Having seen another audiologist in December I appreciated how much more superior Sound Advice Hearing Center with John Davis and Alicia Durkin were. Losing my hearing was a surprise. I imagine it wasn't sudden but a result of some head traumas along my journey in life. I was so clueless I thought I had a terrible sinus cold in one ear. I experienced vertigo several times and ended up in the ER, dehydrated, terribly nauseous. I had researched in January where to go and found Sound Advice Hearing Center in my plan. The hearing test was detailed. I took Katherine with me. In a sound proof booth each ear was tested for frequencies and word recognition. When I came out John initially showed me a graph of my hearing loss and it was significant. But he didn't dwell on a graph. Katherine apologized to me for not understanding why I always asked her to say my name before speaking to me. She knew the TV was always up very loud and knew I couldn't help it. I didn't know. John played what normal people hear. Then he played how I hear men, women and children. The higher frequencies were like nonexistent. Men were easier to hear but not clear. It took my breath away to realize how debilitating this had been for me with my LIVE show, understanding Katherine, hearing the cats meow, the dog (well, I knew he was loud, but he's really got a deafening bark). I was fitted with hearing aids that are high tech, no longer the kind that just magnifies sound (which always gave hearing aids a bad rap). These connected to an app on my iphone and gives me the ability to adjust to watching TV, listening to music, making the sounds I hear directional (meaning instead of hearing a noisy restaurant and a mess of noise, I could direct easily with one touch where I wanted the sound to come from. Basically from the person sitting in front of me. I did tear up a bit when I first heard again. I'm one whose one ear is so significantly gone that John said he could get me up to 80%. That 80% was like a miracle for me. I know this sounds funny, but I could hear myself when I spoke. Katherine said it was the softest she's heard my voice in months. I also can adjust each ear volume individually and the hearing aids (like I said, high tech) are programmed to my particular deficits. There is no one size fits all. There is a period of time where my brain needs to adjust to sound again, to recognize my signal in the car actually does make a noise, to understand what a sound you'd think I would recognize but don't because I haven't heard it in so long. Brain training can take 6 weeks to 6 months. Sometimes I'm startled by how much sound information I can take in and I shake my head at what I've missed. It is what it is and I am thankful they have a payment plan, that I could put it on Katherine's card and pay her and that my health care plan helped keep this manageable. When I had a two week check up we made some adjustments and just yesterday I went back because of some static in my bad ear and they changed out the wire and nub that goes into your ear and made a few technical adjustments to the sounds I was interpreting. I'll be back there in July to tweak some more and they do special cleanings for you and nub (what I call it) changing if you find it difficult. I have rechargeable batteries (only way to go) so at night they sit in a little container and you can see by the lights how charged they are and you can check during the day if curious how much charge each still has.
Cleaning is easy with small alcohol pads and a small brush which I do each morning. They offered me a plan that was superior to the one offered by the health care folks and Katherine and I nodded yes. They are patient, obviously passionate about what they do and I did not feel rushed or made to feel they were in a hurry to see the next person. We all have different reasons for hearing loss, aging, genetics, accidents .regardless, these specialists basically hold your hand to give options that frankly for everyone is life changing. Highly recommend.