s wealth of discreet and stylish hearing aid options it has become easier than ever to address a hearing loss.

Today’s advanced technology digital hearing aids offer features and sound processing systems that offer wearers major advantages over older analog instruments. These features include superior sound quality, improved clarity of speech in noisy conditions, and reduction in hearing aid feedback or whistle. Some hearing aids now connect wirelessly and seamlessly to cell phones, TVs, computers, mp3 players, radios, landline phones and other electronic devices. Audio sounds are streamed directly into the hearing device using bluetooth technology.

“The first step is to have your hearing evaluated by an audiologist to determine the type and degree of your hearing loss and its impact on your ability to communicate,” says Dr. Landau Goodman. If you are able to benefit from hearing aids, the audiologist will then discuss the various types of hearing aid styles, latest technologies, and what to expect from wearing hearing instruments.

Together, you and the audiologist will select the most appropriate hearing aids to improve communication with others and to fit your lifestyle needs. To receive maximum benefit from your hearing aids, the audiologist will adjust the aids to maximize sound quality, comfort and clarity. Follow-up evaluations are necessary to get the maximum benefit from hearing instruments.

“A hearing loss does not need to restrict recreational, family or work related activities,” says Dr. Landau Goodman. Properly fitted and programmed hearing aids, as well as instruction on effective communication strategies by an audiologist, can help improve communication in most listening situations and help you stay connected to friends and family.
To coincide with Better Hearing Month in May, the AAC has partnered with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare to bring free hearing screenings to communities around the country so that people can have their hearing checked by audiologists who specialize in evaluating and treating hearing loss. National hearing screening week, called “Listen Up America Week,” is sponsored by AAC and runs May 10 to 14.

“By offering free hearing screenings throughout the United States, we have the ability to reach many Americans who might otherwise not have access to licensed audiologists.  Now these individuals will have access to audiologists who can evaluate their hearing, determine whether they have hearing loss, and then make appropriate recommendations for treating their hearing problems,” says Dr. Landau Goodman.

To find an audiologist in your area conducting free hearing screenings May 10-14, as  part of “Listen Up America Week,” visit the AAC website, or call the AAC hotline at (888) 833-EARS. All family members, regardless of age, are encouraged to have a free hearing screening.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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