Is Your Hearing Going South? Be Proactive

Bill Grinonneau, SaddleBrooke resident

Bill Grinonneau, SaddleBrooke resident

Bill Grinonneau and Tiggy Shields

Have you ever had your spouse, partner, or friend speak so softly that you can’t hear them? Have you ever found yourself saying “huh?” or “I can’t hear you,” when they speak in a normal, perfectly understandable voice? Well, friends, that happened to me. Gradually I came to the realization that hearing, or lack thereof, was becoming a real issue for me and impacting my relationships with those folks near and dear to me. I began to realize that my condition had occurred so slowly I hadn’t really noticed. Ok. I finally faced reality. I needed help, but where do I go?

My first discovery was made right here in SaddleBrooke at the Health Fair, normally (before COVID-19) held in early October. One of the local audiology offices had a booth that offered an initial free hearing test. Results indicated that indeed, I was a candidate for hearing aids. An appointment was made and “real ear” measurements, compared to “normal” measurements were given. My hearing was dramatically less than normal. So, I was fitted for two hearing aids. Wow! What an eye opener to see what I’d been missing, and what a relief for those around me! I was amazed at the difference. I felt almost child-like in the wonder that now the turn signals were audible—the road noise, the radio, conversations with friends, and at home. No longer did I have to turn up the TV and make others suffer. I discovered the world was full of sounds I’d missed for too long.

However, my decision to purchase hearing aids so quickly turned out to be a bit impetuous. I was so excited to get amplification and hear again that I didn’t realize how much more aids could do for me than just volume. When friends invited me to the SaddleBrooke discussion group for Better Hearing, I started to realize I’d not done my homework. This group had handouts and recommendations on internet research about hearing aid technology and how to interview an audiologist. Folks shared their experiences and answered my questions. I continue to learn so much. I found a new audiologist and have terrific new hearing aids with more options. I even wanted to take a bottle of champagne to my audiologist, I’m so happy!

If you think you need help with your hearing, be proactive! Consider attending the next monthly Zoom meeting of the discussion group for Better Hearing so you can get important knowledge right up front, save money, and avoid my early mistakes. For more information, contact Jennifer Jefferis at [email protected] or 360-909-6212 or contact Maria Men-coni at [email protected] Upcoming Zoom meetings are on Thursday, Dec. 10, 10 a.m. and Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, at 10 a.m.