How's your hearing?

November 3, 2009 11:16:43 AM PST
Hearing is something most of us take for granted, but hearing loss is the number one birth defect and nearly 1 in 5 school-aged children have some degree of hearing loss, says audiologist Linda S. Remensnyder, AuD.Hearing loss is the third most common condition in those over 64. Noise exposure is a significant contributor to the epidemic of hearing loss in children and in adults, she adds.

Dr. Remensnyder says many people are in denial about their hearing loss. She cites a survey by the Better Hearing Institute that points out many with hearing loss think they are too young to have it; others say they are afraid of wearing big bulky hearing aids.

But Dr. Remensnyder says hearing aids have come a long way in recent year. The technology keeps improving. One hearing aid is so small it's barely visible. Another device called "Passion" is available in an array of colors for the fashion conscious. "Mind" is a brand new hearing aid that can "talk to you" in 22 different languages (After all, hearing loss isn't for only those who speak English, she says.) It also has Zen-like chimes to help relieve stress after a bad day. "Inteo" is a model that's considered the HD-TV of hearing aids. The prices run between $1,800 and $3,500 depending on the model.

For more information on these news devices or to find an audiologist in your neighborhood, visit www.widexusa.com.

Take this quick test to see if you have any of the nine classic signs of hearing loss

  • Do I hear sound but have trouble understanding words?
  • Do I have difficulty hearing the soft-sounding voices of women or children?
  • Is it difficult to hear and understand others in public places such as restaurants, stores, theatres or any place where there is background noise?
  • Do others complain that the volume is too loud while I'm watching TV or listening to the radio?
  • Do I find myself asking people to repeat themselves?
  • Do people seem to mumble?
  • Do family members or friends get annoyed by my hearing difficulties?
  • Do I have a problem hearing while speaking on the telephone or cell phone?
  • At the end of the day, do I feel tired from straining to hear?

    About the audiologist

    Linda S. Remensnyder, Au.D., holds her professional doctorate in Audiology from the University of Florida in Gainesville. She was the first Doctor of Audiology in the State of Illinois and is Board Certified. Dr. Remensnyder is President of Hearing Associates, P.C., a private practice in Audiology with offices located in Libertyville, Gurnee, and Lincolnshire; it was established in 1980. She was Head of the Audio-Vestibular Laboratory at the Naval Regional Medical Center at Great Lakes, prior to her current position.

    Dr. Remensnyder is Board Certified in Audiology and served on the Board of Governors of the American Board of Audiology. She was awarded the LUCI award which recognizes women in Lake County who have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills and business savvy.


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