Third Time’s the Charm

Finding the right provider and products brings satisfaction

It cost Charles Yoder three years of frustration, and hours lost on numerous appointments, before he found the best place to buy his hearing aids.
Charles, now 82, purchased his first pair three years ago because he couldn’t hear conversations and TV programs as well as he once did. The devices worked fine for about six months – until a technician reprogrammed them.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Charles Yoder has more time for his hobbies now that he’s found hearing aids that meet his needs.

After that, “I could hardly understand anything that anyone said,” Charles complains. “The echo was so bad that they sent me to Naples to deal with the person who had the most seniority, and he could not make them work properly.”
Disappointed, Charles went to another provider. He figured they knew what they were doing because the word medical was in the company’s name, and employees wore white coats, like a doctor would.
Unfortunately, they sold him hearing aids that didn’t work much better than the ones he already had, Charles recalls. Weekly adjustments didn’t help, so the company fitted him with yet another pair a few months later. But he continued to struggle with excessive echoing.
When Charles pressed the issue, he was told his problem wasn’t the hearing aids but his inability to comprehend more than half of what he heard. Eventually, he gave up and didn’t go back.
Then, Charles read about Gulf Coast Audiology in his church bulletin and in Florida Health Care News and decided to try the Fort Myers practice of board-
certified audiologist Drianis Duran, AuD.

Quality Care Is Key

Dr. Duran’s doctorate degree in clinical audiology has given her extensive knowledge of ear maladies and the ability to diagnose various types of hearing loss, as well as recommend proper aids or other options.
She can also refer a patient to an ear, nose and throat specialist if her exam turns up any red flags or if there’s a possibility a medical procedure would provide a better outcome than hearing aids.
In contrast, other licensed hearing professionals need only a high school diploma and training in how to test someone’s hearing “with the purpose of selling a hearing aid,” Dr. Duran points out.
“There is a difference between quality hearing health care and just getting a hearing aid.”
Patients should educate themselves so they ask the right questions. She recommends doing online research at sites such as Better Hearing Institute’s www.betterhearing.org.
Dr. Duran tested Charles in a soundproof room, as she does all her patients. She determined he suffers from a severe hearing loss in both ears, mostly caused by aging but also past exposure to loud noises. The hearing aids he previously purchased weren’t appropriate for him, and Dr. Duran says she was sensitive to how much he’d already paid.
“He’s spent $10,000 within two years on hearing devices,” she recalls thinking. “How do I make that work?”
But Charles told her that the money didn’t matter. He just wanted to hear better.
“He said, Let’s start over.”
Dr. Duran fitted Charles with in-the-ear Phonak digital aids, along with a Bluetooth® device that connects to his TV to improve sound quality.
While Charles still avoids noisy restaurants, especially those with live entertainment, he emphasizes that his new hearing aids are a “one hundred percent improvement” over the others. He’s “very satisfied” with Dr. Duran’s services and would recommend her to anyone.
“She knew a lot more than anyone else I have dealt with about what my problem was,” Charles states, “and she did recognize that I had the wrong hearing aids before.”

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    • Gulf Coast Audiology

      Gulf Coast Audiology is owned and operated by Drianis Duran, AuD, a board-certified doctor of audiology. Gulf Coast Audiology offers the highest quality hearing aids, service, repairs, accessories and batteries. They also specialize in vestibul... Read More

    • Drianis Duran, AuD

      Drianis Duran, AuD, is a board-certified audiologist with clinical expertise in the areas of hearing loss and dizziness and balance disorders. She holds credentials from the American Board of Audiology, the American Academy of Audiology, the A... Read More