By W.L. “Hunter” Huntley, III, HAS., BC-HIS

HOLIDAY TRAVELBelieve it or not it’s the Holiday season once again.  With this time of year many things can take control of our lives.  Travel and stress are usually prominent during this time of year.

The days of stress free flying are a thing of the past.  After 9/11, it will never be the same.  Arriving at the airport earlier is now a requirement, due to airport security.  Having your luggage and other carry-on items x-rayed and searched is now commonplace.

Snacks and beverages used to be complimentary, but now there are usually standard charges for any food or drink.   There is now a charge for using headsets to watch & listen to (what used to be Free) in-flight movies or entertainment.  If you would like to use a pillow or blanket during your flight; good luck, most airlines have discontinued them altogether.  Most airlines also are charging for any extra baggage, especially if the items exceed a certain weight limit.

Coping with all of these extraneous factors can be very stressful, especially if travelers are dealing with any other mental or physical handicaps.  One disability, hearing loss, can prove to be extremely difficult and stressful when traveling, creating anxiety while trying to listen to instructions, or flight information.  Arrival times, flight numbers, concourse information, gate numbers, aisle and seat numbers, and departing times are crucial to successful and timely travel.  Hearing loss can make a person feel disoriented and anxious in some situations.  Misunderstanding of vital data may prove not only to be very disheartening, but costly as well, especially if an individual misses his or her flight.  Obtaining another flight to the originally planned destination may not even exist.

Hearing instruments can make all of the difference between a stress free experience, and a trip filled with anxiety, turmoil and a lighter wallet.

Johns Hopkins Medical University has conducted case studies on individuals who have hearing problems, but  do not seek any form of help. The studies concluded that people who had even a mild hearing loss were twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Those with severe impairment were five times as likely to suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s. This is due to the auditory cortex of the brain lacking “proper” stimulation, resulting in the part of the brain responsible for speech interpretation atrophying and losing function. Brain atrophy is the loss or damage of brain cells. Since there is no treatment for brain atrophy, hearing loss must be addressed before atrophication of the brain takes place. Wearing hearing devices and a healthy active lifestyle is the only way to ward off this malady.

Signs of Developing Hearing Loss: If you or anyone you know shows signs of developing hearing issues: such as asking for words or directions to be repeated, turning up the television or radio louder than normal, accusing others of mumbling, missing the sound of turn indicators while driving, have difficulty understanding conversations in the car, experience problems talking on the phone, struggle to hear in noisy environments or background noise, must have others raise their voice or move closer to hear them, or avoid certain situations due to difficulty understanding conversations.

Please contact our office for a FREE, no obligation hearing exam as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the worse it will get. Enjoy a happy and safe Holiday season.

Call 239-997-8288 for a FREE Evaluation.


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