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In this week’s blog Ronald Clayton offers extensive insight into his experience with hearing loss and the positive impact that Audicus hearing aids have had on his life. Below is a Q & A with Ronald!

When did you know you had hearing loss?

It was in 2002. I’m a retired college professor, and in the process of conducting my classwork it was becoming difficult for me to pick out particular voices in the back of the room.

What were some of the sounds you had the hardest time hearing?

High pitched voices, particularly young women who may speak at a high pitch and rapidly. This obviously became an unacceptable embarrassment.

Describe a time when your hearing loss really took a toll on your ability to participate in a social situation.

I’ll refer back to my role as a teacher. In small group critique situations with 10-20 advanced students, I gradually realized I was missing a significant portion of the conversation.

My primary chosen form of exercise is mountain bike riding, and at just about that same time I was involved in an accident on a local trail and ended up having a lot of reconstructive surgery on my face. I thought I might also benefit from having a hearing test. It was also in 2002. The hearing aids I purchased as a result, helped a bit in the beginning.  But I soon realized that I still was not contributing in the way students should be able to expect of their mentor. I was still missing too much. And so, reluctantly, I retired. I only wish the Audicus Cantos had been available to me back then.

How did you find out about Audicus?

When one of my previous aids failed, I thought there might be better options for me out there. I did some investigation myself and in the process of searching around the Internet I discovered Audicus, the instruments they offer and the services they include.  It seemed like the absolute best option for me. I was never satisfied with my previous hearing aids.

How did you feel purchasing a medical device online? Did you have concerns?

At first I was a little apprehensive, but I looked at the program as it is spelled out on the Audicus web page. I looked into the manufacturer and compared models with those I was familiar with. I learned I could get leading edge RIC [receiver-in-canal] technology and superior service and follow up all for a fraction of what I had paid for my old hearing aids more than 10 years ago. That was the deciding factor.

What was it like when you received your hearing aid and put it on?

I had been without hearing aids for a few weeks. So when I first put on my Cantos, the improvement was immediate. When I got these hearing aids and every morning now, when I put them on, it’s as if I feel my ears opening up. I still have that experience today. With a little help from helpers on Audicus chat, I mastered the simple two button controls and began rediscovering sound experiences that had been absent from my life for many years.

Do you feel that hearing aids have made a big difference in helping you communicate with other people?

Absolutely. When I am at restaurants, I can hear what the waiter is saying instead of having to ask my wife to repeat it to me. And, conversation with her in public and private has regained the humor and subtlety we both had been missing. In small groups and in large noisy halls I join in conversations now. I don’t have to just stand there like a statue nodding my head, as if I understand. The Cantos seem to zero in on just the frequencies that I lack, picking them out of the background.

What would you tell other people about Audicus?

I would suggest that they investigate Audicus. If people knew what I know about the hearing aid experience, it would be very favorable to your program. I’d tell them that the audiologists who set up my Cantos were incredibly precise and sensitive in the way they matched the programs in my Cantos to the specifics of my audiogram. I’d suggest they get the enhanced clarity upgrade, and the additional program for music listening. And Audicus Cantos are very comfortable to wear. They’re tiny, close fitting and they never intrude.

by Aaron Rodriques