Know Somebody Considering Treating Their Hearing Loss? | Inspirational Stories from Our Patients

09/10/2023 | Hearing Health, Hearing Loss, Local News, Patient Resources

Every day, we hear from people who are concerned about their hearing loss or about a loved one who is experiencing a hearing loss. While we’re always happy to share our professional advice, sometimes it can be beneficial to speak with someone who is going through the same thing as you.

The problem is that not everyone knows someone personally who is experiencing a hearing loss or who wears a hearing aid.

To help solve this problem, we’ve asked some of our patients to share their experiences of getting treatment for their hearing loss.

I hope these success stories empower you to take the next step on your journey to better hearing. If you know someone who may benefit from hearing these stories, please feel free to share this article with them.

Our first story comes from Bill Middendorf, who is a real-life hero.

Mr. Middendorf, now 97 years old, served in the US Navy in World War II. He became Secretary of the US Navy during the 1970s. During this time, he spent countless hours in engine rooms ensuring the proper function of our entire fleet.

Engine rooms can damage a person’s hearing quite quickly if the proper protection is not worn. In this case, Mr. Middendorf had bigger concerns than that of his hearing.

When working within engine rooms, the generators are the most damaging piece of equipment to someone’s hearing. They operate at such a loud volume that even a small amount of exposure can do irreversible damage. And when spending a lot of time around them, the damage can be catastrophic.

In light of this information, Mr. Middendorf requested that the sailors get hearing aids to counteract this issue. With these hearing aids, they could distinguish between the sounds of the generators and the sounds of their fellow sailors. This made it easier to understand orders and keep everyone safe.

Even back then, Mr. Middendorf knew the importance of hearing in the workplace and made it his mission to care for his fellow sailors.

After learning of the damage that loud noises could cause, his attention was drawn to a base in the Philippines. There were over a thousand sailors who were staying at a rest and relaxation camp there.

Much to Mr. Middendorf’s surprise, the speakers being used to play music were set to astronomical volume levels. When the men’s hearing was tested, it was clear that their hearing was adversely affected. After speaking with the mayor, they agreed to turn down the volume and play some gentler song choices. Naturally, the men were not happy, but the science suggested this would be very good for the long-term care of everyone’s hearing.

Mr. Middendorf has been fighting hearing loss for decades. He knows the perils of what can happen if left unattended.

When it came time to treat his own hearing, he wanted to make sure he was working with the best.

Duncan Hearing Healthcare came highly recommended by another family member who is also in the medical industry. Mr. Middendorf’s daughter had found out about Duncan Hearing Healthcare and recommended them to him. He and his family were becoming increasingly frustrated with how rapidly his hearing loss was progressing. Having to repeatedly ask “What did you say?” was starting to weigh on his life at home. This is usually the first sign of hearing loss.

If it can happen to Mr. Middendorf, then it can happen to anyone. The first step was to administer a comprehensive hearing assessment. From there, the team at Duncan was able to quickly diagnose a solution and get Mr. Middendorf back to his old self again.

By working with a team of qualified professionals, Mr. Middendorf was able to restore his hearing and continue enjoying his retired life.

When we asked Mr. Middendorf what advice he might have for someone considering contacting Duncan about their own hearing, he responded,

“Why not? What is the point of being silent if you can open up your hearing again? Life is all about hearing. Would you agree?”

We would!

Our next story is from Sarah.

For years, Sarah had been underwhelmed by the hearing healthcare providers that she’d tried in her local area. “I used a small independent hearing aid company, but I wasn’t happy with them,” she says.

“Then I tried one of the national places, but every time I went there, it was someone new, and my hearing was just getting worse.” The technology that the specialists prescribed her didn’t offer many benefits, leading Sarah to become frustrated. She even considered learning sign language or asking others to just speak up near her “good ear.”

But one day, someone told her about Duncan Hearing Healthcare. During her initial visit, Sarah noticed a difference compared to the other clinics. “It struck me, initially, just how friendly everybody was and welcoming,” she says. By that time, I was well into my hearing aid treatment process and was ready to give up on it.

The new hearing aids made a huge difference. Not only did they let Sarah freely interact with others and pursue her career, but the array of features also improved her quality of life. “The ones I have now have Bluetooth,” says Sarah. “So phone and Zoom calls are much easier.”

What would Sarah advise someone who has a hearing concern?

“Don’t ignore it,” she urges.

“I didn’t realize how many things I was giving up on until I got my hearing aids from Duncan Hearing Healthcare. Then I realized, ‘Oh my gosh! These make a huge difference.’”

Common Reasons for Avoiding Treatment for Hearing Loss

Many people don’t take action right away when they first suspect they may have a hearing loss. In fact, the average person waits seven years before seeking treatment. There are two main reasons for this.

#1 – Concerns about wearing hearing aids

No one wants to have to rely on hearing aids. But if you’re worried about your aids being bulky, the good news is that the technology has come a long way. There are many wonderful options on the market that are nearly invisible.

#2 – Concerns about the financial investment

Treating hearing loss does come with some financial investment. But don’t let that stop you from seeking help. Options like insurance, financing, and payment plans can help. Your audiologist will be able to find the best option for you based on your budget.

Remember, an investment in your hearing health is an investment in your happiness and quality of life.

Next Steps

If you’re experiencing a hearing loss and have been considering seeking treatment, I hope these stories inspire you to act quickly.

It can be tempting to delay treatment for hearing loss, but keep in mind that untreated hearing loss can worsen over time.

And once your hearing is gone, it’s gone forever.

If you’re ready to take the next step on your journey to better hearing, schedule a comprehensive hearing assessment today.

You can reach our team by calling our Fall River office at 508-674-3334, Dartmouth at 508-910-2221, or Falmouth at 508-548-8123. Or, request a callback.

Inspiration from our patients

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Nancy Duncan, Au.D.

Dr. Nancy Duncan graduated from Somerset High, Somerset, MA in 1991 and received her B.S. in communication disorders and psychology from Worcester State College. Her master of science in audiology was awarded at the University of Arkansas in 1997, after which she worked for several private audiology practices in Arkansas, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Returning to the area in 2003, Dr. Duncan founded Duncan Hearing Healthcare, allowing her to apply her passion to her community through rehabilitative audiology and individual patient care. She earned her clinical doctorate in audiology degree from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (now Salus University) in 2005. Her passion for her family and community is an integral part of what drives her to provide trustworthy, professional hearing healthcare to her patients.

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