Renew Your Hearing with ReSound

A longtime sufferer of tinnitus, Michael Whittington learned to live with the bothersome ringing in his ears for decades.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Michael can pair his hearing aids with his cell phone.

Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears. A common problem, tinnitus affects about one in five people. Tinnitus isn’t a condition itself — it’s a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder.
In Michael’s case, his tinnitus was, in fact, a result of age-related hearing loss.
“In addition to the ringing in my ears, my hearing got progressively worse over the years,” Michael admits. “This went on for years. I was always asking my wife, Athena, to repeat herself. I was driving her crazy, I’m sure.”
A businessman and entrepreneur, Michael spends hours talking to his clients over the phone from his home office. When his ability to communicate effectively with his clients continued to worsen, he decided to seek help.
“I would be talking on the phone to clients, and being able to decipher what they were saying became exhausting, especially when I was talking to someone with any kind of accent.”
Once Michael made the decision to seek help, he sought out a doctor of audiology for a full diagnostic evaluation. After searching online, he found
Dr. Karen Cowan-Oberbeck a board-certified audiologist at EarCare in Melbourne.

Technological Advancements

During his initial appointment, Michael underwent a thorough hearing evaluation and medical history review by Dr. Cowan-Oberbeck.
“They probably performed three times the hearing tests I have ever had done in my lifetime,” Michael raves. “It was very thorough.”
Afterward, Michael met with Glenn Oberbeck, HAS, to review his evaluation results and choose a set of hearing aids that would fit his lifestyle.
“We did an interview with Michael to understand his lifestyle and determine the best hearing aids to meet his expectations,” Glenn explains.
“Michael has never truly worn a set of hearing aids in his lifetime, even though he has suffered with hearing loss for years,” continues Glenn. “He had a set of hearing aids that were rather large and bulky, and he never used them. I find that happens a lot with patients I’ve seen over the years. By showing Michael the latest technology that is available now, purchasing hearing aids was a life-changing decision for him.
“Together, we chose the latest ReSound products for Michael. He’s a businessman, and he is on his cell phone with clients every day. I also discovered that he is an avid shooter and hunter. He is outside in nature a lot. I wanted to be sure to recommend a product that would be safe for him when he’s hunting. He can limit the gunfire sound output to protect his hearing, but also hear his surroundings at the same time. For safety, custom shooting earmolds were made for Michael and are easily changed on the device.
“ReSound devices have the capability of streaming wireless audio straight into the hearing aids. When he hunts, Michael wears protective headgear and was unable to hear his phone if someone was trying to reach him. Now, he can hear the phone ringing straight into his hearing aids.” He also utilizes an app-based tinnitus solution that is built into the hearing aids.
Glenn says one of the most significant changes in hearing devices over the years is their advanced technological capability. One of those state-of-the-art features is wireless connectivity: the ability to wirelessly pair hearing aids with external devices, such as televisions, telephones and computers. “On average, we see an advancement in technology every three years or so,” Glenn explains. “The ReSound products are a great example of that ever-changing technology. These are a nice fit for Michael, and I think we met every one of his hearing goals.”
Michael says he is equally impressed with the technology.
“I am very impressed by the technology in these ReSound devices,” Michael assures. “I can pair them with my cell phone, adjust the volume on the television to my own liking and the best thing is, they are barely visible. They are small and very discreet. I really love them!”
Glenn emphasizes that because the advanced technology can initially be intimidating to many patients, the hearing professionals at EarCare set up strategic appointments for training. These allow the hearing aids’ capabilities to be introduced, practiced and expanded upon as the patient becomes more familiar and comfortable with the technology.
“I see all of my patients every three to four months, just to be sure the hearing aids are operating properly and meeting the wearer’s individual needs,” Glenn adds. “I take that time to address any issues the wearer is having. There is no cost for these follow-up appointments.”

Patient Commitment

The EarCare staff wants people with hearing loss to know that once they become a patient, they will never need to go elsewhere for adjustments. Glenn emphasizes the clinic’s Patients For Life program, where they service a patient’s hearing aids for the life of those hearing aids. This includes regular hearing evaluations.
“We have adopted the Patients For Life program, where we service a patient’s hearing aids for the life of those hearing aids,” Glenn informs. “Patients come back for regular maintenance and adjustments every few months. Every one to two years, a patient’s hearing is tested to ensure the hearing aids are working properly for them. Once you come to us for hearing aids, we continue to care for you for life.”
Michael says Glenn is thorough and caring. He is appreciative of the professional care and advice he receives.
“Glenn is really caring and takes his time with you to explain everything about your hearing loss and how hearing aids help you hear better.”
Michael says although the professionals at EarCare certainly provided the solution he needed, he credits his wife for pushing him to make a change.
“I owe all the credit to my wife because she pushed for this to happen,” Michael states. “Thanks to Athena, and EarCare, I am hearing better and clearer than I have in years.”

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