When Elizabeth Keeler decided it was time for new hearing aids, she knew to be selective in choosing a provider. Elizabeth has worn hearing aids for most of her life; more than 60 years ago, when she was a preschooler, a virus left her with a significant hearing loss.
As a child, she went on to overcome the challenge of hearing loss, thanks to medical care, speech therapy and hearing aids. In adulthood, she enjoyed a satisfying career as a nurse and retired when she was 62.
Elizabeth’s hearing aids were ten years old when she wanted to replace them. Her hearing had grown slightly worse, which she assumed was from normal aging. Plus, she knew her decade-old devices might become harder to repair as time passed.
Her first step was finding the best hearing care professional. One of her chief concerns was choosing an audiologist with advanced equipment and resources for hearing evaluations. She also wanted an audiologist who doesn’t push a particular hearing aid brand and has access to a range of manufacturers.
Her research led her to Drianis Duran, AuD, at Gulf Coast Audiology.
“I met Dr. Duran and she told me about her background and showed me the soundproof room where she does hearing tests,” recalls Elizabeth. “I had an instantaneous recognition of, I’m in the right place.”
Hearing New Sounds
Dr. Duran emphasizes to her patients that providing hearing care is her main focus, and that hearing aids are one of the tools that can be used to do so. When evaluating an individual, Dr. Duran asks questions about lifestyle and social activities.
“There are different levels of technology, depending on what your needs are,” explains Dr. Duran. “If you are an active individual who goes to restaurants and the movies and gets together with groups of people, you need something that has the ability to reduce background noise, plus directional technology for hearing what’s around you. Someone who mostly stays home or is at a nursing home may need a more basic product.
“Elizabeth is an active lady so we went with the level of technology that is geared toward her particular social needs,” says Dr. Duran. “We came up with an option that is completely different as far as not only the technology but also the style she was using before.”
Dr. Duran fitted Elizabeth with Phonak hearing aids featuring technology called SoundRecover. In certain high frequencies, Elizabeth is virtually deaf. SoundRecover is able to shift those frequencies into the ranges she is able to hear.
A Lovely Experience
Elizabeth is now hearing many sounds for the first time, like birds chirping and the gurgle of a water feature.
“I can hear the microwave beep, which I’d never heard before. I can hear the front door go beep-beep when someone comes in. It’s from our alarm system – I think that’s really important to be able to hear from a safety standpoint,” she says.
Elizabeth also likes how it’s easier to talk on her cell phone; she can stream voices of callers directly into her hearing aids.
Her new hearing aids help her at home and in her volunteer work. Spending time with her grandchildren is an important part of Elizabeth’s life, as is volunteering with the garden council near her home.
“It’s just a lovely experience for me every day when I put my hearing aids on,” shares Elizabeth.
“I’m telling you, Dr. Duran gave me my life back. Her personality is one of compassion. She’s such a good person. Her goal is to find the best hearing aid for you and help solve whatever problem you may be having.”