Banking on Better Hearing

State-of-the-art hearing aids enhance effectiveness, convenience.

After high school, Suellen Dowe attended beauty school, then worked in that field for some time following graduation. But she wanted something more. Suellen believed her career as a beautician wasn’t stimulating enough for her brain, which was fascinated by numbers.

Suellen’s hearing is “great” with the hearing aids she received from Trinity Hearing & Balance Center.

“To me, being a beautician was like drudgery,” Suellen, 78, admits. “I was on my feet all day doing hard work. My neighbor worked at a bank, so when my youngest child was 16, I got a job as a drive-thru window teller.

“I went back to school at Indiana University in South Bend, took a bunch of business courses and graduated with a bachelor’s degree. I advanced through the ranks of banking until I became a department manager. I then became a branch manager, lender and auditor.”

Suellen and her family relocated from her native Indiana to Florida some 30 years ago, partly for the temperate climate and to be closer to family already residing here.

“My parents were retired and living in Florida, and one of my daughters had moved to Bradenton,” Suellen elaborates. “We owned a restaurant up north, so we sold the restaurant, I left my job and we headed south. I went on to work at several banks in Clearwater and the Palm Harbor area until I retired.”

Before Suellen stopped working, she noticed a problem with her hearing. The slow onset of hearing loss didn’t come as a surprise, though.

“It’s a hereditary thing,” she explains. “Both of my parents had hearing loss, so as a rule of thumb, their children will develop hearing loss as well, and I did. I could tell I wasn’t hearing well because other people were hearing things that I wasn’t, and I had to ask for things to be repeated.

“When people came into my office at the bank and we were one-on-one, I could hear them pretty well. If I was facing someone, I could usually make out what they were saying, but in a crowd, with a lot of background noise, I couldn’t hear. I realized that I had to do something about it.”

Suellen didn’t need to search for an audiologist to treat her hearing loss; she knew one personally. Her daughter is Kelly Hansen, AuD, at Trinity Hearing & Balance Center in New Port Richey. Dr. Hansen and her colleague, Nikki Goldowski-Richa, AuD, treat all types of hearing loss, balance disorders and hearing-related conditions, and are committed to providing exceptional patient care.

Patient-Centered Philosophy

“Trinity Hearing & Balance Center is proud to be an AudigyCertified practice,” Dr. Hansen observes. “We are one of only 250 clinics in the nation to hold this certification, and what it means is we are among the country’s most experienced hearing care professionals, with members possessing some of the industry’s highest credentials.

“Our expertise is measured by our commitment to patient satisfaction, continuing education and the expert application of current technologies. We work side by side with our patients to find a solution to their hearing problems. Many patients who have gone through our Patient for Life® program experience greater satisfaction with their hearing technology and a greater quality of life.”

When Suellen arrived at Trinity Hearing & Balance Center, she was already wearing hearing aids, but they weren’t keeping up with her progressive hearing loss, which Dr. Hansen determined was a sensorineural hearing loss.

“My mother’s hearing loss is due primarily to age-related nerve damage, which can be helped with hearing aids,” Dr. Hansen explains. “In my mother’s case, there are some hereditary issues involved as well, but there’s nothing medically wrong with her ears.

“I can hear the other girls on the golf course perfectly, even with social distancing.” – Suellen

“The hearing aids my mother was wearing when she came to me were about four years old. She was experiencing additional problems with her hearing, especially when she was with her friends socially, and she’s extremely active. Her biggest complaint was that she couldn’t hear her friends while they were golfing. She told me she had to constantly ask people to repeat what they said.”

In addition to golfing, Suellen spends a lot of time attending meetings and other gatherings, and she also enjoys dining out. Dr. Hansen’s goal was to find the right hearing aid technology to keep her mother active as well as enable her to hear in environments where there is considerable background noise.

“I wanted to make sure that my mother could hear well in those situations,” Dr. Hansen reports. “I told her about a new hearing aid technology that connects to her iPhone. With this technology, her phone turns into a remote control, and she can fine-tune and adjust her hearing aids to background noise through an app that is compatible with her iPhone. She really liked that.”

“Really Happy”

The state-of-the-art hearing aids Suellen received include Bluetooth technology that allows her to hear phone calls directly through her hearing devices. The new devices make her life easier in other ways as well.

“I can be downstairs with my dogs and my phone can be upstairs in my condo, and if it rings, I can hear the ring through my hearing aids,” Suellen explains. “I can hear my phone ringing in any room in the house, even if I’m running the vacuum.

“Another thing that I really like about my hearing aids is that they’re rechargeable,” Suellen raves. “My beginner hearing aids were good, but they had batteries. I carried batteries in my purse, but invariably, I’d be somewhere such as the beach where I didn’t have batteries on me, and my hearing aids would start ringing to tell me the batteries were near the end. But with the rechargeable technology, there are no batteries.

“I’m much more organized now as well. There’s a little device that sits on my nightstand, and when I go to bed, I clean the hearing aids and put them on that device to recharge. I know right where they are when I get up now, whereas in the past, I might leave my hearing aids in the kitchen or in one of the bathrooms, and when I woke up I had to figure out where I left them.”

Suellen reports that her new hearing aids are not only more convenient, they’re also more effective than her old devices.

“My hearing with the new hearings aids is great,” she says. “I can hear the other girls on the golf course perfectly, even with social distancing. And for my lifestyle, they’re wonderful. When I go places where there’s a lot of background noise, these hearing aids automatically adjust to the surroundings so I can hear. I’m really happy with them.”

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    • Trinity Hearing & Balance Center

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      Dr. Kelly Hansen obtained her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and her Doctorate of Audiology degree from Arizona School of Health Sciences in Mesa, Arizona.  Throughout her career, Dr. Hans... Read More

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