May is Better Hearing & Speech Month!
Did you know? Only 2 out of 10 people get a hearing test.
At Hearing Health Center, we believe that getting an annual hearing check-up is as important as getting your blood pressure and cholesterol checked. Everyone 55 and older should have an annual hearing test as part of their overall wellness exam. You don’t hear with your ears, you hear with your brain! This is why Hearing Health Center takes a medical approach to hearing loss by retraining a specific area in the brain. If this area is deprived of sound, it can atrophy. Your ears are like antennas that pick up sound and carry the information to the brain, which is why it’s important to keep this area of the brain stimulated.
Founder & President: Dr. Ronna Fisher, Au.D.
Dr. Fisher, Au.D., founded Hearing Health Center in 1984 after experiencing her own father’s struggle with progressive hearing difficulties. In her own words: “My father’s hearing didn’t affect just him. It affected our entire family. He lost a lot of business and friends because of mistakes and miscommunications. My parents’ marriage suffered. They stopped playing bridge, going out to movies and dinner, and fought over the blaring TV. He missed so much of my life…and it didn’t have to be that way.” Today, Hearing Health Center has expanded to four locations: Highland Park, Oak Brook, Naperville and downtown Chicago. During her 30 year career, Dr. Fisher, Au.D., has proven to be a pioneer in her field. She was the first audiologist in the country to fit a completely-in-the-canal hearing instrument, and introduced digital technology in Chicago a year before other practices began offering it. In addition, her staff was one of the first outside California to be trained in and fit the completely invisible Lyric hearing aid. To this day, she continues to be an innovator in Audiology.
Diseases Linked to Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is the 3rd most common chronic disease besides high blood pressure and arthritis. Hearing loss is linked to dementia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, high blood pressure, and vertigo. People with untreated hearing loss also have a significant increase of falling. People who have diabetes are twice more likely to develop hearing loss. Eighty-three percent of people with Alzheimer’s have a higher risk of developing hearing loss. Recently, hearing loss has been connected to reduced memory and dementia. In 2011, Dr. Ronna Fisher discussed the link between dementia and hearing loss in the Chicago Tribune. It was found that seniors suffering from hearing loss were more likely to develop dementia over time than those who retain their hearing. Increasing the ability to hear may also help reduce a patient’s loneliness and confusion.
Awards and Achievements
In 2013, HearingHealthCenter was named Best Practice in Chicago and suburbs by Hearing Review magazine for the 3rd year in a row. In 2009, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn presented Dr. Ronna Fisher with the Hometown Hero Award for donating hearing protection to our soldiers. In efforts to help even more of the community, Dr. Fisher started the Fisher Foundation for Hearing Health Care. The Fisher Foundation provides educational seminars, counseling and research in the Greater Chicago Area in order to raise public awareness of the acute importance of protection, detection and treatment of hearing disorders. The Foundation is a resource that others may turn to for assistance when they have no other funding for hearing health care.
The doctors of Audiology at HearingHealthCenter travel to various communities to give educational presentations on hearing health. Our doctors want to raise awareness that hearing loss is not a normal part of aging. Hearing loss has many causes, some of which include noise exposure, trauma, infection, ear wax, and the deterioration of the auditory system. Furthermore, it may lead to social isolation, depression, falls, and miscommunications between family, friends and co-workers.
Learn More About…
- Looping (Hearing Induction Loops): Imagine going to the theater and hearing the actors directly in your hearing aid! This system transmits sound wirelessly to people who use hearing aids with telecoils. It greatly reduces the impact of background noise, thus minimizing talker and distance factors.
- Caption Call Phone: See your conversation displayed on your phone! Caption Call is a phone for people with difficulty hearing.
- Otoscopic Exam: The otoscopic exam allows you to view the inside of your own ear canal to determine if it’s really ear wax that’s clogging your canal!
Freedom Home Care supports Hearing Health Center’s mission by:
- Encouraging annual wellness exams and transport to appointments
- Use appropriate communication strategies
- Identify those with memory loss
- Be a supportive facilitator throughout the client’s hearing journey
Don’t deprive your brain of sound and stimulation-make sure you get your hearing tested!