I’m A Believer

Advanced technology reforms confirmed cynic.

If you were to scroll through the list of clients Karen Huebner accumulated during her 20-plus years working as an organizational developer in and around Washington, DC, you’d come across some very notable names and organizations.

After years of broken promises from other
providers, Karen finally has a pair of hearing aids that work for her.

A number of state agencies and local police departments are on that list, but so too are the Smithsonian Institution, Secret Service and two presidents, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

“I helped people better organize and run meetings,” says Karen, who has a PhD in organizational development. “I also helped show people how to work together better. And yes, I met both President Bush and President Clinton; their vice presidents, too.”

Karen worked for both administrations, not the presidents directly. She then spent the last 10 years of her career at Johns Hopkins University, where she was the nursing school’s only faculty member who wasn’t a physician or nurse.

“I was involved in educating doctors and nurses but in a more interactive, non-lecture way,” Karen says. “My job was to help them discover new ways of teaching and educating that were more hands-on.”

Karen, 73, retired about eight years ago. Shortly after, she and her husband moved to Florida, where she continued to struggle with a problem that hampered her throughout her career.

Louder, Not Better

“I was born with a sensorineural hearing loss,” Karen reveals. “Because of that, there are certain sounds I don’t hear. For example, if you were to wind up a child’s musical toy and play it, there are some notes I can hear and others I can’t.

“As you might expect, that can play havoc with speech. So, ever since I was 35 or 40, I have worn hearing aids. The problem was that hearing aids were absolutely useless. No matter how much I paid for them or what brand I got, they didn’t work for me.”

Karen says she has tried several types of hearing aides.

“Every three or four years, I’d go to the audiologist and they’d say, Oh, we have this brand-new technology that’ll fix you right up and make everything better, and I’d try them, and the result was the same,” Karen recalls.

“About the only thing new hearing aids ever did was make things louder. It didn’t bring back those sounds I was missing or make anything clearer, so there I was in the classroom with people asking questions, and I’m saying, What? What did you say?

After years of broken promises, Karen became quite a cynic of audiologists and hearing aid manufacturers. A year ago, she brought her cynicism to EarCare, where she asked Glenn A. Oberbeck, BC-HAS, to repair her hearing aids.

“These hearing aids have absolutely changed my life.” – Karen

“After Glenn fixed my hearing aids, he started in with, You know, we have hearing aids with new technology that will help you hear better,” Karen remembers. “And I said, Glenn, I appreciate it, but I’ve heard this story a hundred times. I’m not interested.

“To that he said, No, these really will make a difference for you. In fact, I’ll put them in for free, and if they don’t work, I’ll just take them back.

Karen agreed to give them a try but had no hope they were going to be any different than the others.

But these were different. Released near the end of 2019, the ReSound LiNX Quattro 9 rechargeable hearing aids feature the most advanced technology in a hearing device.

“What makes these hearing aids stand out above all others is the noise cancellation and the ability to get great results with speech discrimination,” Glenn enthuses. “Karen, for example, has very poor speech discrimination. With her old hearing aids, her word recognition score was 52 percent on a scale where 100 is perfect. With the ReSound LiNX Quattro 9 hearing aids, her speech discrimination is up to 88 percent.

“Another feature that makes these hearing aids special is the iPhone technology. Karen can stream phone calls directly through her hearing aids, so she doesn’t have to hold the phone to her ear to hear it. She can do the same with sound generated from any electronic device, including a TV, computer or tablet. That’s called direct audio input and it gives the wearer superior quality of sound. These hearing aids also work very well in crowded environments.

“For a lot of people with hearing loss, when they get into a restaurant or anywhere where there’s a crowd of people and it’s noisy, they have trouble hearing the person next to them. These hearing aids allow the wearer to block out ambient sounds and focus directly on what the person next to them is saying. It’s all done through an app on your phone.”

Life-Changing Sound

It didn’t take long for Karen to become a believer in the ReSound LiNX Quattro 9 hearing aids. She asserts that within a week of accepting Glenn’s offer, she was understanding speech and hearing better than ever.

A new and far more convenient world of sound has opened up to her.

“For years, the closed-caption feature on my television was my bread and butter,” Karen says. “It was the only way I could watch TV and get anything out of it. Now I can watch TV, and I don’t need the closed-captioning. I love that I can hear phone calls directly through my hearing aids. And the sound is so crisp and clear. It’s just amazing!

“These hearing aids have absolutely changed my life, and I thank Glenn for all he’s done for me. I was convinced there was nothing that new hearing aids could do for me, but he persuaded me to try again, and I’m so glad he did. I told him, You took a totally confirmed cynic and turned me around. He really hung with me, and I appreciate his patience.”

Karen says she also appreciates EarCare’s “phenomenal” customer support. Even after the fitting, Glenn is available to help with even the smallest issue.

“I got a new phone recently and had to adjust the hearing aids to the new operating system. I didn’t know how to do that, so I called Glenn, and he did his magic and got everything working again. Glenn is just great,” Karen commends.

“He’s a good-natured, positive and helpful man who is always there for you, and I would recommend him and EarCare to anyone who has a hearing problem or a problem with their hearing aids. Take it from a reformed cynic, they will not steer you wrong.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. FHCN file photo. mkb


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