May is National Better Hearing Month and Hearing Health Care Inc. in Shawnee and the American Academy of Audiology are encouraging the public to make an appointment with an audiologist if they suspect hearing loss for themselves or any of their loved ones.

According to the National Institutes of Health NIDCD, approximately 20 percent (48 million) of American adults aged 20 to 69, have some trouble with hearing and approximately 28.8 million could benefit from the use of hearing aids. Among adults aged 70 and older with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids, fewer than one in three (30 percent) has ever used them.

As the baby boomer population ages, more Americans are forced to face hearing health challenges. Growing numbers of younger Americans (including millennials and GenX’ers) are also reporting hearing problems. The NIH NIDCD also states that five in 10 young people listen to music or other audio too loudly and that four in 10 young people are around “dangerously loud noise during events like concerts and sports games.” Occupational noise is another factor impacting hearing in people of all ages who work outdoors, in factories, fulfillment centers, etc.

“Technology has progressed extensively and hearing aids are no longer the bulky

contraptions of years past,” stated Dr. Calyn Russ audiologist at Hearing Health Care Inc. and member of the American Academy of Audiology. Dr. Russ explained that hearing aid companies have stepped up to the plate to make hearing aids that are virtually undetectable. “They can be purchased in a wide range of colors and styles. Many hearing aids are now adjustable with smart phones.”

“Audiologists are the experts in hearing health,” Dr. Kalies added. “Hearing aids are not always the only or recommended solution, which is why it’s important to see an audiologist to further determine the appropriate treatment.” Sometimes the cause is temporary or a symptom of another illness or disease. An audiologist will run various tests to determine the cause and will be able to recommend treatment.

Some signs of hearing loss may include:

Suddenly having to turn up the volume of the television, radio, or stereo and having

other family members complain that the volume is too loud.

Difficulty understanding people speaking to you and asking people to repeat themselves.

Difficulty with phone conversations and understanding the other person.

Sudden inability to hear the door bell, the dog barking, and other household sounds.

People telling you that you speak too loudly.

Ringing in the ears.

“Hearing loss is a problem with people of all ages,” said Dr. Kalies. “If you or any of your family members experience difficulty in hearing, you should make an appointment with an audiologist.”

About Hearing Health Care, Inc

Hearing Health Care, Inc., has served Shawnee and its surrounding communities for over 70 years.

When Sonotone Shawnee first opened its doors in Shawnee, Oklahoma, in April 1947 as a hearing aid place, little did the owner imagine that the practice would continue for over seven decades! From its beginning in downtown Shawnee, Sonotone was renamed Allan’s Hearing Center and was relocated to Benedict St, where it stayed for over 30 years. In 1990, Dr. Kalies renamed the company as Hearing Health Care and bought the practice from his father, Frank Kalies. In 2011, HHC moved to its present location on Kickapoo Ave.

The American Academy of Audiology is the world's largest professional organization of, by and for audiologists. The active membership of more than 12,000 is dedicated to providing quality hearing care services through professional development, education, research, and increased public awareness of hearing and balance disorders. To find an audiologist, go to www.audiology.org/FindAnAudiologist.