‘I wonder if I need hearing aids?’

As a child, Gwen Scott had several severe ‘earaches’ with a perforated eardrum which required hospitalization and administration of penicillin. It’s clear to her now that those episodes permanently scarred her eardrums and resulted in hearing loss, which became more significant over time.

“Over the years I’ve compensated for my difficulty in hearing by sitting closer to the front of the room in meetings, asking people to repeat themselves and to speak louder. This worked for many years until, as I got older, I noticed that these strategies weren’t working as well as when I was younger!” she says. “I noticed that other people were laughing or responding to what had just been said, and I didn’t know what was happening.”

Gwen also became aware that her hearing loss had a significant negative impact on her brain, because it wasn’t receiving the stimulation it needed.

“I didn’t want to be perceived as ‘stupid’, ‘irrelevant’ or be suspected of dementia because I wasn’t able to engage appropriately. I’ve also recently learned that the human brain produces new neurons daily so we can learn new tasks and process new information. I didn’t want to miss out!”

Fighting the stigma of hearing aids

Gwen was reluctant to be seen using hearing aids because of the stigma attached to wearing them.

“I believed that others would assume that I was old and not valued.”

At the same time, she started noticing that people using hearing aids didn’t seem to be ashamed to have them, and they were functioning well with them. Then a friend confided that she was wearing hearing aids and Gwen was surprised to see that they were small and discreet.

“I realized I can do this too! I began to change my mind about hearing aids, and before long I considered getting my ears checked.”

Gwen’s friend recommended Kim Galick at Ears Hearing Clinic in Langley as the best practitioner that she’d found (she had been to several hearing clinics before she found Kim). She trusted her friend’s judgment and made an appointment.

Kim tested Gwen’s ears and told her she’d benefit from hearing aids. She chose hearing aids with the latest technology so that she’d have the maximum benefit, and began wearing them consistently a few weeks later.

“Thankfully, I had a fairly smooth adjustment period compared to my friend, who took longer to adjust,” she says. “I noticed right away that I didn’t need the TV to be as loud, and I was surprised at how loud the timer on the stove was. I stopped asking people to repeat themselves, and I noticed that they were now initiating conversation with me. In other words, my brain was being stimulated by these ‘new’ sounds, and my ability to engage with others and things in my environment was greatly improved.”

Gwen says Ears Hearing Clinics has been a catalyst in making her life more alive and rewarding.

“Kim was welcoming, informative, and professional as we discussed what I was experiencing. She speaks clearly and intentionally so that I never have trouble hearing what she’s saying. I’m also impressed with Kim’s ethical approach to her business as she is clear in what she is offering and honours her word”

For a free hearing consultation and more hearing advice, call Kim Galick at Ears Hearing Clinic, 604-427-2828 or email info@earslangley.com. Find Ears Hearing at Unit C 20568 56 Ave. in Langley, online at earslangley.com and on Facebook.

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