I love my job! Every day I meet wonderful people with a wide variety of personal interests. They share these with me and I vicariously experience their pleasures. But often, special interests or hobbies present an acoustic challenge for folks with hearing loss.
When this happens, I am frequently able to program their hearing aids so that they may hear better in specific situations. They can more fully enjoy their interests and I truly enjoy the problem-solving process.
Two examples come to mind involving birds and music. The first is a patient who enjoys birding with friends. He came into the office, commenting on his difficulty hearing the Indigo Bunting birdsong when his friends were talking. He correctly reasoned that his hearing aids were adjusted to provide the best speech signal possible, allowing him to hear as much as possible in social situations.
However, at times, he preferred to hear the birdsong over his friends. We were able to provide a second program (or setting) for his hearing aid, which we labeled “nature” to use when birding. He had a recording of the birdsong on his phone and played it while I adjusted the hearing aids, making sure it was appropriately audible. He then went out in the field and was able to change the setting on his hearing aids to allow him to hear his Indigo Bunting. It worked!
The second example is a patient who plays the viola. Her hearing aids were excellent in helping her to better hear conversations but she felt they distorted her music when she was playing the viola with her friends.
She brought her viola into the office, where we were able to program a “music” setting. I was treated to a lovely private concert and she ended up with a non-distorting program to use when playing her music. Truly a win-win situation and we both had fun!
When you think you have to give up the sounds you love because of hearing loss, reconsider. Sometimes all it takes to listen to the sounds you love again is to stop in to see us and we can create a new listening program for you.