While there are plenty of reasons for hearing individuals to learn sign language, the reality is many people lose their hearing over time, either through natural aging processes, undiagnosed medical issues, or trauma. Dr. Melissa Wikoff and husband Josh Wikoff have set out on an important mission: help people maintain and improve their hearing.
The industry is fraught with stigmas which quality hearing aid websites are attempting to demystify.. At its core, hearing is a communication tool, along with sign language; when we enhance one, or advocate the other, it is two sides of the same coin, bridging the gap between those who can hear, and those who can’t.
What is that Whistling Sound? How Knowing Led to Clarity
It all began when Dr. Melissa was a little girl, speaking with her grandparents on the telephone. The usual conversations about school and dance were interrupted with a continuing popping and hissing sound over the telephone. The feedback from Pop-pops hearing aids led to more confusion and frustration to the point where conversations were abruptly ended and Grandma was put back on the phone.
Idolizing her grandfather and understanding it was his hearing that was the issue, not his lack of caring, Melissa knew there had to be a better way to help those hearing impaired – her route to find this led her to study Audiology at Washington University.
What’s that in Your Ear? Societal Stigmas Surrounding Hearing Aids
While completely deaf individuals embrace and accept their lack of hearing, many people refuse to wear hearing aids. Pride, society stigmas, and just plain inertia turns thousands of otherwise able listeners, into head nodding zombies, incapable of basic communication, whether by voice or sign language. Repeating sentences, reading lips, or viewing facial expressions are weaker forms than sign language, and are leaned on as a pseudo communication crutch by those who refuse to seek audiological assistance.
Replacing the “cold”, Doctor office with a warm-friendly environment is a main tenet of PeachTree Hearing. Audiologists have been usurped, as hearing aids became commoditized over the last several decades. While dentures and vision still largely remain the domain of Doctors, the elderly and those greatly at risk for developing hearing loss (musicians, veterans, those in commercial industries) are unceremoniously instructed to purchase hearing aids at a local retail store, ignore the problem, or self diagnose.
With a freshly painted interior, a warm friendly family- owned and operated facility and staff, Dr. Melissa and Josh act as if it could very well be their Grandparents in the waiting area. Coupled with state of the art technology, Dr. Melissa is able to discern between normal hearing loss, or more serious underlying medical issues. Not all patients are candidates for hearing aids, and one size certainly doesn’t fit all or even most.
Hidden Health: What Hearing and Balance Reveal
Hearing and balance are intricately connected. Many patients complain of dizziness, also known as vertigo, light headedness, or tinnitus. To rule out secondary hearing loss, Dr. Melissa asks incoming patients to fill out a detailed intake form, and relies on years of expertise, a personalized approach, and the latest technology to determine if hearing loss is directly caused by aging, ear trauma, complications, or an untreated secondary condition such as a Thyroid problem, other hormones, or any medications a patient may be taking. While hearing on its surface appears to be a vanity communication tool, it’s deeply rooted in the quality of life.
Improved communication, a vista into a patient’s overall health, and corrective measures to treat symptoms while addressing the root cause is the goal of PeachTree Hearing, A human approach and compassion are their mantra, not society stigmas or forcing people to miss out on their grandchildren’s joy. If you live near Marietta Georgia, you can visit their store-front location. They are lifelong residents of Georgia so give Melissa a call to discuss your options. She is an advocate of giving back to the community, and often makes pro-bono visits to the William Brehman Jewish Home in Atlanta.
Here are the contact details:
Parkaire Medical Center
4939 Lower Roswell Rd.
Building A, Suite 107
Marietta, GA 30068