Expert warns about the dangers of noise | THE DAILY HERALD

Glenn Mekking.


ST. EUSTATIUS–Hearing care expert Glenn Mekking of the BES Healthcare Store (Zorgwinkel) in Bonaire visited St. Eustatius this week to provide aid to people who are hearing impaired and to those who have difficulties with their hearing.

Mekking tests their ears to establish what type of damage has been done by extremely loud noises, such as construction work or loud noise in general; and sometimes in cooperation with an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist he will see what can be done about the damage.

Most of the time this will mean a hearing aid. Hearing aids, nowadays, are no longer large and can be very small. “To be honest they can be too small, so now they are being made bigger because when we made the hearing aids smaller and smaller, the battery also got smaller and smaller, and that is a bit of a problem as the battery has to be changed every two to three days. Most people these days choose a battery that is a bit larger. Still, the hearing aid is very small,” Mekking said.

He started to do this work in January 2017. He said that despite the fact that Winair has started operating flights from Saba and Statia to and from Bonaire via St. Maarten, travelling to Statia is still inconvenient as he loses half a day in travelling.

“My travels start at 6:00am, and by the time I’m able to start working in Statia it is 3:00pm.” First, he flies from Bonaire to Curaçao, where he has to wait for two hours before travelling to St. Maarten. There, he has to wait for another two hours and 30 minutes for his flight from St. Maarten to Saba, and then onward to Statia. “Sometimes, it is very difficult to get to Statia,” he said.

He expressed “sadness” over the fact that CN-Express no longer has a direct flight to Statia as in the past he would be able to get on a flight from Bonaire and arrive in Statia two to three hours later.

   Mekking also works at St. Eustatius Auxiliary Home. On Wednesday he travelled to Saba. He speaks with his patients about the protection of their ears and about rehabilitation with hearing aids. He gives them a bit of knowledge about their ears, demonstrates to them what they have to do, what they have to think about, and instructs them about the differences between noise, sound and speech volume.

“When people get to recognize what sound does and what the impact of sound is they can have much better results. It is better to prevent than to have to care for something like a hearing aid,” he said.

Source: The Daily Herald