ESCONDIDO–Do you have a loved one who keeps asking you to repeat what you say or to speak louder? They might be one of the millions of Americans who are losing their hearing but there is something you can do; submit an essay of 300 words or less describing why they deserve to “Hear for the Holidays” as part of the 14th Annual Hear for the Holidays Essay Contest. The essay contest winner will receive a new pair of state-of-the-art Oticon OPN 1 digital hearing devices and a lifetime of free office visits from Palomar Health Chief Audiologist David Illich, Au.D. The devices are provided free of charge by device manufacturer Oticon. Over the past 13 years, Dr. Illich and Oticon have changed the lives of not only hearing aid recipients but the lives of their family members. “This program has brought me personal joy as I’ve seen family members speak to each other for the first time in years,” Dr. Illich said. “Hearing aids can truly be a life changer.” To qualify, candidates or someone on their behalf must submit an essay of 300 words or less describing why you or a loved one deserves these state-of-the-art hearing aids. The winning essay will be selected based on the following criteria: financial need; impact of hearing disability on quality of life; and quality of the essay. Candidates must be 18 years of age or older. Essays will be accepted through November 13. You can email your essay to Hear4theHolidays@hotmail.com or mail it to Professional Hearing Associates at 1045 E. Valley Parkway, Escondido, CA 92025. The winner will be announced on Monday, December 11.