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Living a happy life with hearing loss

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TYLER (KYTX) -- About a year ago, Sue Vandervoort's 23 grandchildren and great-grandchildren brought something to her attention.

"I could not understand them," she said. "They were always saying, 'Grandma, I'm talking to you!'"

Sue was losing her hearing.

"I finally realized I had a problem," she said.

She had her ears tested and was told hearing aids were her best option.

"I'm amazed at how easy I got used to them," Sue said.

Audiologist Dr. Jennifer Adams suggests anyone concerned they are losing hearing visit a doctor to be tested and discuss their best options.  The doctor will use tools to look inside the ear for signs of irreversible nerve damage.

"Hearing aids are the only option at that point," Dr. Adams said.

There is no way to avoid hearing loss related to aging, but there are ways to protect ears from nerve and hair cell damage, usually caused by being in loud environments.

"I don't think you can ever be too safe. It's not a big deal to just throw in some ear plugs," said Dr. Adams.

Sue says many people her age are hesitant to wear hearing aids, but conversations with her grandchildren made it all worth it for her.

"Being the grandma, they come to me with problems that they won't go to their parents, and now I can help them," Sue said. "And it helps me too."

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