Check what our clients say
Cassandra is so reassuring and even though I was nervous about getting a hearing aid at 40 years old, I had complete confidence in her recommendations. It is obvious she is extremely well qualified but also very caring. She made sure I had an MRI with an ENT just to make sure my hearing loss wasn’t caused by any other medical condition before I purchased the hearing aid.
I did a lot of research before deciding to go with Bayside Hearing Clinic (Hearing Professionals) because there are so many places in Brighton and ASIC released a report about sales commissions. It is not sales that drive Cassandra but her genuine passion to restore peoples’ hearing. It has really changed my life. I am not so slow to respond to conversations anymore because now I can hear properly my brain doesn’t take so long to process the information.”
Cathy’s journey to better hearing has never been so rewarding.
New Bluetooth-enabled Signia Nx hearing aids have finally delivered Cathy Blakey close to normal hearing.
Having been born with a genetic hearing impairment, Cathy Blakey had spent a life lip-reading. Despite her challenges, Cathy’s determination enabled her to enjoy a full and long career in teaching. But, she recalls that times were different in the 1960’s for people with hearing impairment.
“People with hearing loss faced significant discrimination back in those days… I even had to be granted special dispensation to be allowed to enter a career in teaching. There is far less social stigma associated with hearing loss now… and I believe that technology has been a big part of that… while people with hearing loss were incorrectly perceived as less intelligent, with the aid of modern hearing aids, people can return to effective communication.”
Cathy has worn many hearing aids over the decades. Early hearing aids required wearers to sling a battery pack under their clothing, a long way from her new, discreet, Bluetooth-enabled Signia Motion 7Nx hearing aids. She describes her latest hearing aids in glowing terms:
“For the first time, I feel like I am experiencing something close to normal hearing. The television is so clear, communication is so much better, and it is much easier to hear over background noise… my hearing aids connect to my phone and I can clearly hear the conversation through both ears.”
Cathy often recalls a travel horror story when contemplating the value her new hearing aids.
“Before I got these hearing aids, I was travelling alone to Amsterdam to visit my son. At the airport, I was unable to hear the questions being asked of me by the Dutch Customs Officers… it got serious when they thought I was being deliberately belligerent because I ended up being body-searched on grounds of suspicious behaviour…If only I had my hearing aids!”
Cathy has always been keen to give back, even working as a volunteer counselor at the ‘not-for-profit’ Better Hearing Australia. So it is not surprising that she put up her hand to talk about her hearing journey:
“I hope my story encourages others to go and talk to Lys and her great team at Hearing Professionals.”
Maureen Shand’s journey highlights the advancements in hearing technology over the last 57 years. This has culminated in her latest digital hearing aids that she describes as a ‘miracle’, which she received at no cost under the Australian Government Hearing Services Program.
Maureen Shand has known hearing loss from a very young age, even though she was unaware for a long time that she heard the world in a differently. Leaving teachers college in 1961, Maureen had the standard medical assessment required to qualify for the superannuation plan available to teachers. She recalls: “The lady told me flat out ‘you’re deaf!’”.
Unfortunately for Maureen, the assessor’s woeful people skills were not the only reason she was shattered. Her hearing loss and this result also meant that she was only eligible for a one-third of the superannuation available to her colleagues with normal hearing, as it was back in the 1960’s!
Around this time, Maureen became aware of a new medical procedure that promised to restore hearing. The technique had originated in Europe and was being championed by an Australian ENT and researcher who was eager to make a name for himself. So, straight after teachers’ college, Maureen went into surgery as a human guineas pig. Although doctors only operated on one ear, the procedure was an arduous 8 hours and left Maureen debilitated for many weeks.
“I lost my balance and it took six weeks to learn to walk again, for my hair to grow back, and to be able to cope with an overwhelming nature of sound… and I was the lucky one! While my operation was a mild success, operations on the handful of other candidates were complete failures.”
Despite this early setback, Maureen went on to teach for 14 ½ years. While her hearing did make it hard to communicate with large classrooms of children, she persevered and stayed committed to her vocation. As well as saying “Beg your pardon?” often, Maureen learned to lip-read – something that helped in one-on-one conversation, but was often useless in the classroom and staff meetings.
In 1994, having been rejected as a candidate for a surgery on her other ear, Maureen’s journey with hearing loss reached another turning point. She had been supervising an exam, where students would naturally ask her questions in a whisper. Maureen found that she was neither able to hear these questions nor respond appropriately, so she became determined to give hearing aids a go.
