Bruce Homer and Tiggy Shields
It all started slowly. I noticed, like some of my friends, that I couldn’t understand some of the TV news reporters or actors in the movies. And then there is the problem of my spouse thinking I’m ignoring her. So, the problem gets worse, and I start wondering if it is them or me. I made improvements to the TV audio that helped somewhat but didn’t resolve all the other communication problems, such as hearing on the phone or talking to someone who has an accent. What to do?
I started by seeing an ear, nose and throat specialists to get the wax out of my ears. Yes, that can be a real problem. Did removing the wax help my hearing? For a little while, sounds seemed better, but that changed back to square one after a few weeks. The ENT doctor next suggested that I get my hearing checked. The initial hearing test showed that my hearing was not what it was when I was much younger. The changes happen so slowly that I never noticed. Well, maybe I did but just ignored the difference.
The next part of the journey was reviewing the results with my wife and talking about the options. First, there is do nothing and put up with the problem—not agreeable with my wife or me. The second is to find a hearing aid solution at a reasonable price. The third was to get to know more about hearing loss in general and aid solutions. That’s when I discovered the SaddleBrooke Discussion Group for Better Hearing meetings.
The first meeting was very interesting listening to others discuss their hearing loss journey and their fitting process with hearing aids. After going to several monthly meetings and talking with individuals, I was able to get ideas about potential audiologists. I learned so much from other SaddleBrooke residents about hearing aids in general and the amazing features available now, even what support is provided by the manufacturer.
The audiologist I chose gave me a more thorough hearing test and explained the nature of my particular hearing loss and how the aids could help. My doctor finetuned my new aids after they came in and explained the need for me to return to the office in the following weeks to continue adjusting the aids after using them in different settings, all of which is a normal part of the process. In my case, with the aids I chose, I also have a range of features that I can control from my smart phone. I am so glad I took these many steps, learned a lot, faced my hearing loss, and got the help I needed. This journey was well worth the effort.
If you are on the fence about seeking help regarding your hearing, please join one of our monthly Discussion Group for Better Hearing meetings at 10 a.m. in the Sonoran Room of the MountainView Clubhouse. You may also email Jennifer Jefferis at [email protected] or Lyle Larson at [email protected] for more information.