David Schmidt, AuD – Rush University Medical Center

“Typically when patients come to us they have
concerns that are related to their hearing, their balance, communication deficits, and
oftentimes even tinnitus — that ringing noise in your head. A lot of times people who have tinnitus also
have hearing loss and using the right kind of amplification can really relieve the symptoms
of tinnitus. Our goal is to find out what the nature of
the hearing loss is, and then work with the patient’s either primary care physician
or our otolaryngologists to help support what’s going to be the most reasonable plan to help
somebody. And a lot of times that is hearing aids, but
that isn’t the only solution. There’s lots of other devices and things
that help people. Now, there’s a lot of control over how the
hearing aid can collect sound, how the hearing aid functions in background noise — which
has been a big complaint of hearing aid users, even through the years — and a lot of them
are working with smartphones now. We have direct connection from your smartphone
to your hearing aids, things like that. And so there’s a lot more connectivity that’s
available now that wasn’t available when your parents or your grandparents got hearing
aids. I’ve had patients say things to me like,
“My life has been changed,” because of using their hearing device — lawyers, people
like that, that really have high listening demands, college professors, people like that
who really struggle to still function in their professional lives. But then family, too. They’ll come back with an adult child, “I
don’t have to keep yelling at Dad anymore. He used to withdraw. Now he’s participating in family events.” So that’s the feedback we get that helps
us know when someone’s been successful.”

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