Going the Distance

Couple gladly travels the extra mile for quality service, care.

For the bulk of the 36 years he spent teaching visual arts, Paul Martin routinely arrived at school well ahead of the other teachers and administrators. It was also routine for two or three of his students to be waiting for him when he arrived.

“I never had to worry about motivating my students,” says Paul, who spent most of his teaching career at Amherst Middle School in Amherst, New York, a suburb of Buffalo “My students were always very eager to learn, and that made it a joy to teach.”

Janet & Paul Martin

Janet & Paul Martin


While Paul taught photography and graphic arts, his wife, Janet, worked at home, where she did the heavy lifting in raising the couple’s two daughters. It wasn’t long after the couple completed that job that they began to experience problems with their hearing.

“The problems for me started about two years before I retired,” reveals Paul, 79. “All of a sudden, I was having trouble hearing the girls’ voices in the classroom. I had to walk closer to where they were sitting to hear them.”

Janet’s hearing loss developed around the same time as Paul’s. She was suffering from a bad cold at the time and, while taking a plane flight, suddenly lost the ability to hear clearly in her left ear.

After several hearing specialists and one surgical procedure failed to restore her hearing, Janet settled for hearing aids. Paul soon followed suit. For the past 15 years, they have routinely upgraded their hearing devices every two or three years.

Time To Renew 

That need developed again about a year ago, but Paul and Janet’s dissatisfaction with their previous provider prompted a search for a new audiologist and hearing care specialist. They searched for miles before they found someone who fit their criteria.

“Our standards were fairly high because we had dealt with someone years ago who had excellent qualifications,” Paul explains. “We wanted a similar experience, so we did a lot of research and met with a number of physicians.”

After none of those physicians measured up, Paul and Janet asked a former staff member of their previous provider for a recommendation. She suggested they visit Karen Cowan-Oberbeck, AuD, FAAA, CCC-A, and Glenn Oberbeck, BC-HAS, at EarCare.

“We really trusted this girl and liked her a lot, and she told us that she had heard nothing but great things about Dr. Oberbeck and Glenn,” Janet remembers. “The only problem was that their nearest office is about an hour away from our home in Sebastian.

“But for the right care, we were willing to make that drive. So we went to see them just to talk and get to know them. We were immediately impressed.”

Paul and Janet’s initial visit to EarCare was for a consultation with Glenn. They were so impressed with his demeanor and knowledge that they agreed to return for a hearing exam conducted by Dr. Oberbeck. She impressed the couple as much as Glenn did.

“We have never had a hearing test that was so detailed as the one Dr. Oberbeck gave us,” Janet raves. “She did a marvelous job. Between the two of them, we could not have asked for better care, so we have been seeing them ever since.”

Paul and Janet’s care included being fit with new hearing aids. Always eager to wear models featuring the latest technological upgrades, both accepted Glenn’s recommendation that they receive the ReSound ONE model.

“The new technology in the ReSound ONE hearing aids can greatly improve someone’s quality of life,” Glenn reports. “This model has a number of features and even some accessories that can greatly benefit the wearer and others around them.”

One feature is called Sound Recover. It makes frequencies audible that were not audible previously. For someone such as Paul, who has a high-frequency hearing loss, this allows him to better hear consonants and understand female voices.

“The amount of clarity people are getting with everyday use of these hearing aids is just remarkable,” Glenn notes. “But there are also some accessories that allow us to improve speech recognition in other environments.

“For example, most people with severe hearing loss really struggle to hear clearly in a crowded environment such as a restaurant. These hearing aids take care of that with an accessory called a Multi Mic that can be used in a number of ways. 

“The speaker can wear a tiny microphone on a lanyard around their neck or clip it onto their clothing, so the hearing aid will pick up the voice of the person you’re talking to. Or, you can place it in the center of a table and it will pick up the voices of all the people sitting within a six-foot radius.”

The ReSound ONE also includes Bluetooth technology, which allows the wearer to stream sounds wirelessly from a television, computer, tablet or smartphone through the hearing aids. It’s a feature that further improves clarity and word understanding.

The hearing aids Paul and Janet wore prior to visiting EarCare had Bluetooth, but the feature never worked as well as promised. 

“Hearing the TV has been an issue for us for years,” Paul complains. “I’ve done all kinds of things trying to get that situation corrected. But now, with these ReSound ONE hearing aids that Glenn fit us with, everything works exactly the way it should.

“In fact, this is the first time that we have not been frustrated with our hearing aids for one reason or another. These hearing aids are about as close to perfect as you can get. We both hear everything so much better with them.”

An ‘Aha’ Moment 

For Janet, that has been the case since the moment she first tried the ReSound ONE instruments. She says her previous hearing aids never provided the clarity she gets now.

“When I first tried these hearing aids on, I had an aha moment,” Janet exudes. “I could tell the difference the minute I put them in. The hearing experience I get with these hearing aids is the best I’ve ever had. We’re both thrilled with them.”

They’re equally thrilled with the service they receive at EarCare.

“The service they’ve provided us far exceeds anything we’ve ever had before,” Paul confirms. “And we’ve been treated by a lot of different doctors over the years. But Glenn and Dr. Oberbeck are by far the best we’ve ever dealt with by a wide margin.”

“We’re totally satisfied with them, and we will continue to recommend them,” Janet concludes. “Like I said, they’re about an hour away from us, but the care we receive is so good that we feel it’s well worth the drive to go see them.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo by Jordan Pysz. js
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    • EarCare, P.A.

      EarCare provides a wide variety of audiological services, including industrial audiological monitoring, hearing aid evaluations and dispensing, hearing aid repairs for all makes and models, and special audiological diagnostics.... Read More

    • Karen Cowan-Oberbeck, AuD, FAAA, CCC-A

      Karen Cowan-Oberbeck, AuD, FAAA, CCC-A, completed undergraduate work at the University of South Florida. She earned a master’s degree in communication disorders from the University of Central Florida and Doctor of Audiology degree from Nova S... Read More

    • Glenn A. Oberbeck, BC-HIS

      Glenn A. Oberbeck, BC-HAS, is a licensed hearing instrument specialist. His specialty areas include personal communication assistance, cerumen management, audiometrics and assistive-listening devices. He is a member of the International He... Read More