"People have remarked that they heard birds sing for the first time in 10 years," said John Scarlas. "We don't realize how much we've missed in the world around us. We don't realize how much we've lost until we get our hearing back."
Enjoying the fullness of sound is a huge part of enjoying the fullness of life. Theater performances, weekly religious services, even simple dinner conversations with family or friends can significantly diminish over time with hearing loss.
"Hearing loss is an insidious problem because it happens so gradually over a long time," said Russ Pickett. "You can be fooled into thinking that the problem doesn't exist." Until that salient moment. "It's different for everyone, but typically there is a moment of recognition. It's the moment that a person's inability to hear and to communicate within their world becomes undeniable."
The social implications of hearing loss are often noticeable at holidays and family functions. "Someone may feel excluded from the conversation because of their inability to hear well," said Russ.
As an audiologist with over 30 years of experience, Russ said, "Our first goal is to provide a better means of communication for individuals. You can't recover from hearing loss. But certainly, you can live a full life communicatively if you are wearing something that allows you to stay connected with the people around you."
Greentree Hearing and Audiology, located in Kirkwood, is celebrating its 10th anniversary of helping people amplify their hearing. Dr. Russ Pickett, Au.D., and his wife, Sherry Pickett, Au.D., John Scarlas, M.S., and office manager Tricia Laney have created a welcoming, friendly, and relaxed office environment that offers the most advanced hearing solutions.
"The technology today is so advanced that I don't even consider the devices we use as hearing aids. They are listening systems that connect with phones, video games, and streaming music platforms," said John.
Not only has the technology evolved, but so has the science. Russ explained, "Hearing loss is directly connected to the brain. The brain's ability to process, understand and discriminate what it hears is strongly tied to overall cognitive decline. The longer you put off hearing loss treatment, the less we can help later. We need to keep the brain functioning properly."
In addition to affecting the brain, hearing loss studies have shown a direct correlation with smoking, hypertension, heart health, and overall mental health.
"Solitude is a very lonely place to be," said John.
Russ noted that as a resident of Kirkwood, "A number of my patients are also my neighbors. We want to help our local community live fully, and we want to give them their world back."
For more information, visit GreentreeAudiology.com.