By Hoglund Family Hearing and Audiology Services
Advanced stage hearing loss can lead to a lot of frustrations in life. Modern technology is continuing to improve not only in the devices themselves, but also with a dramatic improvement in the quality of sound and increased functionality of assistive listening devices (ALDs).
We recently began working with a gentleman by the name of Robert Jarlenski, who has one of the more challenging Hearing losses I’ve seen this year. Fortunately, the use of marvelous pair of hearing aids and several assistive listening devices has completely changed his life, and he was willing to share his story for others who may be faced with similar struggles … as a message of hope for those suffering with advanced stage hearing loss!
I have been hearing impaired for over 25 years (As a musician sitting in front of amplifiers and in the bowling business for 35 years) and have purchased and worn for both ears five traditional sets of hearing aids over those 25 years. None ever made hearing and understanding the way that I had hoped… The problem always was the noisy backgrounds and the clarity of what I heard. Just raising the volume of the hearing aids made clarity even worse. It definitely prevented me from social conversation, visiting with people or even going for coffee and doughnuts after Mass. I could no longer attend church seminars or attend the men’s weekly Monday morning Bible Reading sessions. I could not understand the many priests who did Homilies just before Communion, even sitting in the first pew closest to them. It truly was awful.
My hearing loss was severe, so perfect clarity was impossible with all 5 sets of those earlier hearing aids. I bought the last pair of traditional hearing aids I
bought cost $2400, and they too could not give me better clarity to understand people talking to me, the TV, Church socials and seminars, Priest Homilies, etc. I had to rent movies with Subtitles and have all my TV programs with the Closed Caption Subtitle option on.
Then things changed dramatically for the better when I went to Hoglund Family Hearing and Audiology Center on Coconut Road in Estero and met John Hoglund, the owner.
John gave me one of the most thorough and best hearing tests I’ve ever had. He fitted me and adjusted a set of STARKEY hearing aids: model MUSE iQ i2400 ITE. These hearing aids have 4 different sound programs each adjusted according to what my hearing needs in each area of my life. Barbara Garner, his wonderful Audiologist at the clinic, set these programs up in the following fashion. The 1st program NORMAL helped me understand much better than I had in the past. The 2nd program was set up for MEETINGS (The volume and higher pitched consonant sounds are heightened for better hearing clarity in noisy environments) Muse offers a completely different algorithm for listening to music, so the 3rd program was set for MUSIC (Since Joan and I put on musical shows from time-to-time, this level is set so I hear exactly what my keyboard and Joan’s singing and saxophone playing is sounding like to the audience) The 4th program is the most exciting and will definitely improve one’s social life: AUDIO LOOP (Compatible with public facilities that have installed advanced technology for the hearing impaired.) For example, my church, St. John XXIII in Ft. Myers, is just about complete in building a huge Community Center where seminars, club meetings, Bible Classes, social parties and dances, etc. will be held. Around the entire room, an AUDIO LOOP has been installed which greatly benefits all hearing impaired people like me with the new Hearing Aids programmed for the Audio Loop. When any microphone is turned on and people are talking into it, their voices will automatically be transferred to the Audio Loop, and people like me will turn on the Audio Loop program in our hearing aids. For the first time in history, I, and others with the same hearing aids, will hear the voice of the person speaking directly into our ears, where we will hear better than ever through “direct audio input.” This is a wireless system, WOW!
There are other optional devices available to improve your understanding as well. I purchased the SURF LINK TV Streamer that plugs into the TV and streams the sound coming from the TV directly into my ears. I can adjust the volume on my streamer to suit me, and my wife can adjust the volume of the TV to whatever volume she wants. I can go to the bathroom or kitchen and the sound from the TV follows me. It truly is FANTASTIC!
I selected another option that has really helped me comprehend speech in noisy social situations. The digital, wireless mini-microphone is about the same size as your thumb. Let’s say, you’re having coffee and doughnuts after Mass in the Social room at a table with 8 people. Now, you tell the people about your new mini-mic, turn it on and place it in the middle of the table. It will automatically pick up what’s being said at your table and transfer it to your hearing aids. The first time I did this, I almost cried because I knew my social opportunities in the future will be enjoyed, and I can, for the first time in a long time, participate.
Mr. Hoglund also recommended an advanced remote control that acts just like your traditional TV Remote. The Remote lets me access the four different programs Barbara Garner set up. There is also a button to increase the volume within each program, and a button to reduce the volume. The STAR button that activates the SURFLINK TV Streamer instantly brings the audio of the program you are watching to your ears. You won’t need to read those TV Subtitles any longer, and your wife won’t have to yell at you, “turn the damn volume down, you’ll wake the neighbors.”
Our lives have been changed forever by this technology and the clinical expertise of the clinicians at Hoglund Family Hearing and Audiology Center! If you are struggling with advanced stage hearing loss, don’t give up hope! Call John at one of their centers and book an appointment. We’re sure glad WE DID!
Hoglund Family Hearing And Audiology Center
Fifteen 8th Street, Suite B (Next to Royal Scoop Ice Cream)
Bonita Springs, FL 31434
Southwest Florida Tinnitus And Hearing Center
10020 Coconut Rd. Ste.120 (Next to LabCorp)
Estero, FL 34135
AUDIOLOGY CENTERS OF HOGLUND FAMILY HEARING
13710 Metropolis Ave.Suite 101
(One block west of Gulf Coast Hospital)
Fort Myers, FL 33912