We see individuals that have speech, language, hearing, swallow and voice problems. And we see patients across the age span — from newborns through geriatrics — and for just a variety of different kinds of communication difficulties.
If you have a communication difficulty — any of those problems that I mentioned — it can really have a serious affect on your relationships with other people, with your family, with your spouse. It can impact a child’s ability to learn or how they learn.
If you take a young infant who has a hearing impairment and then are able to fit them with hearing aids or an implant. To see the difference — once that child is fitted with the device and becomes aware of sound — is remarkable. In fact it usually happens right there in the test situation. You put the instrument on — or turn the instrument on — and you can see the baby become more alert and their eyes kind of light up.
Another example would be an adult — the opposite end of the age continuum — who has lost their hearing through normal aging processes, for example. And by the same token we’re able to give them a hearing aid, and you see their quality of life improving — and that of the family — when such basic things as the television doesn’t need to be set up louder for that individual, they can hear conversations from the next room, aren’t having to ask friends to repeat so much, and that kind of thing.