“I only wore one hearing aid. Looking back, I am not sure if it was some foolish stubbornness in not wanting to fully accept my hearing loss or because noisy environments were uncomfortable and were just too loud (pre-digital hearing aids) … but it did make a difference.”
By 2006, Maureen was a pensioner and this qualified her to receive free hearing digital aids under the Australian Hearing Services Program. This early digital technology did improve things greatly. As Maureen upgraded her hearing aids every five years, as she is entitled to do under the Program, she has witnessed how far digital hearing technology has come in the last 12 years.
In 2016, having just been fitted with her current set of hearing aids, Maureen felt different. Something was off. But then her audiologist, Lys Allison from Hearing Professionals, explained with a smile: “Maureen, you feel different because what you are hearing is silence.” Lys Allison was right, the tinnitus (ringing in the ears) that Maureen had lived with for as long as she could remember was gone.
Modern hearing aids now have ‘tinnitus management’ technology that quietens the ringing or buzzing that is commonly associated with hearing loss, which has made it easier for Maureen to get to sleep, read a book, or just relax in peace. The difference in Maureen’s hearing has also been life-changing on many levels. She explains:
“Where I would avoid social engagements due to my hearing, I now go to everything. At our monthly dinner with friends, I can hear everything around the table… When I move from one place to another, my hearing aids will automatically adjust to ensure that hearing is easy and comfortable… They really are a miracle… While they are tiny and my hairstyle covers them and nobody can see them, my husband, friends, children, and three granddaughters have all noticed a big difference in me.”
Maureen wanted to share her story to encourage others to give modern hearing aids a go. So, whether you are a pensioner wondering if there is a point to upgrading your older hearing aids, or someone considering hearing aids for the first time, Maureen’s advice is this:
“Life is short. Do something, as you will only regret the time it took to act. You won’t, however, regret the act of calling Hearing Professionals to arrange a consultation.”
Persistence brings Barbara back into the light
Following a bad episode of Meningitis in 2003, Barbara Stagg (83) suffered hearing loss. While there was hope that her hearing may get better, it was not to be and she was fitted with hearing aids the following year. While her path to better hearing has not been smooth, Barbara’s persistence has finally paid off. Thankfully, she has found an audiologist and hearing aids that have ended years of increasing isolation and frustration. She also has renewed pep and confidence.
Barbara and her husband have always been a very social couple. They love to travel and meet new people. Although the family has now dispersed across the country, they love getting together with their children and grandchildren whenever possible. But Barbara’s hearing was increasingly leaving her feeling isolated.
Last year on The Ghan, a train that travels through the heart of Australia between Adelaide and Darwin, Barbara was not enjoying the experience as much as she’d hoped:
“It should have been so much fun. You come together with other passengers for meals and other activities. Despite trying, I could not participate in conversations with any confidence. One-on-one conversations were ok, but in groups, it was too hard. I would withdraw rather than have to constantly interrupt people to ask them to repeat what they had said… it was really wearing me down.”
Barbara had tried several models of hearing aids over the years, from free ones that are available to pensioners and veterans under the government program to more expensive ones that her husband encouraged her to invest in. They just never seemed to do the job. Her previous hearing care professionals did not seem motivated to help her make them work either.
As Barbara continued to withdraw into herself because of her hearing, she was experiencing more problems than just not being able to hear. Her health and well-being were also affected.
Barbara’s family became frustrated with having to repeat themselves. Her grandchildren may as well have been speaking in a different language, as it was impossible to follow what they were saying. She needed her daughter Colleen to handle many of her phone calls, such as making appointments. Her hearing loss had become dangerous too. After mishearing an instruction from a driver, Barbara almost stepped out of a moving car.
On the recommendation of a friend, Barbara went to see Hearing Professionals in the hope that there may be someone who could help. A few weeks later, Barbara is so happy that she did.
Barbara was fitted with Signia Cellion 2px hearing aids. She is loving being able to follow conversations with ease and listen to birds chirping when gardening. Barbara’s confidence has improved so much that she considers herself a new woman. She looks back on the “darkness” that she felt before as a time that is over and looks forward to the days ahead. Her clothing is even more colourful these days, to match her sunnier disposition.
Barbara’s Cellion 2px hearing aids have been carefully programmed by Lys Allison from Hearing Professionals ensure comfort and clarity. Being rechargeable, Barbara does not need to fiddle with batteries. And they can connect wirelessly to her mobile phone to make phone conversations much clearer.
