Dalton Ear, Nose & Throat Hearing Center donates 
personal amplifiers to Hamilton Medical Center

Monday, December 31, 2012

 From left are Rudy Shirley, MD, ear, nose and throat physician; Jeff Myers, Hamilton Health Care System president and CEO; and Anna M. Wade, AuD, doctor of audiology.
 Dalton Ear, Nose & Throat Hearing Center recently donated seven personal amplifiers to Hamilton Medical Center. From left are Rudy Shirley, MD, ear, nose and throat physician; Jeff Myers, Hamilton Health Care System president and CEO; and Anna M. Wade, AuD, doctor of audiology.

 DALTON, Ga. – Dalton Ear, Nose & Throat Hearing Center recently donated seven personal amplifiers to Hamilton Medical Center to support patients who are experiencing some type of hearing disability as well as the health care providers who take care of them.

“Being in a hospital without the ability to hear has been described by our patients as everything from ‘unnerving’ to ‘scary,’” said Anna M. Wade, AuD, doctor of audiology. “Think about it: nobody wants to miss what a doctor or nurse has to say!”

A personal amplifier is a small device, about the size of an iPod that consists of a handheld microphone and some wired headphones. A person can talk directly into the microphone and his or her voice is amplified for the person listening through the headphones. The device can be activated, and someone can be taught how to use it in a matter of seconds. “Using it can make a world of difference for someone with hearing loss – not to mention his or her health care provider,” said Wade.

According to Wade, approximately 30 million people in the U.S. have a permanent hearing disorder, and the most common treatment for hearing loss is digital hearing aids. These people rely heavily on their hearing aids not only for social communication but communication of their health care needs also.

Most cases of hearing loss are treatable through digital hearing aids. The personal amplifiers are tools for patients at the hospital where hearing aids may not be accessible.

“We know that every health care provider has struggled at some point to communicate with a patient who either has a temporary hearing loss or a permanent hearing loss but no access to hearing aids,” Wade said. “By ensuring that Hamilton has easy access to these devices, we hope to reduce the stress and confusion that can come from a lack of understanding between patients and their providers.”