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Help Loved Ones Enjoy the Sounds of the Holiday--Give the Gift of Hearing.

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Horse-drawn sleighs. Choirs of carolers. Ribbons and bows. Jingling bells. Loved ones laughing. Without question, the sights and sounds of the holidays help make the holiday season special and memorable, yet an estimated 28 million Americans have a hearing impairment that could affect their ability to enjoy the most joyous time of year. Just in time for the holidays, Starkey Laboratories, a leading hearing technology company, offers suggestions for how to help a hearing-impaired loved one enjoy both the sights and the sounds of the season.

"There's a lot of vanity tied up in our ability to hear," said Sara Burdak, an audiologist with Starkey Laboratories. "None of us wants to admit that our hearing might be impaired, especially as we age, yet there are tell-tale signs that give our impairment away--such as asking others to repeat themselves, talking loudly, playing the television or radio loudly, and straining to hear. The holidays are filled with so many beautiful sounds. If there's ever a time of year to help a hearing-impaired loved one improve their hearing, it's now."

If you suspect a loved one has a hearing impairment, Burdak suggests gently talking with them about your concerns and your desire to help them more fully enjoy their interactions with family and friends. Then, give them the gift of hearing this holiday season in the form of a visit to a hearing professional who can conduct a sound-based screening to evaluate hearing ability and identify hearing loss. Also consider helping a loved one with the purchase of their hearing instrument.

"The beauty of giving the gift of hearing is that it can last a lifetime and transform a life," said Anne Kocher, whose father was recently in need of hearing help. "He refused to admit that he was losing his hearing, but it was obvious to the entire family. He wasn't participating in family discussions. He wasn't responding when my young son asked for him. He stopped listening to his favorite radio program. Taking him to visit a hearing professional earlier this year not only changed his life, but it had a positive impact on our entire family. I'm overjoyed that he'll get to hear his grandson sing in his first holiday concert this year."

To find a hearing professional near you, visit or call 1-800-328-8602.

About Starkey Laboratories

Privately held Starkey Laboratories, Inc., headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minn., is one of the world's largest hearing technology companies and is a known-leader in the design, development and distribution of comprehensive digital hearing systems, including custom and standard devices, protection products, instrumentation, and unique business solutions. Founded in 1967, Starkey currently has more than 4,000 employees in 33 facilities in 24 countries. Divisions operating under the Starkey Laboratories family of companies include Audibel, Micro-Tech, NuEar, Omni, Qualitone, and Starkey. For more information, visit
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 21, 2005
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