Crozer-Keystone Audiology Patients Share Eye-Opening Hearing Experiences - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on February 26, 2014

Crozer-Keystone Audiology Patients Share Eye-Opening Hearing Experiences

DREXEL HILL, Pa. – About 20 percent of adults in the United States—or 48 million people—report some degree of hearing loss, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. That includes one out of three people at age 65.

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To address this widespread health issue, Crozer-Keystone Health System has expanded its audiology services and now offers comprehensive hearing support at all four of its hospital sites, including Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill, Taylor Hospital in Ridley Park, and Springfield Hospital in Springfield.

For patients like James Schreiber of Ridley Park and Ruth Greim of Glenolden, finding a skilled audiologist who could help them take advantage of the latest hearing aid technology has provided just the help they were looking—or in fact listening—for.

From ‘ow’ to ‘wow’

Schreiber recalls that he was referred to Crozer-Keystone’s audiology program by his physical therapist at Springfield Hospital after he mentioned during one of his therapy sessions that the hearing aids he’d been wearing for close to five years were uncomfortable.

“I think my problem was that the part of the hearing aid that goes into my ear was too big,” Schreiber now recognizes. When his previous provider asked him what size he wanted—small, medium or large—Schreiber recalls that he said large. “I’m 6’1”, 215 pounds, so I’m just experienced at saying ‘large,’” he says.

During his initial meeting with Crozer-Keystone audiologist Paula Curliss, Curliss quickly identified that Schreiber needed smaller devices than the ones his previous provider had prescribed for him. “As soon as she put it in my ear, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is what I have been looking for in a hearing aid,’” Schreiber says.

One of Schreiber’s earlier challenges was hearing over the background noise on things like radio commercials or movies. “Even if there was just a little background music, I couldn’t hear the words,” he recalls.

Delaware County Memorial Hospital audiologist David Lagattuta notes that this is a common symptom of hearing loss. Also, patients sometimes may have difficulty hearing high-pitched voices, and they often ask people to repeat themselves.

“For adults, patients’ family members frequently notice hearing difficulty before the patient realizes that he or she has a hearing loss,” Lagattuta says. Often, it’s a friend or family member who suggests an audiology appointment.

Second time’s a charm

This was the case for 94-year-old Greim, who’d had a bad experience with hearing aids years ago and only agreed to have a hearing exam last year at the urging of her stepdaughter Mim Madden, who’d noticed that Greim’s hearing was deteriorating.

“She was upset about her hearing loss, but she had been very disappointed in prior hearing aids,” recalls Madden, a nurse who also serves as Greim’s power of attorney.

The device Greim was prescribed through Crozer-Keystone last fall is “a totally different kind of hearing aid—very effective,” Madden observes. “It was just a wonderful experience,” she says, noting that the Crozer-Keystone audiologist took the time to answer questions and repeat information as many times as needed.

Madden notes that her stepmom can now hear much better—particularly on the phone—and Greim has remarked on the things she probably nodded “yes” to in the past simply because she could not hear what the person was saying.

Not yesterday’s hearing aids

“Some people may be discouraged from pursuing hearing aids by a relative or friend who had a bad experience in the past, but they shouldn’t be,” Curliss says. “The technology is so different than it was even a few years ago.”

For patients who may be concerned about how hearing aids may look, the good news is that “hearing aids today are virtually invisible,” notes audiologist Kristen Alexander, who sees patients along with Curliss at Crozer, Springfield and Taylor Hospitals.

The first step for patients who think they may have a hearing loss—and for all adults age 65 and older—is to get their hearing tested. Crozer-Keystone offers comprehensive testing, care and treatment for people of all ages who face a variety of hearing issues. If hearing aids are recommended, there are many options available to suit each person’s needs, budget and preferences, Alexander says.

Crozer-Keystone audiologists do not work on commission and pride themselves on meeting each patient’s individual needs. To make an appointment at Crozer-Chester Medical Center (Upland), Springfield Hospital (Springfield), or Taylor Hospital (Ridley Park), call (610) 447-2044. For Delaware County Memorial Hospital (Drexel Hill), call (610) 284-8570. Or, for more information, go to Audiology Services.

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