The experience is so surreal, it’s almost like clockwork. Owner Jason Shillingstad of Miracle-Ear, the leading provider of hearing tests in Eastern North Dakota, is visiting with a new patient. The patient, who’s been experiencing significant hearing loss, comes in to Miracle-Ear for their free initial hearing test in Eastern North Dakota to see about getting fitted for hearing aids. Within a few minutes of meeting with the patient, Shillingstad and his team of hearing instrument specialists, audiologists and patient care coordinators are faced with “hearing aid apprehension.”
“Anyone that comes in says ‘Oh, my grandpa or grandma had hearing aids 30 years ago. Even with the hearing aid, they still couldn’t hear very well,’’ says Shillingstad. The “grandpa” argument, which plays out like Groundhog Day during hearing tests at Eastern North Dakota Miracle-Ear hearing centers, is what often prevents most patients from seeking treatment from their hearing loss right away, or even at all.
Shillingstad will admit that part of these patients’ logic is true: hearing aids were not very good 30 years ago. Hearing aids were bulky, often worn around the waist or ear, and were not very comfortable or discreet. “A long time ago, hearing aids used to work more like amplifiers,” says Shillingstad. By an amplifier, Shillingstad means that all hearing aids gave each patient the same amount of auditory boost with each frequency. No patient, however, suffers from flat hearing loss across the board of sound frequencies; each patient hears differently in every frequency, and experiences hearing loss differently.
“With hearing aids today, we’re able to match up what they need in each hearing area to make them happier,” says Shillingstad. “Less garbage noise, background noise, and stuff like that…things have improved a great deal.” By match up, Shillingstad refers to the ability to fine-tune hearing aids to meet each patient’s individual hearing loss.
In the last 10 years, Miracle-Ear has made extraordinary advances in hearing aid technology. Hearing aids are much more hands free and can be worn almost entirely inside of the ear canal, making them practically invisible. New digital hearing aids can be easily self-adjusted during the course of a patient’s hearing loss treatment without coming in for additional hearing tests at Eastern North Dakota Miracle-Ear hearing centers.
So although hearing aids still amplify sound, they are a world better than anything your Grandpa ever wore. For more information on hearing loss, hearing aids, or any other hearing-related topics, give a call to your local Miracle-Ear hearing center.