9 Years and Counting

Repeat customer trusts certified hearing center, audiologists.

Dr. Hansen, left, adjusts the fit of Margaret’s new hearing aid.

Margaret Pistole is an outgoing, social individual, so she was miserable when quarantined during the COVID-19 pandemic. Undeterred, Margaret found a safe way to get out of her house and mingle with other residents of the Villas at Hunters Ridge in New Port Richey.

“When the pandemic hit last year, I organized a social distancing happy hour with a couple of my neighbors,” Margaret elaborates. “We took our chairs and sat around a big tree in front of one neighbor’s unit.

“The gathering gradually expanded, and we’re still socializing today. We go out for brunch and do all kinds of activities together. I can stand to be quiet for a while, but then I’ve got to have somebody to talk to.”

Margaret can hear the people she talks to thanks to hearing aids she received from Trinity Hearing & Balance Center, where Kelly Hansen, AuD, and Nikki Goldowski-Richa, AuD, treat all types of hearing loss, balance disorders and hearing-related conditions.

Margaret originally observed problems with her hearing nine years ago.

“There was a gradual deterioration of my hearing,” Margaret shares. “I started noticing I wasn’t hearing people very well. One-on-one was usually fine, but trying to hear in restaurants or during meetings was not good. It was embarrassing because I smiled or laughed whenever I thought it was appropriate.

“Hearing the TV was one of my biggest problems. And if people spoke softly, I was pretty much out of luck. My daughter speaks very softly, and I was always saying, I’m sorry, honey, what did you say? which annoyed her. I could usually hear the priest at church, but we have one priest who has an accent. I couldn’t hear him clearly at all.”

Margaret discovered Trinity Hearing & Balance Center through an advertisement on the back of her church bulletin and decided to give it a try. She was pleasantly surprised by the approach taken by Dr. Hansen.

“There was no pressure,” Margaret reveals. “Dr. Hansen didn’t push me to buy the most expensive hearing aids. Everything was optional. And she was so good. She explained everything about hearing aids. She’s very knowledgeable.”

“Now, I can hear clearly in church, and I can understand everything and everybody.” – Margaret

During her initial visit with Margaret in 2012, Dr. Hansen determined that Margaret has a sensorineural hearing loss. The most common type of hearing loss, it affects about 18 percent of adults ages 20 to 69 in the United States.

“Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the nerves that run from the ears to the brain or by damage to the tiny hair cells in the inner ear,” Dr. Hansen explains. “This damage is generally the result of aging and/or prolonged exposure to loud noise.

“People with sensorineural hearing loss often have trouble hearing clearly and may find it difficult to pick out words in background noise. Fortunately, this type of hearing loss can be corrected with hearing aids.”

After conferring with Dr. Hansen, Margaret selected computer-programmable, digital hearing aids. Eventually, those instruments became ineffective due to age. Margaret required replacements, so she returned to Dr. Hansen.

“Hearing aids are like computers,” Margaret describes. “They have chips in them and, after a while, those chips wore out. I wasn’t hearing as well as when I first got the hearing aids. I went back to Trinity Hearing & Balance Center for new hearing aids.”

Technology Upgrade

Since being fit with her first hearing aids, Margaret has returned to Trinity Hearing & Balance Center for routine maintenance and adjsutments of the devices. During her most recent visit, she explained that she was having trouble hearing clearly in noisy environments. Dr. Hansen took that into consideration when recommending new hearing aids.

“Margaret received her last set of hearing aids about five years ago, so she was ready for an upgrade in technology,” Dr. Hansen explains. “Her new hearing aids have Bluetooth® connectivity with her iPhone®, which helps her hear better over the phone. There’s also a phone app that she uses to adjust the hearing aids.”

Margaret confesses that she’s not a big smartphone fan, but she uses hers to control her hearing aids.

“When I go to a restaurant, I use the phone to set my hearing aids to ‘restaurant mode,’ which eliminates a lot of the background. I find that very helpful,” she points out.

“I Was Overjoyed”

After being fit for new devices, Margaret realized just how much her hearing had deteriorated over the past five years. Suddenly, she could hear the sounds of the world around her again.

“I was overjoyed,” Margaret enthuses. “Everything was so much clearer. My first thought was, Oh, my gosh, this is loud. Even the crinkle of paper and the sound of a door slamming made me say, Wow! Now, I can hear clearly in church, and I can understand everything and everybody, including my daughter, just fine.”

Margaret’s faith in Dr. Hansen and Trinity Hearing & Balance Center remains strong after nine years.

“When I got my first hearing aids, Dr. Hansen pointed out the costs and features of the devices, and we discussed options based on my active lifestyle,” Margaret remembers. “Finally, she said, I think these will work well for you. I immediately trusted her judgment. She instilled such confidence that I said, If you think these are right for me, let’s try them and see how it goes.

“The thing that impresses me the most is that Dr. Hansen is a doctor. She’s not there to sell you hearing aids. She’s there to help correct your hearing problem and work with you to hear better. I adore her and Dr. Goldowski-Richa. I’ve referred several of my friends to Trinity Hearing & Balance Center. I give them 10 stars.”

© FHCN article by Patti DiPanfilo. Photo by Jordan Pysz. js


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