Excerpt: 'Save Your Hearing Now'

I heard Ted and Jean's story from Jean's brother, Bill. He came to see me because his wife had fallen down the basement stairs recently and sprained her ankle, but he hadn't heard her cries for help because the radio volume had been so loud. That was all the motivation Bill needed to do something about his hearing, which had been steadily declining. After a long bout with the flu, he felt his hearing had taken a serious hit. "What if my wife had a heart attack or who knows what and I didn't hear her?" he explained. "Plus, I don't want to end up like my sister and brother-in-law, sitting in the house with the TV blasting all day because they can't have a conversation with anyone."

After several months on the Save Your Hearing Now Program, Bill's hearing stabilized, and he was so encouraged that he recommended it to Jean and Ted. "I hope they follow through on it," Bill said. "If they don't do something soon, I'm afraid they'll become completely deaf in a few years."

Needless to say, individuals with hearing loss aren't the only ones who suffer. Family members, friends, and co-workers are frustrated, too, as they are forced to repeat themselves, deal with uncomfortably loud televisions and radios, and worry about whether important information was heard or not. "I was so tired of repeating myself whenever I spoke to my husband that I began avoiding conversations with him," recalls one woman whose husband's hearing deteriorated sharply when he was in his late fifties. "He thought I was angry, but I just couldn't take it anymore."

Or the opposite problem may occur. Some individuals with hearing loss worry about talking too loudly and end up speaking so softly it's difficult to hear them, creating even more frustration for those around them.

With today's longer life spans and our increasingly noisy world, everyone's hearing is at risk. So the sooner we begin to preserve our hearing and work at correcting hearing loss, the better. Unfortunately for some, hearing devices are necessary. Major strides in technology have made these devices smaller and more sophisticated than ever before, but they are still not stylish or chic (like glasses can be, for instance), and there is definitely a stigma attached to wearing them. (From my perspective, I find the attitude that hearing aids are embarrassing completely inappropriate. Hearing aids are immensely helpful for people with hearing difficulties, and no one should feel ashamed about correcting the problem by wearing one.) Fortunately for many hearing loss sufferers -- even some of the ones who have or may need hearing devices -- there are now proven methods of protecting and even rehabilitating your hearing. Whether you are young or old, have hearing loss or are worried about developing it, this program is for you.

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