Barbara would like to encourage anyone who is feeling the way she had been to not give up:
“I am so happy that my persistence paid off and I found Lys Allison at Hearing Professionals. It has changed not only my life, but my husband and family are for the better too.”
Malcolm’s story is one worth hearing
Latest hearing aids have been great for Wodonga local and his family
By his own admission, Malcolm Gillies had become a better talker than listener. His habit of dominating conversations would disguise his difficulty hearing and responding to what others were saying.
Now retired, Malcolm’s hearing was causing issues in his role as an accountant and department head with Toyota Australia, along with relationships with friends and family.
“When giving presentations, I avoid taking questions from the back of the room. The phone ringing would cause anxiety, as I knew the struggle I’d soon be facing… my confidence was taking a hit… noisy restaurants and cafés were impossible!”
After battling for years without help, Malcolm started wearing hearing aids 8 years ago. There was improvement, but he still struggled with feedback (whistling), noisy environments, and phone conversations. While he’d come a long way in addressing hearing loss with previous audiologists, they’d never been quite able to ‘put the ball through the goals’.
A move from Kilmore to Wodonga meant a search for a new hearing care specialist and he found Simone Clyde at Hearing Professionals.
“Rather than trying to push me to buy new hearing aids, Simone was intent on maximising the performance of the ones I had already. She has been extremely patient and has worked with me every step of the way.”
When it was time to look at new hearing aids, together they considered solutions from several world-leading hearing aid manufacturers.
“A few months ago, Simone called after being at a training session for these new Signa Pure BT (Bluetooth) hearing aids. They seemed to tick all the boxes. And now I want others to know the huge difference they have made to my life. You could say, I have done the hard yards, so hopefully others won’t have to.”
The Signa Pure BT hearing aids instantly adapt to different noise settings and are optimised for the situations Malcolm requires. Whether watching TV, sitting in church, going for a stroll with his wife, or catching up with the boys at the Men’s Shed in Wodonga, they work perfectly. Importantly, he has complete control through an app on his phone.
His wife, Kate, and four daughters have noticed the changes too. “I was becoming uptight due to the frustration my hearing was causing me. I don’t talk over the top of people so much anymore, so I’d like to think better hearing has made me a better bloke.”, Malcolm says laughing.
My First Experience with Phonak hearing aid
I have been using the Phonak 90 premium for a few weeks now. At the age of 46, after 20 years of living with a sudden hearing loss in one ear after an illness, I took the leap and trialled a hearing aid. Initially I was reluctant to try one as having one perfectly good ear, I thought I was really ok and I was concerned that I would have social concerns about wearing an outside the ear aid.
When the last of my three son’s voice dropped recently, I found I couldn’t hear a lot of what he was saying, so it was time.
My experience has been nothing short of miraculous. I had no idea just how much my hearing loss affected me in all areas of my life.
Hearing all the environmental sounds I had been missing and forgotten was very pleasurable; enjoying music again is simply brilliant, hearing well in social situations has given me more confidence I didn’t realise I’d lost. I have even rediscovered the fun of deploying a quick wit in conversations which I’d lost as I wasn’t always sure I had the gist of conversations.
The most amazing thing of all is the joy I’m experiencing in hearing my three children’s now adult male voices fully for the first time in their lives. I realise how cooperative they’ve had to be, working hard to make sure I could hear them. I had no idea just how much of an impact my hearing loss had on my family. They are all very happy for me; my eldest has commented that I am more relaxed and he’s notice my renewed confidence too. Hearing better in my open plan workplace and at restaurants and family functions and so on all contributes to my improved sense of wellbeing. I feel privileged to have another chance at better hearing and look forward to continued rediscovery of sound.
The service and professionalism of Hearing Professionals has been outstanding. Thank you Hearing Professionals!
Hearing was believing for Ian
On a fishing trip, the former colleagues of 62-year old form teacher Ian Murphy were amazed by the difference in their friend. Having lived with hearing loss for many years, Ian had recently been fitted with advanced digital hearing aids – and his ability to be a big contributor to group banter took everyone aback.
Hearing loss usually progresses slowly over time. This makes it difficult for people to objectively assess the extent to which their hearing has declined. Family and friends can often be better judges than the person with the condition.
