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      Hearing Clinic helps people catch every word

      Gordy Forsyth spends his days working around noisy machines. As the Director of Plant Engineering at a Munson power plant, he doesn't plan on slowing down anytime soon. Now 61, Gordy believes his age and his job may have contributed to slowly losing some of his hearing.

      Gordy went to the Munson Hearing Clinic in Traverse City to have his ears looked at. The clinic has 3 doctors of audiology, hearing aid technicians and specialists to help people like Gordy. Dr. Jeni Wares is an audiologist and says many people's hearing declines gradually and other people notice they often ask for repetition.

      "What happens is you start going into noisy environments, you start going to restaurants, you start going to family gatherings and you can hear the word but you can't quite understand it," Wares said. "That's usually the first sign that there is hearing loss."

      Dr. Wares says advancements in hearing aid technology can fit directly to what a person needs, like Bluetooth or wireless accessories.

      "Someone else can wear a tiny microphone on their lapel, and it wirelessly sends their voice to their hearing aids...its really helping out for people who need that little extra help to hear," Wares said.

      Munson's Hearing Clinic can treat any kind of hearing loss and patients get a trial period for their new hearing aid to make sure it is exactly what they need. In Gordy's case, the aid allows him to hear low frequency sounds naturally but amplifies high frequency sounds he had trouble hearing on his own.

      Dr. Wares, who wears a hearing aid herself, says hearing aids in general are getting smaller, slimmer and even more unnoticeable. Soon Gordy was hearing everything he was missing, and picking up on things he hadn't heard before:

      "The minute they put the first hearing aid in my ear I said 'there's a clock ticking in here somewhere'...I could hear it and I couldn't hear it before."

      For more information on the Hearing Clinic at Munson Medical Center, click here.