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WSU Newsline: Untreated hearing loss - a growing epidemic
Friday, June 15, 2012 9:00 AM

The scripts are available for printing and for sound bite identification.

Go to http://www.wichita.edu/newsline to get the current Wichita State University Newsline. If you cannot access the Newsline at the Web address above, contact Joe Kleinsasser at (316) 978-3013 or cell (316) 204-8266 or joe.kleinsasser@wichita.edu. Newsline cuts may be edited to suit your needs. If you have additional questions for Ray Hull after listening to the WSU Newsline, please contact him at (316) 978-3271 or ray.hull@wichita.edu.

Background:
The statistics are alarming. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 36 million Americans have a hearing loss — this includes 17 percent of the adult population. Although nearly half of those over age 75 have hearing loss, Wichita State University audiologist Ray Hull says hearing loss isn't just a problem for the elderly.

Voice wrap:
Announcer: Hearing loss may be most common among older adults, but hearing loss is a growing problem for young people as well. In fact, the number of Americans with hearing loss is staggering, according to Wichita State University audiologist Ray Hull.

Hull: "Untreated hearing loss in adults is a growing national epidemic. Over 36 million adults in the United States have impaired hearing."

Announcer: Hull says the reason more people with hearing loss don't seek help is because it is an invisible disability. But Hull says people shouldn't wait until they're 65 to get their hearing checked. He suggests an annual hearing check-up by an audiologist or an ear, nose and throat physician. This is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University. This is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University.

Sound bite #1
Hull says hearing loss is not just a problem for the elderly. The sound bite is 15 seconds and the outcue is "and beyond."

Hull: "The growing epidemic is occurring not so much among the elderly population of the United States, but the younger population, those who are in high school, those who are in middle school, those who are in college and beyond."

Sound bite #2
Hull gives some contributing factors to hearing loss. The sound bite is 22 seconds and the outcue is "cardiovascular health of adults."

Hull: "A primary contributing factor, well, actually there are two. Number one is that of noise. We live in a very noisy society. And number two involves the incidence of cardiovascular disease, or the health of the general cardiovascular health of adults."

Sound bite #3
Hull explains why more people with hearing loss don't seek help. The sound bite is 20 seconds and the outcue is "we cannot see."

Hull: "I think more people don't seek out help for their hearing or their hearing loss because hearing loss is an invisible disability. We can see impaired eyes. We can see impaired arms or legs, but impaired hearing we cannot see."

Sound bite #4
Hull says without getting help, people with hearing loss may be misunderstood or misdiagnosed. The sound bite is 33 seconds and the outcue is "listening to others."

Hull: "Up to a point, hearing loss is an invisible disability because you can't see it, but a point is reached fairly quickly where it is a visible disability because of the inability to understand what people are saying. People are misdiagnosed, for example, as becoming senile, which can be a definite problem. Or people seem to be confused as they are listening to others."

Sound bite #5
Hull says more alternatives are available to help those with hearing loss. The sound bite is 30 seconds and the outcue is "would like for them to."

Hull: "There are a number of alternatives for people that will assist them if they do experience hearing loss. And it doesn't mean always having to buy hearing aids. There are a number of other alternatives, including television listening devices that offer a great help to people and can resolve some family difficulties when one family member likes to have the television set louder than others would like for them to."

Sound bite #6
Hull says we should get our hearing checked annually. The sound bite is 24 seconds and the outcue is "reliable examination."

Hull: "Don't wait until you're 65 to get your hearing checked, because hearing loss is an epidemic among young people, also. It would be best to have your hearing checked annually just like we have other aspects of us checked. Have it checked by an audiologist, or an ear, nose and throat physician, and you'll know that it's a reliable examination."

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Contact: Ray Hull, (316) 978-3271 or ray.hull@wichita.edu.