As Ian’s wife, Ann, explains: “Ian’s use of word “sorry” had been increasing over the years – he was always saying “sorry, what was that?” and “sorry, could you repeat that?”
In social situations, such as restaurants, Ian would often risk embarrassment by guessing the right way to answer questions that he had not fully heard, rather than annoy others with constantly asking them to repeat themselves. Ann would notice Ian subtly withdrawing from group conversations, which was out of character with the gregarious man that she knew so well. Ian’s life as a teacher had also become difficult:
“With all the competing noise in the classroom, it became harder to follow group conversations and hear the responses from the students”, Ian remembers.
After battling on for many years with hearing loss, Ian came to accept that his desire for improved hearing outweighed any anxiety that he was had been feeling about wearing hearing aids.
After seeing an audiologist at Hearing Professionals, Ian was fitted with Siemens Pure 501 receiver-in-the-canal hearing aids – equipped with all the latest in Bluetooth connectivity and remote controls. He had tried hearing aids once before and had been a little disappointed with the result, but these hearing aids were a ‘revelation’.
“One of the first things I’d notice is all the simple sounds that I had been missing – wind, rain, birds. But the ability to communicate properly in a whole range of situations…. let’s just say that life is so much easier.”
His audiologist also created a number of different programs, which he can easily select using a remote control to optimise the performance of his hearing aids in different listening environments. The ability to pair his hearing aids for direct audio input from the television has been a bonus for his wife too, who can now read in peace while Ian enjoys watching his favourite programs.
Ian also appreciated how smooth the path to better hearing had been:
“The whole experience with Hearing Professionals was so easy and comfortable. No doubt my friends and wife wish that I had something earlier.”
Debbie is back to being the life of the party
Debbie Dover did not fully appreciate the extent of her hearing loss until a friend asked one day why she had not come along to the Tupperware party.
After answering: “Because you never asked me”, her friend explained that not only had Debbie been invited in person, but she had also said “yes”.
Like most people, Debbie’s hearing loss progressed slowly making it difficult for her to recognise the signs. Eventually she was able to piece it all together.
There was the time when she was the only one who could not hear a helicopter hovering nearby, and increasingly she was watching people’s lips when they talked, and guessing the right way to answer questions that she had not heard properly.
“I was always having a go at my husband Mick, telling him to stop mumbling”, Debbie remembers. “The children were telling me to turn down the TV. I just thought the TV was getting old and not as loud as it used to be”.
Rather than seek help, Debbie’s family met the challenge with her by speaking louder and louder. “I am sure people were saying – ‘those Dovers are a loud lot’”,Debbie says with a chuckle.
Eventually she did something about it and made an appointment with Lys Allison at Hearing Professionals in Boronia.
“It took me about 2-years to do something about it. As silly as it sounds now, I was worried they’d think I was a bit of an idiot.”
Naturally, her audiologist thought no such thing, and Debbie was blown away from the moment that she wore her Siemens Motion 300S hearing aids for the first time.
“It was ‘wow’. I had no idea what I’d been missing. I even noticed the cat purring for the first time in ages”, she said.
A self-confessed technology junkie, Debbie loves the fact that her hearing aids can be wirelessly connected to her mobile phone and television. The sound signal from these devices is passed directly into her hearing aids, and at the levels that are best suited to her unique pattern of hearing loss.
According to Debbie, “the sound quality from the TV is incredible stereo quality. The hearing aids will still pick up the signal from the kitchen if I making myself a cup of tea, which is great because I usually don’t want to miss anything”.
The family is happy with the advanced features too:
“I can still hear the TV even when the mute is on and that is great for watching my favourite shows without distracting others, like when Mick is on the phone or is sleeping or reading.”
Obviously Debbie is extremely happy and wants to recommend Lys and the team at Hearing Professionals to everyone.
“They have given me a new lease on life.”
Don’s business is communication
Around 50 years ago, Don Kordick (now 63) was dragged by his mother to have a hearing test. She was determined to find out whether her son had an excuse for his poor listening skills and ‘rudeness’. Luckily for Don, the results got him off the hook.
Due to the mild degree of loss and the rudimentary solutions for hearing loss of the day, his doctor suggested that the best approach was to manage to the best of his ability.
Fast-forward 40-years to the year 2000, and Don was sitting in a business meeting in Malaysia. While he had come to accept his hearing impairment and had adapted by reading lips and watching body language, this day he was finding it particularly difficult.
