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May is Better Hearing Month

(Anchorage, AK—April 20, 2012)  The American Academy of Audiology and ACENT, Alaska Center for Ear, Nose and Throat recognize the month of May as Better Hearing and Speech Month.  This month of awareness is a good time to analyze your own hearing and determine if you are one of the estimates 36 million Americans who have a hearing loss that can be treated.  Although hearing problems are commonly associated with the normal aging process, more than half of all hearing impaired persons are younger than 65.  With the increase of personal music players (MP3s/iPods) and ear buds, the number of Americans experiencing hearing loss at a younger age is growing.

You may have hearing loss if you:

·         Frequently ask people to repeat themselves

·         Often turn your ear toward a sound to hear it better

·         Understand people better when you wear your glasses or look directly at their faces

·         Lose your place in group conversations

·         Keep the volume on your radio or television at a level others say is too loud

·         Have pain or ringing in your ears

“People who see themselves or loved ones in these statements should get a hearing test,” said Jennifer Johnson, Doctor of Audiology at ACENT.  “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 normal aging process,” explains Johnson.

“Reports also show that hearing loss can be related to heart attack, dementia, depression, anxiety, and falling,” claims Johnson.

“Even a very slight hearing loss can have an impact on your daily life,” said Johnson.  “Hearing loss is treatable, and there is no reason for anyone to miss all the important sounds of life.”

Dr. Johnson recommends an annual hearing checkup for people age 45 and up. Dr. Johnson specializes in preventing, identifying, assessing and treating hearing disorders.  She can prescribe and provide hearing devices (aids) as well as custom accessories designed to protect hearing for those who work in construction, oil production, law enforcement, hunters and music lovers.

            ACENT offers the most advanced audiology equipment and services in the state in addition to their ENT and Faces Medical Spa practices.  The office was established in 2000 and is headed by Board Certified physicians Dr. Dwight Ellerbe, Dr. James Kallman, and Dr. Stephen Schaffer.

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