The two most common causes of hearing loss are age-related and noise-induced. But are you aware of the major studies that report older adults with hearing loss are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and the risk rises as a person’s hearing loss worsens. “Those with mild hearing impairment are nearly twice as likely to develop dementia compared to those with normal hearing,” the report states. “The risk increases three-fold for those with moderate hearing loss, and five-fold for those with severe impairment, compared to those with normal hearing.”
“Although further studies are being conducted, hearing aids may delay or even prevent memory loss,” says Jennifer Steffler of Hearing Aid Service in Guelph. The bottom line remains the same: hearing loss, to whatever degree, affects quality of life, and as one of the fastest growing chronic conditions facing Canadians today, regular ear checkups make sense. Not sure if hearing loss has affected you? Steffler Hearing Aid Service understands one’s hesitation, and to simplify your decision, offers complimentary demo appointments.
When you come to Steffler Hearing Aid Services, your appointment is similar to visiting an audiologist. During your demo appointment, your case history will be noted and the complimentary hearing test administered. If you choose to go forward with the device of your choice, Jennifer will arrange your subsequent hearing aid fittings and regular follow-ups. “We offer every model and size from many manufacturers to suit the needs and lifestyles of our clients,” Jennifer says. “It’s a rapidly changing field technologically, so we are constantly upgrading to the latest models, including hearing aids that you can control with your iPhone.”
A tiny or “hidden” hearing aid is created to be more powerful than before and is especially suitable for those who are active and have no dexterity issues. If dexterity is a problem, larger styles and behind-the-ear models are also available. “We can custom size as well, and build the hearing device Jennifer has been in the field for 16 years, having learned about the industry from one of the best – her grandfather, Michael Steffler. Since 1992, Steffler Hearing has brought an indispensable service to the Guelph area, and rarer still, Jennifer makes house calls.
“Because many of our clients are homebound, we find it easier to go to the homes of our clients,” she notes.
Hearing is Personal
Jennifer is sensitive to people who have difficulty accepting their hearing loss. “It’s a grieving process,” Jennifer acknowledges. “Some people who come to us may hold off getting a hearing aid and, in those cases, we’ll usually recommend a follow-up. As part of our customer service, we help educate by explaining what to make the client aware of. We ask them to pay attention to see if they have difficulty differentiating or isolating sounds in a noisy room, frequencies that don’t sound clear, or missing consonant sounds. Eventually, the client does begin to notice and they come back to us.”
Years ago, a person might have been in their 70s before receiving their first hearing test. Now the recommended age is mid-40s and often the test is integrated with a physical. Jennifer comments that amplified rock music and concerts from the late 60s and early 70s have affected an entire generation of boomers to the impact iPods will have on the hearing of children now and in the future.
“The ear buds go deep into the ear and parents should be made aware. Some models have parental locks on them. In industry, workers are now limited to two consecutive hours on a jackhammer, and we make custom plugs for workers in many different noise related or ear-affected activities, including swim, musician, and noise plugs, and also pilot molds that attach to a pilot’s head set.”
Meanwhile, if you’re concerned about the hearing loss of a loved one, “nagging” or making the person feel bad is not solving the issue. To communicate more effectively, Jennifer recommends eye contact, rather than yelling, and repeating your sentence differently in the event the person doesn’t catch linguistic nuances and consonants. “It’s important to know too that hearing aids increase audio, but it doesn’t repair damage,” Jennifer explains. “The reason for the devices is to assist with sound amplification.” Ask Jennifer about assistive listening devices, which they also offer.
Steffler Hearing Aid Service welcomes most third-party insurance companies, and are located at 200 Yorkshire Street North (the corner of Yorkshire and Suffolk Street), in Guelph. Call 519-823-8235 for more information or to arrange your appointment. You can also view their website at www.stefflerhearing.com.