“There were 15 to 20 people in the room and someone was dialled into the meeting by speakerphone”, Don explains. “I was missing practically everything– but my colleague on the speakerphone back in Australia wasn’t missing a beat!”
While Don was not particularly resistant to the thought of wearing hearing aids, his hearing loss was something that he had never got around to. But the experience in Malaysia gave him the motivation to follow the advice of friends, family and work colleagues, and investigate if there was help available.
Don, who manages the Asia Pacific region for US communication technology company, was amazed by the difference they made to his life.
“Like most people with hearing loss, I had no idea of all the sounds that I had been missing out on. Like wearing glasses adds definition to shapes, sound suddenly had a crispness and clarity”, Don recalls.
And Don wasn’t the only person who noticed the difference. At work, others noticed and would comment that he was a ‘new person’. His social life also improved.
“Noisy restaurants used to be impossible. While even people with normal hearing can find these situations hard, I was barely able to hold a conversation with a person sitting next me. That has all changed.”
Recently Don upgraded his hearing aids to new rechargeable, Siemens Pure RIC (receiver-in-canal) technology. The greatest difference he has noticed is in noisy situations. About his new hearing aids, Don explains:
“Due to having an array of microphones that are synchronised between both aids via radio technology, the hearing aids are able to locate sound and then reduce amplification on background noise signals coming from the sides and behind.”
On his experience finding an Audiologist, it wasn’t as straightforward as picking up a phone book.
“I’d originally been to see another hearing care company, but they only seem interested in pushing one expensive solution on me and not discussing other options. I soon found out that they were owned by the hearing aid manufacturer of the product they had been pushing.”
In contrast: “I was recommended by another audiologist to see Lys Allison and her team at Hearing Professionals. And there was a huge difference. They are independent.. I recommend them to everyone without reservation.”
Lawyer gets a good hearing
Mike Dolan, an ethics lawyer with the Law Institute of Victoria, acknowledged that hearing loss was creating issues in social interactions and for his career and made the decision to try hearing aids again. It is now a year on and he could not be more satisfied with the benefits provided by his Siemens Pure hearings aids.
Mike’s history firing weapons during Army Reserve training without any protection was undoubtedly a contributing factor to his hearing difficulties in later life. However, male pride and a previously unsuccessful trial of hearing aids a few years ago led him to battle on without assistance of hearing devices.
“When out a family lunch with my daughters and son and their partners and grandchild, it was really difficult to follow what they were saying to each other – particularly when they were facing away from me. Noticing when I was struggling, one of my children would often repeat what had been said. It was surprising how much I’d been relying on lip-reading.”
But while background noise in cafés and restaurants made following conversations extremely difficult, Mike was more concerned about the effect hearing loss was having in his professional life.
“If I was asked a question by someone in the back of a seminar, or a person with a softer voice, it was practically impossible… I would try to guess the question, , or have the person to repeat themselves which was embarrassing,” recalls Mike.
Mike’s first experience with hearing aids came during his time in England a few years ago when he was fitted with devices under the National Health Service (UK) hearing program. However, with the prescribed devices being quite large, uncomfortable and ineffective in background noise, they ended up in the drawer never to be worn again. Unfortunately, this led Mike to question the effectiveness of hearing devices.
It was almost 6-years before he was back in Australia and it was suggested by his GP to make an appointment to see an audiologist at Hearing Professionals. Thankfully, his new Siemens Pure devices have completely changed his perception of hearing aids.
“I now hear lots of things which I missed before. They’ve been great for my confidence in presenting seminars and have turned my hearing difficulties on their head… people have no idea that I am wearing hearing aids, unless I first point this out to them and show where they sit discreetly behind my ear.”
Mike’s three daughters and son notice that their father now follows conversations at birthday parties and family gatherings without any help. Additionally, Mike has now wants to encourage people to challenge their perceptions about hearing aids.
“It would be great if my story can encourage someone to head down the path to better hearing sooner rather than later. The service I received from my audiologist and the support team at Hearing Professionals has been excellent – nothing has been too much trouble.”
Better hearing changes life for Jim McNeice
Baptist Pastor, Jim McNeice, had realised that he may be experiencing some hearing difficulties since the mid-90’s, he never really thought it was anywhere near as bad as others were making out.
Since being fitted with small receiver-in-canal devices last year he has now become a strong advocate for people taking the steps to address their hearing loss.
