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‘The World Sounds Different’

For years, I experienced the daily noise of machinery within industrial food plants. Although I was active in hearing testing of employees and noise abatement programs in factory settings, I, too, have suffered hearing loss. I have been tested and diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears, for which I then received quotes for unaffordable hearing aids. Over-the-counter and TV-ad amplifiers did not help.

My wife gave me an article to read from Hopkins Medicine magazine, featuring Access HEARS [“Loud & Clear,” Winter 2019]. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. Maybe it would help?

I met with Khoi Le and Josiah Yiu to discuss the possibilities. After [I had] a brief trial of a “Sidekick,” we decided to purchase a pair of them. The results have been outstanding! Not only do I hear better but am more confident that I am hearing correctly the first time.

Josiah’s follow-up and support have been great.

The world sounds different. What an improvement!  I hope that this program is expanded so that more seniors are able to be educated about and make use of this wonderful more affordable technology. Thank you for raising awareness through Hopkins Medicine Magazine.

Lou Sellmayer

Baltimore, MD

Setting the Record Straight

I was very happy to read the nice piece on Chris Beard’s reception of a JHU Distinguished Alumnus Award [“Discovering the Dawn Monkey,” Winter]. We are very proud of Chris’ accomplishments, both as a student here and in his later career. I wanted to correct a couple of minor factual errors in the report, though. First, Chris Beard was one of the first two students in the Functional Anatomy and Evolution graduate program, not the first student, and second, the head of the Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution has been, for the past 20 years, myself, not Ken Rose. Ken was a distinguished member of our faculty for 37 years. I recently announced my planned retirement in 2020.

Christopher Ruff, Ph.D.

Professor and Director, Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

An Impressive Scientist

When I read “High Sights for Low Vision” [Winter], I was very impressed with how Bonnielin Swenor overcame the challenges that came with her vision loss—on both professional and personal levels. I was also very excited about her research on low vision, as this work is very close to my personal experience.

My mother has macular degeneration and has suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. I always suspected that the vascular dementia that followed could be as much a result of her stroke as her decreased vision due to macular degeneration. I am so pleased that this very subject is a focus of Dr. Swenor’s current research. We may not benefit from her findings today, but I’m sure many people will in the future.

Behfar Tavana

North Potomac, MD