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Julie, Volunteer Mentor (@julieo4)

The Emotional Side of Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss | Last Active: Jun 26 4:16pm | Replies (45)

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@julieo4

Thank you for your wisdom and experience sharing Mary. My experience mirrors yours quite a bit.

It's so important to have a provider that is willing to work with you when things aren't as expected. Everyone is different. Unfortunately, one of the similarities among people who are struggling with hearing loss is to be frustrated and displeased with the product and the provider.

Many whom I know have been very happy with hearing aids fit and provided by big box retailers like Costco. Others are not. The training of the fitter is extremely important as is that person's patience with the frustrated hearing aid buyer.

And yes, every person's hearing loss is unique. Some are far easier to fit than others. That's where the experience of the fitter comes in big. It's also where issues that go beyond basic hearing loss might be in play.

Fitting hearing aids properly is a skill, particularly when the person being fitted has a unique loss. Most progressive hearing loss is caused by noise exposure, drug interactions, or normal aging. However, it can sometimes be caused by medical issues that need treatment aside from hearing technology.

The audiology profession has had to adapt to a lot of changes. It's important for all of us to know that some of the fitters/providers have doctorate level degrees in the field, they are AuD (Doctors of Audiology), others may have a master's degree and be identified with the letters MS-CCCA or MA-CCCA for master's degree certified clinical competence in audiology.

Many who work as assistants or at the big box stores have far less education and are called 'hearing instrument specialists'. HIS requires no college degree at all, but training in the field as an apprentice.

If a person's hearing loss is not complex, basic amplification may be all that is needed. However, if it is more advanced and unique it may need many adjustments before it feels right.

Important though, is to understand that hearing aids do not 'cure' hearing loss. They do not fully correct it either. They are 'aids' to better hearing. People who adjust to using them usually find they are extremely helpful, and greatly missed when not available.

How do you react to suggestions provided by your provider? How does your provider react to the concerns you express at your appointment(s).

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Replies to "Thank you for your wisdom and experience sharing Mary. My experience mirrors yours quite a bit...."

@julieo4

My Audi, I think, is unique in that she loves to hear any and all suggestions or just about anything I have to say. She knows I know a lot about hearing loss and that I can express precisely what I need. She has let me trial a few other brands (no payment required) knowing in her heart that they would not be as good a fit as the Phonaks and she was right. I needed to find out myself and then she took notes on the whys and whats of my experience.
She gets so excited when things turn out well and she has helped someone.
She was the one who researched molds for me and decided to go with a different company. The first new mold a couple of months ago didn’t work out so I did not pay for it. I actually cut it down because it was irritating and she has since ordered another one. I get a lot of goodies, batteries, tubing. I swapped some tubing last time that I don’t use anymore and she gave me some of what she had.
I know about her family and kids and she pretty much knows about me and what I do. So you can see this friendship developed over the years.
She’s passionate about her work and interested in anything I know that she doesn’t. She’s a great Audi and I have had one very good one , one excellent hearing aid specialist and one amazing hearing aid specialist….and then some awful or indifferent ones in the past.
So, if someone can’t get a recommendation, than it’s trial and error . If you are not happy with any of the aids you have bought from one provider and are not getting satisfaction, then it’s time to move on.
Someone new to hearing aids won’t know what to expect so it’s hard to judge sometimes. I have offered to go with anyone and sit in, if allowed, for first time buyers but no one has taken me up on that.

So much for a short answer
FL Mary

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