“I welcome any opportunity to tell people my story. I really want to encourage someone in a situation like I had been in to stop delaying and pick up the phone and make an appointment… more than ever, I appreciate how important hearing is to quality of life and people need to understand that they are worth it. They have completely changed my life!”
Over the years, there had been numerous signs that Jim’s hearing was not what it once was. There were arguments with his wife Gwen over the volume on the TV and radio. When talking with family and friends, Jim was constantly saying: “Sorry, what was that?” and “Can you repeat that?”.
Jim explains: “You can hear people talking clearly enough, you just can’t make out what they are saying. When someone says something from another room, or you’re not facing them, it is impossible… I had no idea how much I had been relying on lip reading.”
Lys Allison, Director of Audiology at Hearing Professionals, explains why this is such a familiar story:
“Commonly, people with hearing difficulties often only miss the higher-pitched sounds in words and sentences, such as “s”, “th”, “f”, “t” and “k”. While lower frequency sounds in speech provide the volume of speech – and most people hear this clearly enough – the higher frequencies provide clarity of speech.“
Despite his problems, Jim kept ‘coping’ for years and would question the value of hearing devices. He is now the first to admit how wrong he had been.
“Now, I can believe how much I had been missing. When I preach at the culturally diverse Maroondah Family Church, I would engage the congregation in a dialogue during the mass. But when it came to trying to hear responses from people at the back, it was hopeless. Even members of parish were telling me to get hearing aids!”
These days, life is much easier from Jim. In mass he does not miss a thing; he can follow all the conversations with his grandchildren; his wife of 46-years can head to bed early without the distraction of a TV blaring in through the house; others have commented that he is not talking so loudly anymore; and he sings with the church choir without singing over them top of them.
According to Lys Allison, hearing technology has advanced incredibly in recent years with more affordable devices now offering improved clarity, comfort and benefit than devices that would have cost twice as much as little as 6-years ago.
While Jim did not go for the top-of-range, he could not be happier with the more affordable mid-range Siemens Pure 301 receiver-in-canal devices:
“Nobody ever seems to notice that I am wearing them, because the are small and sit out-of-sight behind my ears. They have different program settings for different listening environments that are really beneficial and the remote control that I got with them is fantastic – so easy to use.”
To arrange an assessment and consultation to discuss how modern technology could benefit you, please call Hearing Professionals today.
“Simone’s impeccable professionalism, friendliness, and knowledge have been a delightful change in service. Her willingness to rectify the problems encountered by Dad, is worthy of great commendation… We only wish that Dad had relocated to Hearing Professionals sooner! Thank you for restoring our faith!
Simone’s impeccable professionalism, friendliness, and knowledge have been a delightful change in service.
Her willingness to rectify the problems encountered by Dad, is worthy of great commendation… We only wish that Dad had relocated to Hearing Professionals sooner! Thank you for restoring our faith!
Simone’s impeccable professionalism, friendliness, and knowledge have been a delightful change in service. Her willingness to rectify the problems encountered by Dad, is worthy of great commendation… We only wish that Dad had relocated to Hearing Professionals sooner! Thank you for restoring our faith!”
Chris digs his new hearing aids
Given that Chris Marsh has worked with heavy machinery for 35 years, in an era when adopting hearing protection was unheard of, it hardly surprising that his hearing was affected. Over the last few years he came to realise that his hearing difficulty was more than an inconvenience – it was affecting his work.
“I’ve been running Dig-Itt Earthworks in the Brown Plains region for about 15 years. It has been harder to have normal conversations with customers about what they need and always having to ask them to repeat themselves is hardly a great thing.”
At home, Chris’ wife Robyn was increasingly frustrated. In social situations he was finding it harder to be able to follow conversations,particularly in noisy environments. Many times Chris suffered the embarrassment of answering questions that he thought he had heard, only to and out that he was completely off topic. His six sons were also getting on his back about his hearing. Finally with the arrival of his first grandchildren, twin boys Archie and Fletcher, Chris finally made the call to do something about it.
“I want to be able to hear everything they will have to say. I do not want to miss anything.”
But the path to better hearing was not as straightforward as he hoped it might be.
“Before I found Simone at Hearing Professionals, I’d been to a couple of other clinics. At the first place, I got the feeling that they were going through the motions… and did not clearly explain my options. At the second, it was like they wanted as much of my cash as they could take.“
Despite misgivings about the service he was being provided, Chris did give hearing aids a go and even bought an expensive pair. Unfortunately, they were not really that comfortable or effective.
