More Than Meets The Ear

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By Barbara J. Madden, Au.D., Director/Doctor of Audiology

Do you enjoy simple hearing pleasures?

  • Conversation with friends and family
  • Follow the plot in your favorite who-done-it
  • Understand conversations in noisy restaurants
  • Feel connected in your workplace
  • Delight in hearing your grandchildren
  • Answer phone calls with confidence

Do hearing challenges overcome your day?

  • Strain to hear in background noise
  • Frequently ask people to repeat themselves
  • Avoid public activities
  • Turn the TV volume louder than others want
  • Friends, family and coworkers mumble when they speak

You may be one of 37 million Americans who suspect or have been diagnosed with hearing loss.  It is not uncommon.  In fact, hearing loss has been cited as the third most prevalent health-related condition, following high blood pressure and arthritis.  But don’t despair.  Today’s technology is so sophisticated that now there is help for just about everyone with hearing loss.

First Step: Get Tested

How do you know if you could benefit from improved hearing?  After discussing your concerns with a physician, you should schedule an appointment with an audiologist at Riddle Hospital.  Testing is comfortable and easy. The audiologist will start by learning more about you and your listening needs.  Once the hearing test has been completed in a sound protected room, the audiologist will review the findings with you and suggest solutions to address your individual challenges.

As simple as it appears, the ear is one of the most complex organs in the body, providing our mechanisms for hearing and balance.  We often take for granted that we will hear sounds and understand speech, but over time, conversations may gradually become garbled, and sounds we once enjoyed may become too soft to hear or too distorted to truly appreciate.

When left untreated, hearing loss can affect every facet of life, leading to withdrawal, social isolation, fatigue, headaches, increased stress and overall diminished quality of life.  Recent studies have shown that there are links between untreated hearing loss and dementia.

New Technology to Fit Your Lifestyle

Much can be done to improve speech understanding and quality of life. Today’s hearing solutions come in a variety of models, styles and colors.  The instruments themselves are now smaller than ever, offering high fidelity sound quality and sophisticated sound processing features which can be ordered depending on the specific needs you report.

When audiologists assess an individual’s listening needs, difficulty understanding speech in the presence of background noise is the most commonly reported problem of people with hearing loss.  Because many of the activities we enjoy most in life take place in noisy environments, it is important that hearing aids offer great sound quality and comfort features for noise control.  Through a combination of noise reduction and directionality, today’s digital hearing instruments improve your ability to tolerate noise and at the same time enhance your understanding of speech in background noise.

Because we each have specific needs, an audiologist will guide you to the best hearing solution. Lifestyle, cosmetics, ease of use, simplicity and price all need to be considered before a recommendation is made.  Remember, one size does not fit all.  Your individual needs and preferences must be considered for your hearing solution to be most successful!


For more information or to schedule an evaluation or treatment, contact the Audiology Department at Riddle Hospital.

Barbara J. Madden, Au.D., Doctor of Audiology/Director

Catherine M. Marino, Au.D., Doctor of Audiology

Denise E. Stewart, M.S., Clinical Audiologist

Lisa C. Mackenzie, M.S., Clinical Audiologist

RIDDLE HOSPITAL Audiology & Hearing Aid Center

1118 West Baltimore Pike, Suite 207

Media, PA 19063

(484) 227-3200-phone      (484) 227-3265-fax