Hear ME Out

Life is easier with state-of-the-art hearing aids.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Richard is thrilled with his new hearing aids.

Richard Zimmerman’s father and uncle opened their family’s feed and grain elevator business in Dixon, Illinois in 1924.

“My dad and uncle started that business. After I was through with college and got out of the army, I went back home in 1953 and worked for the company,” Richard relates.

“My dad died in 1982, and I began managing the business, and we sold it in 2017. By then, I was satisfied with what we’d done, and it was time for me to retire anyway.”

Well past time, some might say. Now 90, Richard ran his family’s business until he was well into his 80s. Every winter, he and his wife would travel south to Florida to avoid the bitter cold in Illinois. They finally made a permanent move to Ormond Beach last summer.

Richard and his wife chose Ormond Beach to be closer to their son, and among the things Richard brought with him to Florida were a longstanding hearing issue and the hearing aids that never really resolved the problem the way he’d hoped they would.

“I have trouble hearing higher frequencies, and the hearing aids I had never worked,” he laments. “I couldn’t adjust the volume on them, so I hardly ever wore them. Then I saw an ad for Miracle-Ear® and thought, I should check that out.”

Marked Improvements

Richard first visited Miracle-Ear last September. That’s when he met Melanee Bryans, LHAS, who says Richard came to her expressing a great deal of frustration regarding the poor performance of his old hearing aids.

“They don’t forget about you once you’ve bought your hearing aids. They continue to take care of you and your hearing aids. That’s worth a lot.” – Richard

“But it wasn’t just Richard who was frustrated,” Melanee recalls. “His wife was very frustrated as well because they were having a lot of trouble communicating. Social situations were just not going well for them at that time.

“So I tested Richard and discovered that the clarity he was getting from his old hearing aids was not good. He was having a lot of trouble hearing speech, especially in environments where there was background noise. That’s when I introduced him to the ME 5500.”

The ME 5500 is a series of state-of-the-art hearing instruments that feature the latest in technological advancements. Those advancements combine to provide the wearer with vastly improved hearing in all types of environments.

“Just as it is with most everything else in the world, the technology available in hearing aids has improved markedly in the last five years,” Melanee explains. “The differences are literally like night and day when compared to what used to be available.”

Those differences include noise reduction and speech recognition as well as a direct streaming feature that allows sounds generated by an external electronic source such as a TV set, radio or telephone to be heard directly through the hearing device.

“With direct streaming, you’re not losing any of the sounds you’re trying to focus on because of all the ambient noise that may be around you,” Melanee describes. “That’s a feature that is proving to be very popular, especially with people who watch a lot of TV.

“If you’re sitting at home watching television with your spouse, for example, you can stream the TV directly into the hearing aid. That allows you to hear the TV clearly while your spouse can enjoy it as well, but at a level that is comfortable for them.

“The other thing about the streaming technology is that it allows the wearer to be hands free whenever he or she is on the telephone. That’s a big advantage for a lot of people because they don’t need to have the phone nearby to have a conversation on it.”

The new ME 5500 hearing aids also have a feature called patient-voice recognition that eliminates the problem some people with hearing deficiencies have recognizing and understanding their own voice when they speak.

“It’s a critical part of the communication process that in addition to being able to hear what is being said to you, you can also hear what you are saying and are able to hear yourself say it naturally,” Melanee relates.

“With this new technology, the wearer gets the more natural sound of their own voice. That helps them more naturally process what they sound like, which creates a much more comfortable environment for the wearer.

“Everything you can imagine a hearing aid can have is in these hearing aids, and Richard being a very tech-savvy type of person, he chose them right away. When I first put them in his ears, you could tell he was so happy with the difference they made.”

Life Made Easier

Richard concurs. He says he was stunned to learn of all the technological advancements that have been made in hearing aids since he was first fit for them several years ago and happy that those advancements have made life far more pleasurable.

“Just the fact that I can hear again is what I appreciate the most about these new hearing aids,” Richard reports. “But there’s so much more that they allow me to do that makes life so much easier.

“I have the ability to not only adjust the volume, but I can adjust it for different environments. I can be in a busy restaurant or a theater and still hear what I need and want to hear clearly, and that’s a big advantage.

“And then I’ve got this streaming device so that I can hear the TV without having to turn the volume up so loud that it’s bothering everyone else. The TV can actually be turned all the way down, and I can still hear it through my hearing aids. I can do the same with the phone.

“I am extremely happy with these new hearing aids. Melanee did a great job setting them up and adjusting them for me. Since she first did that, we have not had to adjust them at all.

“Even the battery life is great. That’s really convenient, and I am very pleased with the hearing aids, with Miracle-Ear and with Melanee. She’s great, and I love that they follow up with you every three months or so to clean them or service them.

“They don’t forget about you once you’ve bought your hearing aids. They continue to take care of you and your hearing aids. That’s worth a lot. That’s why I recommend them to anybody with a hearing problem.”

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