So Nice To Hear

Audiologist provides expertise, personalized solutions to correct busy worker’s hearing loss

Mary is “amazed” at the difference hearing aids have made in her life.

 As of March, the US labor participation rate was 62.6 percent, according to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not only is Mary Manos among that population of workers, but she also has four jobs. 

“I work as a hairdresser,” Mary shares. “I’ve had my own hairdressing business since 2008, but I’ve been doing hair since the 1980s. I’m also a partner in a startup business selling cyber and physical security. I’m a creative person; I do photography. And, I work part time at Lowe’s. 

“Then last year, a close friend was diagnosed with cancer. I’ve been her caregiver since late December. With all the work and everything else, I’m always running. I get my work done, but I’m just running all the time.” 

Something Mary can’t run from is a lengthy battle with hearing loss, a condition that became progressively worse as years passed. She has a strong suspicion about what caused her hearing to deteriorate. 

“Some of it is genetic,” she reveals. “My dad and my uncles, that whole side of my family are all hard of hearing, And I was a concert photographer for many years. I think what genetics didn’t take away, the loud music did. 

“I’m not completely deaf, but I’m deaf enough that it really impacted my life. I struggled with it as a hairdresser because my clients face away from me, so conversations were awkward. My co-workers were often angry with me because I couldn’t hear them, and they thought I was ignoring them. I wear a deaf vest when I work at Lowe’s. 

 “One of my hair clients suggested vocational rehab, so I looked into it. The folks there sent me to Dr. Hansen at Trinity Hearing & Balance Center. That was back in 2005 or 2006.” 

Comprehensive Testing 

Trinity Hearing & Balance Center is the New Port Richey practice of Kelly Hansen, AuD. Dr. Hansen and fellow audiologists Nikki Goldowski-Richa, AuD, and Kayla Dub, AuD, CCCA, specialize in hearing care, including the fitting of hearing aids. They also treat balance disorders. 

When Mary first visited Trinity Hearing & Balance Center 17 years ago, Dr. Hansen performed a comprehensive hearing test that revealed some details regarding Mary’s hearing loss. 

Her visit began with a Video Otoscopy, which provides a clear visual image of the ear. This enables the doctors to assess the ear’s overall health and diagnose conditions such as ear infections, ear wax build up, and other abnormalities. 

“I discovered that Mary has a sensorineural hearing loss, which means damage to the inner ear,” Dr. Hansen reports. “This is the most common cause of hearing loss.” 

Dr. Hansen recommended hearing aids, then sat down with Mary to discuss her lifestyle and work environments to determine what hearing devies would work best for her. 

Following that discussion, Mary was fit with hearing aids that day, and they made an immediate impact on her life. 

“My first pair of hearing aids changed everything,” Mary remembers. “The first thing I noticed was the blinkers in the car made a sound. And at the salon, I could hear the pinging of the cash register and the bells when people came in the door. I was amazed at how much I wasn’t hearing before.” 

In the years since, Dr. Hansen has upgraded Mary’s prescription several times. The most recent change was in 2021, when Mary received state-of-the-art digital hearing instruments with Bluetooth capability. 

“The devices we recommended are the newest technology for processing speech in background noise,” Dr. Hansen details. “These specific aids will help Mary hear more clearly in challenging listening environments such as restaurants, group situations, and all of her social gatherings. 

“She uses an application on her smartphone to adjust the hearing aids as well as stream phone calls directly into her hearing aids, which she really likes.” 

At Trinity Hearing & Balance Center, the audiologists understand that every person is different and hearing loss is unique to the individual. 

“Correcting hearing loss is not a one-size-fits-all affair, which is what people get with over-the-counter and nonprescription hearing aids,” Dr. Hansen asserts. “If they simply walk into a big-box store, pick hearing devices off a shelf and puts them in their ears, they miss out on the exceptional hearing care our audiologists provide. We offer personalized hearing solutions that are tailored to an individual’s needs, which result in greater satisfaction.” 

Singing Praises 

Though she has had her current hearing aids for nearly two years, Mary is still amazed by the impact they have made on her life. 

“I didn’t fight getting hearing aids. In fact, I was very excited about it,” Mary discloses. “And, it’s been so worth it. 

“To hear birds singing, to understand the words of a song and go to the movies and hear everything clearly is amazing to me because those are things I was missing before.” 

Mary is even more pleased with her ability to clearly hear co-workers and carry on casual conversations with them. 

“I just can’t live without these hearing aids,” she exudes. 

She feels much the same way about her audiologist. 

“Dr. Hansen is amazing,” she raves. “I consider her not just my doctor, but also my friend. She’s so awesome. I can’t say enough about Dr. Hansen and Trinity Hearing & Balance Center. Dr. Hansen completely changed my life.”

Florida Health Care News 

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    • Trinity Hearing & Balance Center

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    • Kelly Hansen, AuD

      Kelly Hansen, AuD, has more than 30 years of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing, dizziness and balance disorders. She opened Trinity Hearing & Balance Center in 2006. Dr. Hansen obtained her undergraduate and graduat... Read More

    • Kayla Dub, AuD, CCCA

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    • Nikki Goldowski-Richa, AuD

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