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Hearing Loss

The ability to communicate is our most human characteristic. When you cannot communicate, isolation from friends, family and society often occurs. Hearing loss now ranks as the nation’s number one physical impairment, affecting more than 36 million Americans. Half of those are under age 65, according to the Better Hearing Institute.

Hearing loss can be caused by exposure to loud noises, ear infections, trauma, or ear disease; harm to the inner ear and ear drum, illness or certain medications, and deterioration due to the normal aging process. The amount of noise Americans are exposed to today also plays an important role in the recent increase of hearing loss across the nation.

You may need to have your hearing checked if you:

  • Have problems hearing in restaurants or at social gatherings.
  • Keep to yourself in noisy environments.
  • Have difficulty talking to people if you can’t see their faces.
  • Turn the TV or radio up too loud.

Mary Dutton, Au.D., an audiologist with Saint John Hospital Audiology Services, is a professional with advanced training and more than 36 years of experience diagnosing and treating hearing loss. She has a clinical doctorate degree in audiology and is licensed by the state of Kansas.

Find out how she can help you hear better. Call Saint John Hospital Rehabilitation Services at 913-680-6180.

If You Think You Have Hearing Loss

Seeing an Audiologist will ensure you will receive a comprehensive evaluation and precise measurement of your hearing loss. These experts have the training and equipment needed to inspect your ear canal, accurately measure your hearing loss, assess your unique needs, and prescribe solutions that take all this important and personalized information into account. The most difficult step in improving your hearing is the first one: recognizing you need to find out more about your hearing loss and improving your situation. After that, it's easy. Simply schedule your initial hearing consultation. Most appointments consist of these four steps:

  1. Hearing Analysis: Your ears will be visually examined and you'll be tested with the latest standard-of care methods and technology to determine the type of hearing loss you have. Your results will be illustrated in an audiogram that the Audiologist will walk you through. An impression of your ear anatomy may also be made with putty to determine if certain styles (like invisible hearing aids) are appropriate.
  2. Lifestyle Discussion: You will be asked about the types of places and listening environments you frequent to determine the range of sound settings and technological features appropriate for your lifestyle.
  3. Hearing Aid Options: You will see the different hearing aids that are designed for your level of hearing loss as well as your preferences for size, color and invisibility.
  4. Budget Discussion: Your Audiologist will help you narrow down your choice of hearing instruments based on the investment you are comfortable making.