Music to My Ears

New hearing aids hit right note with singer, songwriter.

Now that he’s retired, former behavioral health and chemotherapy nurse Patrick Deane has a lot more time to devote to his creative endeavors, which include writing and recording original songs for the band he and some buddies formed a few years back.

Patrick Deane got some new hearing aids at EarCare, and he can’t believe the difference the new technology makes.

Patrick Deane

“It’s called the GoFoot Band, and we do some covers, too, but we mostly record our own stuff and send the songs out to friends and family members,” Patrick, 65, explains. “Some of it’s even available on iTunes® and Spotify® and some of the other digital formats.

“We still play live once in a while, too, but not as much as we used to because we’re all retired and getting older and it’s a bit of a hassle. But we really enjoy getting together and learning each other’s songs and playing.”

Patrick’s willingness to set up and tear down a live gig isn’t the only thing that has waned a bit over the years. His hearing has faded as well. Oddly, it wasn’t while playing his music that he noticed the deterioration the most.

“I first started wearing a hearing aid in my left ear several years ago, mostly for work, because I was having trouble hearing people clearly,” Patrick says. “I stopped wearing it after I retired, but a while back, I noticed my hearing was getting worse.

“I was constantly asking people, What? What? What? all the time during our conversations, and that’s what convinced me that I needed to get my ears checked again and possibly get some new hearing aids.”

Patrick leaned on his insurance company to help him find a new hearing aid center. Their recommendation was EarCare, which has locations in Melbourne, Indian Harbour Beach and Merritt Island, which is where he met Beatrice McCabe, HAS.

“The first thing we did with Patrick was give him a full diagnostic hearing exam by our board certified audiologist and business owner, Dr. Karen Cowan-Oberbeck. What we found was that he did have hearing loss in both ears,” Beatrice reports. “But we also found something else that was interesting.

“Even with his hearing aid, Patrick’s speech understanding was better on one side. That’s important because we’re not only concerned with hearing levels or volume. Good speech understanding is critical for comprehension and clarity. The hearing test is a critical part of the puzzle that guides us to adjust the specific frequencies to improve his word understanding to one-hundred percent.”

Acting on the discoveries made as a result of the testing phase, Beatrice recommended a new set of hearing aids for Patrick featuring several major technological upgrades that were not available when he purchased his single hearing aid a decade earlier.

Based on his desire for hearing aids that do not require batteries, Patrick chose a rechargeable ReSound model called the LiNX Quattro™. Its rechargeable feature is one of the many advances that makes it one of the top hearing instruments available.

ReSounding Difference

In addition to eliminating the need for batteries, the ReSound LiNX Quattro creates an environment in which the wearer can better identify speech and other sounds in noisy surroundings while maintaining a better dimension of control over all sounds, no matter
the setting.

“We’re not just talking about adjusting the volume,” explains Glenn A. Oberbeck, BC-HIS and owner, at EarCare. “With these hearing aids, the wearer has individual controls over the microphone patterns, noise cancellation and the manipulation of the frequency response throughout the different hearing levels.

“You have the ability to actually modify the bass, the treble and the mid frequencies, and you have the ability to save that program after you’ve manipulated it so that when you get back into that environment again or into one with similar acoustics, you can retrieve that program.

“You can create up to twelve different custom programs, which is amazing. When you get into a favorite restaurant or an auditorium, you need to be able to hear the person that’s talking. This hearing aid saves your settings so next time you go there, you can get to that optimum setting with just a click of a button.

“With previous technologies, it could be very difficult to communicate in some of those scenarios. The ReSound technology also has a free app that you can download onto your smartphone which allows you to manipulate the hearing aids in real time.”

The new ReSound hearing aids are also made with Bluetooth® technology and can be connected to a smartphone, thereby allowing the wearer to hear phone conversations via the phone directly into the hearing aids themselves.

“The technology available in these new hearing aids is literally leaps and bounds ahead of where it was in the old hearing aid I had,” Patrick confirms. “And one of the best things about it is how easy it is to use.

“For example, I was in a restaurant with some friends the other day, so on the app on my smartphone, I just tapped the restaurant program, and it automatically reduced all the background noise and enhanced the voices of the people I was with at the table.

“And what a difference it has made with my music. I produce my own music, and it’s amazing how much I was missing before, things like the crisp sound of cymbals or even my own guitar playing. All of a sudden, it’s so much brighter and clearer.

“I’m hearing conversations better, and that’s allowing me to be a lot more engaged with friends and family. For a while, I was just sitting there and trying to make out what everyone was saying, but now, I’m a lot more outgoing.

“That’s why I feel fortunate that I was advised to go to EarCare. What they’ve done for me and my hearing has truly been life-changing. I’ve got my hearing back, and in a lot of instances, I feel like I’m hearing things for the very first time.”

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