Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Relearning how to hear - PG article covers UPMC program

My wife, Catherine Palmer, Ph.D., is director of audiology at UPMC's Eye and Ear (no secret). Today's PG has an article that features a program there and she is quoted.

The slogan, "Think again" fits as people often need to think anew -- or re-think, even for matters as basic as hearing.
Relearning how to hear: "Relearning how to hear
UPMC offers adaptation classes for new hearing aid wearers and their significant others
Catherine's quotes, reposted here:

"Although you do much better with an aid, it's still not as well as when you had hearing," said Catherine Palmer, Ph.D., director of the Center for Audiology and Hearing Aids at the UPMC Eye and Ear Institute.

"The family still must make accommodations. You can't talk to them from another room, for example. It's hard for people to make these changes. In clinic we don't have time to go over those kinds of things. This class gives them time."

And at first, for perhaps two weeks, the wearer might feel as if his or her hearing has worsened, because the aid picks up background noise and other sounds the wearer hasn't heard for a long time. The brain must relearn how to ignore unnecessary noise and home in on what it wants to hear.
The more the patient wears the aids, the faster and better the adjustment. "Part-time users never do well," Dr. Palmer said.

Kim is a great teacher with plenty of splendid information and insight. The class is worth the time, for sure.

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