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Reconnecting to the World

Imagine feeling isolated from your family, friends or coworkers. For those who have difficulty hearing, this is reality. The impact of hearing loss extends beyond the physical effects to overall quality of life.

Lori Askew noticed a gradual hearing loss for a number of years, but the Fargo resident finally had to take action at the beginning of this year.

“I began having a hard time hearing my boss,” Lori said. “I had to keep asking ‘What?’ all the time. It became so stressful and frustrating.”

Lori contacted the experienced team Sanford Audiology for help. After her examination, which lasted only approximately 20 minutes, the 53 year old was told her hearing had deteriorated, but there was a way to help.

“My audiologist was fantastic with my care,” Lori said. “She was very kind and did a great job at explaining things in a way that I could understand.”

Lori was then fitted for hearing aids and in the spring, her life changed for the better. Her husband noticed the television wasn’t turned up so loud anymore. She reconnected with her family with meaningful conversations.

“I can hear birds chirping again and the sounds of traffic while driving,” Lori said. “It has helped with job immensely.”

But what no one noticed – including Lori - were the hearing aids themselves.

“They are easy to put in and take out,” she said. “They are so small I barely notice they are in.”

Megan Bolda, audiologist at Sanford, stressed how important it is to have the ability to hear.

“Our ears are so vital in communication,” she said. “People with a hearing loss tend to isolate themselves. You need to hear to stay connected to life – for a better quality of life.”

Megan encourages anyone who suspects they have trouble with hearing to have an assessment completed as soon as possible. The exam is minimally invasive, typically takes no more than 30 minutes, and provides immediate results.

This means a plan can be formulated quickly, leading to helping patients as quickly as possible. While hearing aids are the typical form of treatment for Megan’s patients, they also provide referrals for patients who would benefit from cochlear implants.

Fargo resident Barbara Gerber also discovered what she’d been missing after getting hearing aids. The 60-year-old mother said the family dinners every Sunday weren’t nearly as enjoyable as they used to be.

“When I was in a group of people, I couldn’t understand anything,” Barbara said. “I would miss so much of the conversations at dinner. I would try to participate, but would not be able to keep up with the flow of the conversation.”

Barbara initially thought the medications she was taking might have had an adverse affect. But eventually, she suspected it was hearing loss.

A trip to Sanford Audiology in February of this year confirmed it. Through innovative testing and fitting equipment, the team is dedicated to providing the best hearing possible. With leading edge hearing aid technology, patients have access to an extensive line of digital products.

“The turnaround time was so quick,” she said. “My audiologist was so courteous. She made sure my hearing aids fit just right and that they were set at just the right volume for my needs.”

Now Barb isn’t afraid to drive, she enjoys going to the mall again. She looks forward to finally completing some renovations to her home, now that she can communicate with contractors.

Most importantly, though, she once again looks forward to Sunday dinners with her family.

“The biggest improvement for me is the quality of my relationships,” she said. “Being able to actively participate in conversations has improved my entire life. I can’t thank Sanford enough for giving me back what I’d been missing.”

To schedule an appointment, call Sanford Audiology at (701) 234-2000.

Posted Date: August 2013