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A Hearing Aid Testimonial

There seems to be no problem talking with Ina Evans in a busy meeting area with someone playing the piano within 20 feet. You would never know she wears hearing aids, but she’s not afraid to tell people that she has them. She says they are an integral part of her outfit every day, ”just like putting on my makeup.” But she was not always so happy, when they weren’t working correctly. ”I already had hearing aids,” she said, ”but they weren’t working to full capacity and it was very frustrating. It’s like having a car that could go 100 miles per hour, but it will only go 75.”

Ms. Evans heard Stephanie Sjoblad from the UNC Hearing and Communication Center (HCC) speak about hearing loss and decided to visit the HCC herself. HCC staff tested her hearing in a special booth and then adjusted her aids using a real ear probe microphone measurement system. Ms. Evans said that the HCC staff were ”helpful and empathetic and showed great expertise and care in adjusting my hearing aids to make my hearing the best it could possibly be. I know you can’t expect hearing aids to give 100% of your hearing back, but they can be adjusted to be the best possible for the individual.”

”People who have trouble hearing become socially isolated because they are embarrassed not to be able to participate in conversations or worry about saying something silly. It’s important for people to know that it is socially acceptable to wear hearing aids and it results in better communication and socialization.” -Ina Evans

Ms. Evans originally decided to get hearing aids because it became harder to enjoy the lectures, plays, and musical performances that she attended. ”Quality of life deteriorates if you can’t hear,” she says, ”and friends as they get older tend to talk in lower tones and are difficult to understand.” She says that she knows friends who have hearing aids but rarely use them. She points out that some patients can’t hear their doctor, and if they don’t know what they have been told about treatments, or medication doses, it can actually be dangerous. People are hesitant to get hearing aids and put it off because of cost. Vanity is another factor, because they may see it as a mark of deterioration. ”But now hearing aids are smaller and smaller and more discreet- remarkable strides have been made.”

”I used to teach adult literacy classes and many came to those classes so that they could read the Bible or read stories to their grandchildren. There is the same type of benefit in getting hearing aids: you can communicate with your grandchildren, socialize, and be a part of mainstream activities.”

Ina Evans, a patient at the UNC Hearing and Communication Center, discusses her experience with getting hearing aids and having them adjusted to work to maximum capacity