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The Boomer curse: First the eyes go, then the ears

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I had one of those defining/watershed/life-changing moments last year.

I was sitting at the dining room table with my laptop open in front of me and was vaguely aware that one of the cats had jumped on the table and was sat with its nose about a foot from my face.

My wife said something and I responded, "Yes dear," as I always do.

She followed up with "Did you hear what I said?"

I muttered, "Yes, something about the 18th century."

This brought peals of laughter as she informed me that what she’d really said was "Strauss is staring at you with laser-like intensity".

Was this selective hearing on my part?

Sadly no, it was a realization that I had become hard of hearing.

It’s the Boomer curse — first you need eyeglasses, then you need hearing aids.

Fortunately help was close by at the Winnipeg Hearing Centre on Grant Avenue. Run by Ken Tugby, this facility is one of five throughout the city that have been helping Winnipeggers with hearing issues since 1943.

Ken is a doctor of audiology, a graduate of Laurentian and Western Ontario universities and the Arizona School of Health Science . He has 19 years of experience under his belt.
He fitted me with a pair of digital hearing aids and the difference they made was remarkable.

Gone are the huge, flesh coloured devices your grandparents may have had that whistled when you got too close. Today’s devices are minuscule, light and discreet. The open-fit devices he supplied to me are comfortable and, more importantly, very effective.

My hearing loss may be age related, it may be due to spending years working in noisy environments or it could be from listening to loud music.

Unfortunately we can’t stop aging but if your daily business puts you in a loud industrial setting, I cannot over-emphasize the importance of wearing hearing protection. I just hope all the people I see with ear buds connected to their iPods have the volume at a reasonable level.

There are side effects to wearing hearing aids. I’ve discovered that the floorboards creak in my house and all those electronic devices are constantly beeping, and I can also hear what people say about me now, so be careful.

☐ ☐ ☐

Last month I wrote about how the Reh-Fit Centre was Canada’s only certified medical fitness facility. Apparently that is no longer the case. Jennifer Marshall, Communications Coordinator for the Wellness Centre informed me that her facility has now joined that list after becoming accredited in February. Which gives Canada two such facilities, both located in Winnipeg.

Trevor Smith is a community correspondent for River Heights. You can contact him via email at smitht@mymts.net.

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