Having inherited "nerve deafness" from her father, she says, " I started to notice some hearing loss when I was around 30 years old, but I was in denial." It wasn't until it became more and more difficult for her husband to communicate with her at home, and for her to interact with customers at work, that Ms. Hart sought help from Audiology Services at GBMC.
"I finally went for help when I was 46 years old, and it was a very big deal for me with my family history," she says. "I knew GBMC was a place that I could trust for the long term as the audiology group also helped my father."
Ms. Hart was diagnosed with damage to the hair cells in both inner ears that transmit sound information to the auditory nerve. She now wears digital hearing aids with directional technology that allows unwanted sounds from a certain direction to be reduced.
"This technology gives us the ability to fine tune the hearing aids to match Ms. Hart's hearing preferences, and they have a clearer signal than analog technology of the past," says Kimberly Bank, Au.D., CCC/A, Senior Audiologist at GBMC.
At 13, Gabrielle Settar, a bright, self-confident eight grader, likes to spend time with friends and listen to music. "My life isn't any different from my friends," she says, "I just have different experiences."
When she was three, Gabrielle's parents became concerned about having to repeat themselves and scheduled her for comprehensive audiology testing at GBMC. She was diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears, the fit for hearing aids.
"Miss Stephanie and Miss Kim at GBMC helped me to get comfortable with wearing hearing aids, but the ones I wore until I was 10 weren't perfect," Gabrielle says. "It was hard for me in places that had loud noise in the background, or if someone was whispering, or to hear sounds that were far away."
When digital hearing aids became available, Gabrielle and her parents decided to make the switch. She recalls, "At first, I could hear so much that it was overwhelming but it only took a week for me to get used to it."