Sweet Sounds – 60 years in the making

Once upon a time, a little girl was born to the Rustad family in Decorah and like any newborn, she brought sweet sounds to their home. The little girl, Wendy, played and attended school, but something was different. It wasn’t until she was in the second grade that she was diagnosed with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss – which she had since birth.

Wendy struggled to understand people and says her worst challenge was speaking. “I didn’t know I was any different until I entered Iowa School for the Deaf (ISD) in Council Bluffs as a second grader,” says Wendy. Growing up with hearing loss, in the hearing world was challenging.

“Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of permanent hearing loss,” says Cynthia See Au.D., Mayo Clinic Health System audiologist at Winneshiek Medical Center Decorah Clinic. “Hearing loss reduces the ability to hear softer sounds and as hearing loss becomes more severe it may affect the clarity of sound, so sound seems muffled or distorted.” Sensorineural hearing loss cannot always be medically or surgically corrected.

“When I came to visit last July, I told my sister that my 20-year-old hearing aids stopped working and I was concerned about the affordability of new ones. She recommended that I make an appointment with Dr. See.”

“Dr. See was professional, personable and exceptional,” says Wendy. Dr. See fit Wendy with the newest model of Phonak behind the ear hearing aids. “When I wore the new devices, I couldn’t believe how much I could hear!” says Wendy. “I was awed while listening to rain pelleting on windows, thunder from incoming storms, dogs barking 2 blocks away, potato chip bags ripping, St. Benedicts’ church bells ringing, children happily talking and playing outside, sirens from emergency vehicles in town, and most of all the birds chirping,” Wendy remarked.   “I can hear my cat softly meow. I just love it. I can’t live without the hearing aids.”

Cynthia See, Au.D, Mayo Clinic Health System audiologist provides specialized hearing care for adults and children and custom fits the most advanced hearing aid technology available – with easy to understand models that are competitively priced.

Dr. See works closely with William Remington, M.D., full time Mayo Clinic Health System ear, nose and throat specialist in Decorah. Together they provide hearing care for patients with specialized needs so they get exactly the attention they need, when they need it, close to home. Learn more at www.winmedical.org/audiology or to make an appointment, call 563-382-2911 or visit www.winmedical.org/make-an-appointment.

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