While hearing aids can be used to correct most hearing problems, many people may be hesitant to wear them.
That's why two local hearing experts are trying to help breakdown the stigma that comes with wearing the devices.
What started as a treatable case of influenza quickly turned into something Bob Froke would never fully overcome.
"I was missing orders. It was kind of embarrassing and frustrating. I was just really starting to get an empathy for what my patients go through," Froke said.
Froke, an audiologist himself was experiencing symptoms he was used to treating his own patients for.
"I was asking my colleagues, what? What was that? You know, I was missing things. They put me in the sound booth and tested my hearing and low and behold I had a 40 decibel hearing loss," Froke said.
Influenza had settled in his ears, and according to Dr. Kenneth Scott viral infections resulting in hearing loss are more common than you may think.
"People will often wake up in the morning, they'll hear ringing in their ear as a new thing that they haven't heard before or they even notice that they can't hear their spouse talking to them," Scott said.
Froke says it took him 7 months to accept what was happening.
"I bargained. I denied it. I got angry. I thought it would come back but it didn't. Then I'd blame other people, you're mumbling, you're not looking at me... all those things," Froke said.
Froke's job depended on his hearing and it was time to face reality.
"I was fit with hearing aids and now I don't want to be without them," Froke said.
Hearing screenings can be performed at any age, and experts say the sooner the better.
"Your family members are maybe giving you a heard time, and even if you don't need any help at least then you have some proof that you checked it out and they'll leave you alone," Scott said.
Froke says thanks to new technology, he can't imagine being without his hearing aids.
"I'm a pretty cool grandpa now. I have two grandkids and they go, wow gramps that's pretty cool! Because I can play my music, I have about 400 songs in here and it streams right to my hearing aids," Froke said.
For information on how to choose the right hearing aid, click here.
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