The Long Hearing Journey

Published 20-03-2018
Last Updated09-01-2020

Words of wisdom from one man's 22 year delay in gaining better hearing through hearing aids.
"It took me way too long to do something about my hearing loss"
Dennis P., Essex CT

It took Dennis 22 years to complete his hearing journey. His only wish is he hadn't waited so long.

"Why am I writing this? To share what I have learned about hearing loss and the importance of doing something about it sooner rather than later."

That's how Dennis started a heartfelt letter, documenting his long hearing journey filled with wisdom from over two decades of contemplation and research around treatment solutions. Fortunately, his hearing journey has a happy ending, as he discovered the new Widex BEYOND™ hearing aid technology. However, it took many trials and tribulations to reach the conclusion. 

At 75 years old today, Dennis still leads an active lifestyle as he works out regularly and enjoys frequent golf and sailing outings. After a long and successful career, he has very little to reflect back upon in regret, except treating his hearing loss. Dennis stated "despite being a well-organized person, it took me way too long to do something about my hearing loss. This was due to mistaken assumptions about the need for hearing aids to overcome hearing loss and the health risks of not getting them". 
Ironically, Dennis was no stranger to hearing aid technology
Having a mother with hearing loss, he was exposed to hearing aid usage. Yet, his mother's hearing aids were often mostly kept in the drawer and not worn.  "We had to yell at her to be heard and she would turn the TV up to a painful level.  Her friends became annoyed with her for not using her hearing aids too...she would withdraw into her own little world" Dennis stated. 

Despite seeing all of this unfold first-hand, Dennis still followed a similar pattern of putting off hearing loss treatment through hearing aids. Dennis started experiencing hearing loss when he was in his fifties, but convinced himself he didn't need hearing aids at the time. Over the years, the side effects of his hearing loss worsened, especially in social gatherings where background noise was present, but he remained convinced he didn't need to seek treatment. He remembers struggling with understanding people in group conversations, even missing what his wife was telling him at times. 
Dennis shared that his hearing care professional played an important role in his hearing journey success.
At 68 years old, Dennis went in for a hearing test but the audiologist did not recommend a hearing aid at that time.  Yet the impact of hearing loss continued to worsen. Finally in 2016, a new audiologist, Nancy Jablonski of Audiology Concierge, recommended he undertake a trial of hearing aid technology to see if that would improve his hearing.  Eager for help with his hearing struggles, he opted to give newest hearing aid technology a one-month try. Nancy, recommended the Widex BEYOND product and Dennis finally realized the benefits of better hearing that he had been missing all of those years. 

As he reflects back on his long journey of of confusion from conflicting recommendations and denial early on of need to seek treatment, he had the following words of wisdom to offer those in similar situations, "Buying hearing aids is not at all like buying a smartphone or other electronic products. I firmly believe that buying hearing aids over-the-counter or from internet providers is a mistake because, for me, hands on and face-to-face counseling support was critical". 

A full two decades after first noticing signs of hearing loss, Dennis is now happy with his hearing and improved quality of life as a result. His only regret is that he didn't get the right advice to take action sooner. 

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