Chapter 5: Exasperation with Free Hearing Aids
Yes, you read that correctly: FREE Hearing Aids.
The hearing aids were free. Yes, you read that correctly: FREE. And what a fiasco they turned out to be! I have been describing my journey with Doug and his caring staff at Prescott Hearing Center. I recently reflected on the most recent pair of hearings aids I used before seeing Doug.
I’m Not One to Turn Down Things that are “Free”
One of the benefits of my health insurance supplemental program is free hearing aids and manufactured by an affiliate company. I thought, “Hey, what a bonus. What do I have to lose?”
My Hearing Appointment
I received the two free hearing aids in June of 2019. First, I gave the Hearing Specialist my history, and he asked a few questions, then he tested me. The results showed my hearing and voice discrimination in the left ear was virtually gone. However, he said he felt that I would experience significant improvement with hearing aids in both ears. I did not understand why I should wear a hearing aid in both ears when my hearing was nonexistent in my left ear. I thought maybe I was the skeptic. In any case, he programmed both aids, with a computer, and sent me home.
These free hearing aids were extremely uncomfortable, even irritating. You see, the domes (the tips that go in your ear) did not fit my ears correctly. I am generally prone to ear infections and irritations due to allergic reactions to pollens and pollutants in the air, and hearing aids did not help my situation. Both receivers (the part that goes in your ear) kept moving their way out, because of the poor-fitting domes. I was continually pushing them back in, causing more irritation to my ear canals. Every day it felt like I was putting an inflexible, poor-fitting, and painful instrument into my ear.
Hearing Aids Should Help You to Hear
The help, if any, seemed minimal at best. It didn’t matter if I was in a noisy environment or a quieter one; I struggled to hear & understand those around me. Sometimes, using the hearing aids made me feel like my hearing ability was worse than if not using hearing aids at all. Let me explain. Because there was virtually no voice discrimination in my left ear, I have since learned, a regular hearing aid was not appropriate for this ear.
Additionally, the left aid was programmed to an extremely high-volume level. Which increased my lack of voice discrimination and caused distortion to the point that when someone would be speaking to me, the sound of the voice was only loud, I could not discern anything the person was saying. My left ear was now competing with my right ear, which has much better voice discrimination. It did not take me long to quit using the left hearing aid entirely.
The Gift that Keeps on Taking
After a short time, I realized that the battery life, for these aids, was extremely short. Had I continued to use even just the one hearing aid in my right ear, I would have constantly bought batteries to keep it powered. The bottom line on these free hearing aids is that I felt they were horrible, not even worth the “Free” price tag, so I stopped wearing them.
Just this January, I set up an appointment with Doug at Prescott Hearing Center, because I met him at a business meeting, and he told me he was confident that he could provide me with an excellent hearing solution for my particular circumstances. Doug came through much better than I ever expected! I described his custom solution for my needs in Chapter 3: “I Can Hear (Like I Never Thought would be Possible)!” If you have not read it yet, I highly recommend you do. As I described in Chapter 3, I feel like I can hear excellently with both ears now. I am still amazed at all the sounds I now enjoy and will keep you up to date in future chapters.
No matter what kind of hearing problems you have, if you are ready to start living in a world of remarkable hearing performance, call Prescott Hearing Center today at 928-899-8104.
You can also learn a wealth of information about hearing health at PrescottHearing.com.
Prescott Hearing Center | 3108 Clearwater Drive, Suite B2 | Prescott, AZ 86305