I Can Hear Clearly Now

Technological advancements create new, improved world of sound.

For years, Cecile Engel filled her free time playing cards or riding a bike. Then, at the age of 80, she moved to Florida and took a ride alongside her daughter during a day out on the golf course. Cards and biking have taken a backseat to golf ever since.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Cecile Engel

“I had never played golf before, but as I rode along the course with my daughter that day, the game looked like so much fun to me that I decided to take lessons

and learn how to play,” Cecile says. “Now, I’m addicted. It’s really a great game.”

Like most golf lovers, Cecile, 83, has also discovered just how frustrating the game can be. Her frustration with the occasional errant shot, though, is always offset by the beauty of the course and the relationship with nature it offers.

“The golf courses are so gorgeous, and except for the hot summertime, it’s great to be outdoors like that,” she says. “And I really find the game to be relaxing. It’s frustrating as well, but it’s also very relaxing for me. I really love it.”

Cecile is loving her days on the golf course even more now that she’s rectified a hearing problem that crept up on her about 15 years ago. It’s a problem Cecile tried to correct on more than one occasion.

“My kids were probably the first ones to really notice it,” says Cecile, who moved to Florida from Silver Springs, Maryland, where she once managed her husband’s podiatry practice and later managed another daughter’s veterinary hospital.

“They got tired of me always asking them to repeat what they were saying and me saying, ‘Huh, what did you say?’ After a while, I realized I needed to get my hearing checked, and I eventually got hearing aids.”

Cecile initially had her hearing checked and later bought her first pair of hearing aids from a Costco® wholesale club store in Maryland. She kept those hearing aids until just after she moved to Florida, where she bought her second pair from a Sam’s Club.

Cecile found both pairs of hearing aids to be little more than adequate, however, largely because she still struggled to hear conversations clearly. One day, while discussing the matter with a friend, she was advised to visit EarCare.

Best in Show

“When Cecile first came to us, she was having difficulty with her hearing aids, so the first thing we tried to do was service them,” says Glenn A. Oberbeck, a board-certified Hearing Aid Specialist, who co-owns EarCare along with his wife, Karen Cowan-Oberbeck, AuD, a board-certified Doctor of Audiology.

“The problem we had there was that her hearing aids contained a fixed chip, meaning they can only be serviced or adjusted at the store where they were purchased. All we could do was clean them, which we did.

“As for the hearing aids, I don’t know what more I can say other than they’re the best hearing aids I’ve ever had. They’re wonderful.” – Cecile

“But that didn’t help her hearing, because the problem she was having was with understanding and clarity. When we tested her hearing, we discovered that her speech discrimination score, which is the measure of what a person understands when hearing someone speak, was thirty-six percent in the right ear and fifty-six percent in the left.

“That was without hearing aids. But even with her old hearing aids, the best we could do was get those scores up to eighty percent. So we offered her an opportunity to try out some new technology for free to see if we could get her hearing better.”

Cecile accepted that offer and was fit with a pair of ReSound LiNX 3D 9 hearing aids. Considered an excellent choice for anyone living an active lifestyle, the ReSound LiNX 3D 9 hearing aids are the most technologically advanced in the ReSound line.

They include customized programs that allow the wearer to hear clearly in any environment and contain Bluetooth® technology that allows the wearer to stream music or sound from a TV, computer or smartphone directly into their hearing aids.

Vast Improvement

“Once we fit her with the new technology, we did the validation, fine-tuned the instruments and retested her,” Glenn says. “At that point, Cecile’s hearing clarity improved to ninety-six percent in the left ear and one hundred percent in the right.

“Improving the clarity is always one of the biggest challenges we face, but Cecile responded very well to the new technology, and she’s really enjoying the difference these new hearing aids are making for her.

“She’s got them paired with her iPad® so that the sound from any audio or videos that would normally come out of her iPad now goes directly into her hearing aids. She can do the same with her TV or with FaceTime®, which is great.

“And the technology Cecile’s been fit with is an open platform, so it can be programmed or adjusted by any provider in any city. You don’t have to go back to the same provider you received it from, which is a big difference from what she had before.”

Cecile agrees that there is a big difference between the hearing aids she was wearing before and those she received from EarCare. But that’s not the only difference she noticed while being fit for the hearing aids she purchased from EarCare.

“First of all, the hearing test I was given at EarCare was very comprehensive,” she says. “It was the most comprehensive I’ve had. That’s one of the reasons I’ve already recommended EarCare to some friends of mine.

“The people there are great and so professional. And as for the hearing aids, I don’t know what more I can say other than they’re the best hearing aids I’ve ever had. They’re wonderful. I’ve literally never had anything like them.”

“When Glenn and I first started talking about me getting new hearing aids, he asked me what I wanted to accomplish. I said that I wanted to be able to hear the rain on the roof again, and now, I can hear the rain on the roof and so much more.

“I’m hearing conversations much more clearly than I did before, and when I hit my golf ball in the water now, I can actually hear the splash. That’s how good these hearing aids are.”

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