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Trucker Paul Wiehagan.

Board-certified audiologist Lauren Felton, AuD, custom fit new hearing aids for trucker Paul Wiehagen.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Get a Hearing Evaluation at St. Anthony's Audiology and Hearing Center

On average, it takes a person about 10 years before they come in for an evaluation of hearing loss — Lauren Felton, AuD, CCC-A, a licensed and board-certified Doctor of Audiology


Paul Wiehagen hits the road hauling another truckload to Kansas City. A Teamster driver for more than 37 years, Wiehagen is all smiles because he hears the jingling of his keys and the sound of the turn signal.

“I couldn't hear all of this before,” the Barnhart resident says. “I never realized what sounds I was missing until I went to get my hearing tested.”

Wiehagen is one of the more than 31 million people in the United States diagnosed with a hearing loss. According to the American Speech- Language-Hearing Association, the number of Americans with hearing loss has doubled over the past 30 years, with 30 percent of those age 65+, and 14 percent between the ages of 45 and 64.

“On average, it takes a person about 10 years before they come in for an evaluation of hearing loss,” says Lauren Felton, AuD, CCC-A, a licensed and board-certified Doctor of Audiology. “The reality is that hearing loss can be caused by many things, including blockages or pressure in the ears, injuries, or prolonged exposure to loud sounds. The earlier it’s diagnosed, the easier it is to treat.”

At first, Wiehagen noticed he had difficulty hearing in crowded areas. “People were talking around me and it was so frustrating and embarrassing to ask them to repeat things,” he said.

As the problem got worse, it became noticeable at family gatherings or talking with the grandkids. “The hearing loss was so gradual that he didn't notice and we had to tell him,” says Wiehagen’s wife, Anne.

Wiehagen came to St. Anthony’s Audiology and Hearing Center for a comprehensive hearing evaluation. He was diagnosed with hearing loss and tinnitus, a ringing in the ears. He received digital hearing aids and was thrilled to hear the softer sounds of life.

“I can hear birds outside, my car blinker and people talking from a distance,” he says now. “It’s been an amazing, remarkable difference.

“You really can’t see my hearing aids because they’re so small,” he adds. “But they've made a big difference in the quality of life and my ability to hear.”

PROTECT YOUR HEARING

Take steps now to protect your ears:

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For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.

Working as trusted partners, the physicians and employees of St. Anthony's Health System will deliver care distinguished by its demonstrated quality and personalized service. We will be visibly engaged in improving the health and well­ being of the communities we serve in South County and beyond. We will stand together, proud to set the standard for independent community health systems.