Hearing never sounded so sweet
Wed, 04/11/2018 - 5:00pm admin
Marcie Klomp News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
CRESCO - Unless you have experienced a loss of hearing, you can not appreciate how sweet the sound of a grandchild laughing or your spouse saying, “I love you.”
If you feel you are missing out on some of those moments, perhaps you should have a hearing test. And there’s no need to travel far — there is a hearing instrument specialist right here in Howard County!
Calvin Trepp is the local representative for Audibel Hearing and is located at 203 South Elm St. in Cresco. He purchased the business in January from Amy Baarsch, who had been the local representative for the past 17 years.
Trepp may be new to the area, but not to the industry. He has 35 years of experience. He went to school for electronics and started working for a hearing aid manufacturer for the next 24 years. The past 11 years has found him on the opposite end of the spectrum, in private practice. He is licensed by the state to test and fit for hearing aids.
“My experience in manufacturing serves me well in fitting customers with hearing aids,” he said.
The average age of Trepp’s clients is 69, although that age is trending down. “Just last week, I had two people in their 40s come into the office.”
About 90 percent of those getting tested do so because of noise damage. Heredity is another reason for hearing loss. If Trepp finds a different medical issue, he sends the patient to an ear, nose and throat doctor.
“We live in a noisy world,” the hearing instrument specialist noted. “If you are in a loud environment and your ears are ringing, you are getting damage. Protect your ears. Take care of the hearing you have because it will diminish.”
Today the industry is seeing those in their 20s having hearing loss. “Young folks with subs and loud systems . . . they’re doing horrible damage to their hearing. When my rearview mirror is shaking [from their music], it makes me cringe,” he added.
As an example, Trepp said a normal conversation is 65 decibels. A lawn mower can be 90-100 decibels. “Anything over 80 decibels is doing damage,” he explained.
Studies have confirmed hearing loss makes some individuals less social and can be a contributing factor in some diagnoses of alzheimers and dementia.
Trepp said, “Hearing loss is not painful and not always obvious.” Luckily, getting tested is not painful either.
Technology has improved the quality of hearing aids, especially in the past 6-8 years. There are different styles and sizes, ranging from discreet units that fit inside the ear canal to others that fit in and over the ear. “They are getting more high tech. Some can connect directly to an iPhone, which can raise or lower the volume.” Settings can be set digitally for different venues — favorite restaurant, church or home — and remember that setting just by getting within 100 feet of the location.
Trepp’s greatest advice is to “Take care of what you have, because hearing aids are good but not like your original parts.”
In addition to being open on Thursdays at his Cresco office, Trepp also has office hours in Decorah on Wednesday and in Mason City on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Becky Lindaman is an associate who is in charge of the Charles City and New Hampton offices. To set up an appointment in Cresco, call 563-547-3817.