Covid-19 has impacted the south Lake community just as it has impacted the whole world. Many have lost their jobs and are dealing with financial hardships which will make the holidays more stressful for them. Hearing aids are a big investment in one’s health and unfortunately it can get pushed by the wayside when other priorities take precedence. Over 48 million Americans report some degree of hearing loss which is challenging enough for people without a pandemic. Add in the stresses of protective masks, and the situation gets even more complicated.
With all this uncertainty, Dr. Kristen Weinbaum with Precision Hearing, based in Clermont, is excited to do its part once again by giving back to the community to make one person’s holiday season incredibly memorable this year. As other events are being cancelled left, right and center, Dr Weinbaum, who also suffers from hearing loss, has made it her mission to not let COVID-19 put a stop to her fourth annual “GIFT OF HEARING CONTEST” which will run through December 11.
Dr. Weinbaum says the contest, open to residents of south Lake and surrounding communities, is designed to give one person in need the opportunity to receive the gift of hearing and win a new pair of digital hearing aids.
“It’s really extra special this year due to COVID-19 and I feel incredibly blessed to be able to continue to do this and change someone’s life for the better, especially now,” says Dr. Weinbaum. “In this era of social distancing, its’ easy to feel disconnected from friends and loved ones, add in a hearing loss and it gets even more complicated.”
Dr. Weinbaum also says that hearing and communication is more critical this year than ever, adding that: “Widespread use of masks is making communication incredibly difficult for those with hearing loss who rely on lip reading, facial expressions, and visual cues to fill in the gaps that are missing in audible speech. We have had a lot of new patients come in who felt that they were “getting by” with an untreated hearing loss until masks came into play. Now they can no longer get by and they are realizing how much they need the assistive technology of hearing aids.”
“Those who suffer from hearing loss are even less likely to participate in social activities, leading to isolation and worsening the situation,” says Dr. Weinbaum. “Now, more than ever, it’s critical that everyone be able to hear well and communicate—not only to hear emergency announcements, continue working remotely and stay connected with their doctors, friends and loved ones, but also to curb the rising parallel pandemic around mental health,” states Dr. Weinbaum.
Dr Weinbaum is no stranger to hearing loss having lived with it herself since the age of five and she always wanted to help improve the lives of others struggling with hearing loss. She is board certified in audiology and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss at her Claremont, Florida, Precision Hearing clinic. She earned her Doctor of Audiology degree from the University of South Florida. She is a fellow of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology.
“Making a difference in people’s lives is my passion,” says Dr. Weinbaum. “Sometimes it’s small, sometimes it’s big. But I get to help people every day and occasionally the results are literally instantaneous when you turn on a patient’s hearing aids for the first time. It’s very fulfilling!”
Those wishing to “share their personal story” should send a written submission to Precision Hearing describing why they or someone they know would benefit from winning a pair of hearing aids but have been unable to obtain them due to financial difficulties. Stories can be shared by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to: Precision Hearing, 4331 S. Highway 27, Clermont, FL, 34711.