For this week’s blog post, we had the pleasure of interviewing an Audicus customer, Richard Perdue. See what he has to say about his experience with hearing loss, and how Audicus allowed him to change this.
When did you know you had hearing loss?
In grammar school I began to have problems understanding but it was not diagnosed with hearing loss until much later.
What were some of the sounds you had the hardest time hearing?
Small children, many women’s voices, and bird sounds, in other words, higher-pitched sounds. I did not hear electronic sounds such as prompts or mechanical sounds such as squeaking.
Describe a time when your hearing loss really took a toll on your ability to participate in a social situation.
As a young adult I was challenged by the fact that almost all social environments included music. This was tough with hearing loss. I could listen to music or talk to people, but I could not focus on both well. I was very uneasy when in a situation where I needed to understand directions from someone that I had never talked to before because I didn’t know if I could understand them well enough to function without appearing awkward in some way.
How did you feel purchasing a medical device online? Did you have concerns?
Between the company’s 45 day trial and the way that I chose to make my purchases, I knew I was well covered if something did not seem fair or suitable.
What was it like when you received your hearing aid and put it on?
I waited until bedtime to open the package. That is when I will often watch something on TV which is a sure way to allow me to fall asleep. I started charging all the components so that I could give them all a try. Since I was alone I had no way to really give it a try except with the TV and with music.
I did both and was immediately aware that these aids were vastly superior to what I had been used to. I was impressed that I was not seeking higher volumes, but rather I was understanding at much lower volume settings. I also noticed that the sounds the hearing aid’s programs eliminated, such as air conditioning or ceiling fan, was as important or more so than amplification.
What were some of the first sounds you heard?
I was amazed to find that a British TV show that I like was full of birds chirping when scenes were filmed outdoors. In fact, at first I was disturbed by the sounds because I thought something was wrong. I was thinking I was hearing high pitched mechanical sounds. That was the start of realizing that I have had to relearn sounds to become comfortable with them and not consider them to be out of place. I realized I had not heard birds in years.
I also did not know that my antique mantel clock had a bell on the half hour. (I knew it had an hourly chime) There are so many things that we lose so gradually that are not missed and seem a little intrusive at first. A good example is that one starts hearing door latches clicking and other small mechanical sounds that almost everyone else hears, and just like them, after a while they just go back to the background. At first such sounds are important because we use them to measure how much more and better we are hearing. Fortunately the focus naturally shifts as we regain a more normal hearing level.
What would you tell other people about Audicus?
The very first thing I did after deciding Audicus sounded like what I was looking for was to read the history of the company on the internet. (not the website) The history will assure you of the quality and integrity that you can expect. Audicus is not selling the cheap amplifiers that you see advertised on late night TV.
When one has an audiology test performed for ordering, pick up some brochures that the office will certainly help. Ask for brochures that have features like the ones that you have read about on the website. One will find that they not only look alike, but also offer the same features.
Last, I would encourage anyone who is ordering a model that offers Bluetooth to acquire it. This single thing makes my aids invaluable to me. I have been unable to enjoy movies or music in years. Even when my hearing was more nearly normal I never heard the subtle things that I hear in movies now. And if you use the volume control on the transmitter set a little higher then the aids do not have to use a lot of volume.
There will be no distortion or the mechanical sounds that I have experienced with all of the ‘in the ear’ aids that I have worn in the past. Since I am experienced with aids and know that they occasionally have to be attended by a professional, after only eight months, I bought a duplicate set with Bluetooth remote. I just could not imagine going back to the way I was hearing before I obtained the Cantos that I purchased, even for a week.
I am not simply happy, I am completely happy with how much these aids have changed the way I hear, enjoy going out socially, and look forward to fully enjoying music and movies like never before. WOW!