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Single-side-deafness, hearing aids and my inner space (Part 2)

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A smiling John playing drums at a summer rock festival.

Single-Side-Deafness, Hearing Aids and My Inner Space
By John Lalley
Marketing Manager, Marketing and Communications

Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

So there I was, with my first hearing aid, connected to people and the world and it was beautiful and I was grateful to have the access to the technology. But once the honeymoon was over, it started to seem sort of mid-range heavy and tinny and fake-sounding, like I was in a room made of stainless steel. Needless to say, I stopped wearing my hearing aids as much. Sound familiar? It might not to everyone, but to any hearing aid user who ever became disenchanted with hearing aids - even a little bit…it might.

I lost my custom-made musician’s earplug (yup, I need just one) a few weeks ago, while playing drums at a rock show. I made an appointment to see Maria Michaelides, one of our audiologists at CHS Toronto. She started fitting me for the mould, and wasted no time steering the conversation toward improvements in technology and how In-the-Ear hearing aids might not be best for me, for which I will be forever grateful.

“John, I’d like to talk to you about your hearing aids. I don’t see you wearing them a lot. I’d like to work with you on what I think might be a better solution for you.”


I agreed, and told her that they sound a little tinny, and they echo.

“You have In-the-Ear (ITE) hearing aids. Don’t your ears feel plugged, or full?”

Again, I agreed. “Uh, yeah.”

And from there, she was all in, reviewing my recent hearing test, asking me about my behaviours and expectations, and, most importantly, addressing the fact that I have some good usable hearing on my hearing side in my bass frequencies and lower midrange. Because of this, she wanted to call my hearing aid manufacturer to get me a trial set of Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing aids, as I was still within my warranty period. She called them on the spot. She said she was pretty sure I would find the BTE hearing aids a great improvement from a sound and comfort perspective and they would enable me to maximize efficiency from the usable frequency range on my hearing side.

They came in a few days later, she fitted me and my excitement grew. If I thought my ITE aids were low profile, these were practically invisible. Like, seriously. They made me feel like a hipster, especially the black ones I chose. The units tuck in behind my ears and are tiny - I can barely see them, and they are as light as a feather. My ears didn’t feel full! I could feel my excitement continue to grow. She turned them on and started working on the settings. Then my life changed…again.

I experienced a fullness and richness of sound like I haven’t heard in decades. Music, conversation, phone calls – everything sounds so amazing and natural and full of beautiful frequencies. It’s clear and open. My hearing ear is doing the lifting that it can and assisting in the process, as it’s not being blocked off. I was overwhelmed and grateful.

Maria is amazing – great client care, excellent advice, patient, and has a firm consultative hand when it counts most. I am thrilled and extremely happy with my new hearing aids and with the service I got from Maria and team. I actually forget that I’m wearing them, which is very cool.

If you’re not happy with your hearing aids, or think there might be better technology out there, please make an appointment with the Hearing Clinics Plus team. They’re a passionate group of talented professionals who value client satisfaction and put patients first, and I hope you make a commitment to yourself to make hearing aid technology work for you. If you have a loved one who could benefit from enhanced technology or a setting adjustment, I hope you pass this along. It’s so worth it.   

-- John Lalley is Marketing Manager, Marketing and Communications, at CHS. He is a Juno Awarding-winning drummer, kite surfer, and life enthusiast.

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