Hearing the Birds Sing – My Hearing Aid Quest

Around the same time as I turned 77, my youngest daughter said she thought I was not hearing well in group situations.

I knew, although I didn’t really want to admit it, she was right. I knew I wasn’t hearing as well as I used to.

Even so, I made an appointment with an audiologist and was tested. They told me that my hearing was normal, no hearing loss.

That was three years ago. But I found I continued to have a problem hearing.

Shooting fish in a barrel

So I started researching the subject of hearing loss. I found that, for many people, hearing aids are a bit like shooting fish in a barrel – difficult and never with a good result. It seems that both the patients and their audiologists aren’t always patient enough to find the right solution. Many people have tried different hearing aids, with dismal results — from the least to the most expensive. They end up returning them, disappointed, and never try again!

My hearing loss story

Do you hear the birds sing?

Downy Woodpecker – Photo by Colleen O’Shea and identified by Whatbird.com

Some people have bought hearing aids and, after a while, stopped wearing them because they didn’t work the way they expected. They just left them in a drawer, abandoned.

I learned there have been some great advances made in hearing devices. Some aids, for example, are installed right into the ear and are left in the ear for three months!  That sounded like the ultimate solution to me!

I was determined to find a way to improve my hearing — and find the device that was best for me.

Last year, I had another test, this time at the Academy Hearing Centres. They found me to have “medium loss of hearing”. Both ears would benefit from increased hearing with hearing aids.

As it turns out, I wasn’t a candidate for the three-month model.  The model that was best suited for me happened to be the ReSound — they call it Smart Hearing! They manufacture the only hearing aids endorsed by Apple — and I can manage them with my iPad – and I do.

They come with a remote control and have three settings. The settings are:

  • (1) all around;
  • (2) restaurant; and
  • (3) TV/MiniMic.  The ReSound Unite TV Streamer 2 transfers signals from a TV set or other audio device to a ReSound wireless hearing instrument.  This is totally awesome as it enables you to watch TV with the sound only coming to your hearing aids.  No sound is coming from your TV speakers or other speakers into the room!

Due to the large number of baby boomers aging, there is a lot of research and development being done regarding hearing aids. If you’re having problems hearing, this is what I suggest:

  1. Get a hearing test done — and take the results with you to more than one hearing aid centre.
  2. Make sure you check out all the options to what is available for your particular kind of hearing loss before you buy.
  3. Find out what the return policy is, and what the warranty covers.
  4. Once purchased, be sure to insure them on your personal insurance.  Here in Alberta, your health care coverage will pay $900 every five years towards the purchase of your hearing aids.

I have check-ups every three months at the Academy Hearing Centres and Kathy Quast, the Registered Hearing Aid Practitioner, is fantastic. She’s focused on helping me and my particular hearing loss and takes the time to make sure everything about MY hearing aid makes me happy.  I have what is called “medium loss of hearing” and my aids give me maximum hearing.

I’m so happy with these aids and had no trouble getting used to them! They’re just as easy as wearing glasses — and just one more thing. Hearing the birds sing is a beautiful thing, and I didn’t realize before I got my hearing aids that was something I was missing out on.

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