When Simone Clyde from Hearing Professionals followed up with Chris a er an earlier hearing test, he decided to see what else could be done. From that point forward, he could not have been happier.
“I can’t rave enough about how great Simone has been. Even when I was happy, she wanted to do more. Instantly the hearing aids that she recommended sounded bloody amazing. So clear. So comfortable.”
Modern hearing aids, such as the Siemens Binax receiver-in-canal devices worn by Chris, are practically invisible.
“Nobody ever notices that I am wearing hearing aids, as the little case that sits behind my ear matches my skin colour and the tube that takes the sound into my ear is so thin you can hardly see it. They are so comfortable that there have been a few times I head off to bed or get ready to jump into the shower and have completely forgotten that I have them in.”
Chris could not speak more highly of Simone and everything she has done for his hearing and his life. He hopes that sharing his story provides the encouragement for others to seek help for their hearing difficulties.
Advanced hearing aids a saviour for Rod
Retired Church minister, Rod Horsfield, has always socially and physically active. However, with a family history of hearing difficulties and an early career in a noisy printing business, it was likely that he would become one of the 3.6 million Australians affected by hearing loss.
Rod first noticed the signs in the early 1990’s, and he made the decision to do something about it. Around 20-years have passed since he was fitted with his first hearing aids. Over that time he has experienced many advancements in hearing technology, with hearing aids offering improved clarity and comfort, while also becoming increasingly discreet. This has culminated in his recent fitting of Siemens hearing aids featuring micon technology and a waterproof design – and they are proving perfect for his sporting lifestyle.
Contrary to common belief, hearing difficulties are rarely as simple as the volume being turned down.
People with hearing difficulties often only miss the higher pitched sounds in words and sentences, such as “s”, “th”, “f”, “t” and “k”. In the presence of background noise, such as meetings and restaurants, it become hard for someone with hearing loss to be able to fill in the gaps and tune in to a conversation.
Despite ongoing problems, many are resistant to wearing a hearing device – feeling that they are too young for hearing aids. Surprisingly, most Australians with significant hearing difficulties are actually under the age of 65 and studies have shown that prolonged exposure to noise contributes to hearing loss in more people than the ageing process.
While his ‘hard-of-hearing’ father had battled for years without hearing aids, Rod recalls that hearing difficulties were impacting keys areas of his life, including: his career as a minister; his love of acting in theatre (missing cues); at dinner parties he would find himself tuning out; and at home his non-responsiveness was causing his wife, Beth, increasing frustration. Rod recalls:
“During the service I would sit all of the children at the foot of the alter and have an open conversation. While the idea was to get them engaged, they would lose interest and patience when I constantly asked them to repeat themselves… I was missing too much of what they were saying and it was becoming embarrassing.”
According to Lys Allison, Director of Audiology at Hearing Professionals, hearing loss often significantly impacts the careers of people with the condition: –
“An American study found that people with hearing loss who were not assisted by the use hearing aids had household income that was on average $12,000 per annum less than people with normal or assisted hearing. Additionally an Australian Study in 2005 estimated that the cost of hearing loss to our economy was a staggering $11.75 billion, with the majority of this due to lower opportunities for people with hearing difficulties over 45 years and subsequent losses in earnings.”
While Rod has enjoyed the benefits of hearing aids in the past, his active lifestyle had caused problems with his hearing aids. Along with clarity and ability to hear better in even the most challenging environments, Rod’s new Siemens Aquaris hearing aids are waterproof. Naturally, he appreciates being able to wear them all the time, without worrying about the having to send them in for repair due to the effects of perspiration on the delicate circuitry of a hearing aid:
“I do a lot of cycling with a group of friends and Beth (wife) was a little concerned about my safety… specifically not being able to hear traffic. Now when I am out riding, I can carry on a conversation with the person next to me and don’t ride off into the distance anymore when a friend is yelling out ‘stop I have a puncture’,” laughs Rod.
Rod hopes that sharing his experience encourages more people with hearing difficulties to seek help.
“Hearing Professionals are very good, and I would specifically like to than Lys, Georgina, Allison, Tania and the rest of the team for their and service.”
“I was very happy with the service provided to me. The Receptionist and Audiologist at Bayside Hearing Clinic, were very kind, helpful and informative. Many thanks to them both and to your service you provided me. Keep up the good work that you are providing to the community.”
Joan S.S Ong