E.A.R. medical director Dr. William Mason sat down with long-time hearing loss sufferer and E.A.R. patient J.R. Caminos to find out what led him to finally seek a solution.
Mr. Caminos, how long have you had a hearing loss?
I've noticed hearing loss for 10 to 15 years. Mainly saying "what" a lot and blaming other people for mumbling. I can usually hear one to two words clearly in each sentence, and then figure out the rest. However, sometimes I make embarrassing mistakes. A good example is when I asked a friend "what are you doing tomorrow". He answered, "I'm going to dinner." I then replied, "You're going to Virginia?" Very embarrassing.
If you had the hearing loss for 10 to 15 years, what motivated you to seek help now?
Mainly my family, who had been complaining about my hearing for some time. Especially my son and daughter, who wanted me to do something. So when I received the invitation to your Open House, I decided to investigate. However, I have friends who have worn hearing aids and were dissatisfied, so I was concerned as whether a hearing aid would help me.
What sort of difficulties were you having with your hearing?
It was mainly turning up the television, difficulty hearing over the telephone, and accusing other people of mumbling.
What was your experience with EAR?
I found the office to be professional, and found the seminar to be informative. I was expecting a high-pressure sales approach, and was reassured by both Lee and Melissa that there is no pressure to buy a hearing aid. However, as soon as I tried the aid on I could see a huge difference. The most amazing thing was when Melissa left the room and spoke to me from the hallway, I could hear everything she was saying. At first I thought that she was speaking loudly.
What was your experience with the home trial of the hearing aids?
"It was another world." My wife didn't know I was coming to your office. When I came home with the hearing aids she didn't notice that I was wearing them. When I turned on the TV that evening I turned it to the lowest volume that I could hear. When she came in the room she claimed that the TV was too low. I told her that I could hear it just fine. She didn't believe me, and even after I mentioned the hearing aids she couldn't see them until I turned my head and pointed them out.
What has been your experience with the hearing aids over the last week?
I had been told by friends who wear hearing aids that the most difficult situations are in crowded restaurants and at family gatherings. So I tried the hearing aids out at the noisiest restaurant I could find. "It was another world." I could hear the voices of everyone at the table, but none of the background noise.
What have you noticed about the technology of these hearing aids?
I was impressed with the technology and kept asking myself, "How can these aids do that?" I have worked with computers my entire life. I could actually hear the aids sampling the environment and making constant adjustments. "You wouldn't believe this. I hear everything," I told my family. "No more talking behind my back."
Any advice for someone with a hearing loss who is thinking about a hearing aid?
Get one. Find a reputable company, get your hearing tested, and try the hearing aids out. I have friends who have hearing aids and were dissatisfied, this is what stopped me for so many years from trying an aid. The new technology is incredible. You just have to try them.