14 June 2004

Digital hearing aids complete extreme makeover

Never mind the extreme makeover Cynthia Lunsford received by the surgeons' scalpels and the beauty experts. What really changed her life in front of the eyes of millions of American viewers recently were the state-of-the-art digital hearing aids in her ears.

When the 50 year-old Lunceford of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was selected for the highly popular American TV show, "Extreme Makeover" in which people are transformed by plastic surgeons and beauty consultants, she mainly wanted corrective laser eye surgery (LASIK) to improve her vision and a tummy tuck.

But the staff of the show added their own idea and surprised her with a pair of digital hearing aids.

"I wanted the LASIK so I could read lips better," Lunceford later told the Salt Lake Tribune. "I used to have to work so hard to lip read, I was exhausted by the end of the day. Now, my whole life is much more relaxed, and I can enjoy talking to people instead of having to try so hard to understand them."

Lunceford was born with a severe hearing loss, but it was not until she was introduced to the newest hearing aid technology on the Extreme Makeover show that she realized how her condition could be treated effectively.

"There is a wonderful world of hearing out there, and if you have a loss, you are missing out on so much of life," she said.

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, April 2, 2004.

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