Sometimes people have unrealistic expectations when it comes to hearing loss solutions. Hearing aids are not a magic wand, but an advanced technology that needs to be adjusted and fitted in order to work for an individual’s specific hearing needs. This is important, because untreated hearing loss can lead to isolation, lower the quality of life, and has been linked to Alzheimer's and dementia. Tom Allen was hard of hearing for thirteen years, and during that time he used his improperly tuned hearing aids off and on, but a visit to a qualified physician revealed that his hearing loss had worsened and could be improved with today's properly fitted hearing loss solutions.
Thirteen years ago, after a work related hearing loss, Tom Allen invested in hearing aids. He was unhappy with them as a hearing loss solution, because he didn’t feel they gave him back enough of his hearing to be worthwhile. After using them off and on, he stopped using them altogether. A few years passed, and as is often the case with hearing loss, his spouse pointed out how exhausting communicating with Tom had become. She told him, “I’m tired of you always saying “huh?” to me.” She also complained that he turned the television up way too loud. Tom took this seriously and began to consider getting new, properly fit, hearing aids. His decision was made when his granddaughter, who visited and stayed overnight often, told him, “I wish you’d get hearing aids, so I could be sure you hear me talk and play the piano.”
Tom made an appointment with a certified audiologist. After his examination, he found out his hearing had deteriorated, and that he would benefit from newer hearing aids. He was surprised to learn that many adults take years to seek the best hearing loss solution, and that his story was sadly typical. Often it’s a family members loving support the spurs people with hearing loss to go to a hearing health professional. His doctor discussed with Tom the best options available for him. While his doctor measured him for the hearing aids, Tom began to wonder how much of the world he’d been missing.
He found out. As he told us, “With the hearing aids in my ears I turned on the light above the stove one night and it "beeped!" What a surprise. I wasn't prepared for when our small dog barked either. It was like a super-loud gunshot going off. I can now hear people talking to me at work, and that's a loud, busy environment, but with my hearing aids I could now focus on numerous things going on at once, and not miss anything.”
Tom’s good news doesn’t stop with being able to hear his wife, the dog, and his co-workers. He can also now fully enjoy his eight-year-old granddaughter. On the day he picked up his hearing aids from his ENT, his granddaughter was visiting and asked to go along. He took her, and she watched and waited as her grandfather had his first fitting for his hearing aids. On the way home, his granddaughter tapped her fingers—much like the little piano player she is, on the seat and asked her grandfather to tell her how many taps she’d done. She was thrilled when he got the number right. She was now sure that he was hearing her all the time. When they arrived back at the house, she excitedly told her grandmother all about the trip, and Tom listened to the whole conversation, feeling he'd reconnected with his family.
Having unrealistic expectations or a bad experience with an improperly fitted hearing aid—fitting a hearing aid takes more than one appointment, can lead to frustration with hearing loss solutions, and cause people to turn away from this helpful technology. Tom Allen’s story shows that sometimes it’s only a matter of finding the right fit. As Tom puts it, “There are many folks with hearing loss that need to look into making their families happy by being able to communicate, and not be frustrated. It helps everyone.” Thanks for sharing your story, Tom! It is bound to be an inspiration to many people.
If you'd like to learn more about hearing loss, hearing heath, and hearing aids click HERE to DOWNLOAD our free guide to hearing health!
This guide will teach you:
▪ The 3 different types of hearing loss
▪ How to help a loved one hear you
▪ 8 different hearing aid styles
▪ Advances in digital and wireless hearing aid technology.