It’s official. I’m smitten with my new Naída S by Phonak. What’s that, you may wonder? It’s a hearing aid. A water-resistant hearing aid I could wear in the shower! Wow! It’s also a bluetooth device that lets me take incoming phone calls and listen to streaming audio on my iPhone. And it connects with my bluetooth FM System.
Most people would probably not wax rhapsodic, but after a progression in hearing loss I am suddenly hearing better than I did before the downturn in hearing. It is not that I got my hearing back, it is that the technology is such that it enables me to maximize my residual hearing better.
I no longer have a bluetooth headset hanging off my one good ear. Now I wear a microphone around my neck.
I’m fortunate I’ve got insurance that covers the vast majority of the cost of this hearing appliance and I got help from a rehab organization to cover the rest. I also paid out of pocket for some of the adaptive add-ons. Then again, if I didn’t need it for work related reasons I would never have sought out this sort of very high-end equipment.
I’m also blessed to have connected with a highly competent group of audio professionals dedicated to providing high quality service to the hard of hearing community. I practically worship at the feet of Joel Rubin, my hearing aid tech. He’s the one I go to with questions about how best to address my highly specialized needs to deal effectively in my business and my life. He really listens and has more ideas than anyone I’ve ever met before. I recently found out he has a degree in Engineering from MIT and used to do product engineering. That explains it.
Because I’m an unabashed hearing aid user and interested in making sure others get their hearing needs met, I’m constantly referring people who need help to his office. I’ve burned through a lot of less adept hearing aid providers over the years. It isn’t easy to find highly competent and professional folks who are more interested in serving a population than making a sale.
So if you think you need a hearing test – get one. Go to an audiologist or an ENT. Don’t do the denial thing. Really. Find someone who really understands hearing aids and what all the options as well as what is best for you. Don’t settle for some provider that sells only one brand – and I don’t care what brand it is. If they don’t handle top of the line brands like Phonak, Siemens and Starkey then go somewhere else. Find someone you can depend on because you’re going to have a relationship that lasts for years, through cleanings, computer updates of the hearing aid software, and eventual replacement of the unit. This is someone who has to be honest as the day is long and as reliable as the sun coming up in the morning. Oh, and if you’re like me and you have to ask “How much noise is a car supposed to make?” (because you have never been able to hear it), if your tech can’t tell you the phone apps you can download to test out the noise level of your environment – find someone better. Like Joel. 😉