'Man's need for communication with his fellow man is possibly his greatest need and the fulfilment of his other needs and desires is largely dependent upon, or at the last greatly facilitated by, his ability to satisfy this basic one.' Louise Tracy Defective hearing disrupts human communication. It gives rise to anxiety, frustration, stress, isolation, loss of self-esteem, even loss of livelihood for the individual with a reduced capacity to receive and interpret sound. Because we live in families and communities, the effects of hearing loss are not restricted to the impaired individual. Those who associate with that person, especially those who are very close, are affected and prone to many of the same emotions and stresses. From the earliest times man has sought for remedies for hearing loss. Incantations, infusions, cuppings and bleedings, all have been advoÂ cated and, with the rare, serendipitous exception, have been equally ineffective. The only real assistance for countless generations was to cup the hand behind the ear and ask the speaker to raise their voice.