This is a testimonial for Audiology Trio and Bernafon, but I need to provide you – the reader – with some context.
So … this is a testimonial for Audiology Trio and Bernafon, but I need to provide you – the reader – with some context.
I’d had more than my fair share of middle ear problems in my pre-teen years, along with a set or two of grommets. As an undergraduate at University I knew my hearing was not as good as my peers – I tended to gravitate to the middle front of large lecture theatres to hear clearly. I had gotten used to – made peace with? – the intermittent ringing in my ears.
In my mid-forties I had my first bout of invasive tinnitus, a by-product of a rather stressful period both at home and work. A visit to an audiologist did confirm some hearing loss but nothing that warranted hearing aids.
In my late-forties I had a bad bout of viral labyrinthitis – six weeks off work and exercises from a Physiotherapist that specialised in vestibular complications to learn to walk straight again! On reflection, my tinnitus became more pronounced after that.
By the time I had reached my mid-fifties tinnitus was a part of everyday life. My wife had by that point been prompting me for several years ‘to get my ears checked’ as I was always asking her to repeat herself when I wasn’t in close proximity and looking directly at her. It was few years later that I realised my tinnitus was affecting my mood – it had worn me down! The last straw was a change of job and work arrangements – an open office, lots of people. I found it very difficult to follow conversations without moving close to the speaker.
A consultation with my GP saw me referred to audiologist (hello Audiology Trio!) who confirmed my work experience was because of further hearing loss. Hearing aids were warranted, particularly at the higher frequencies.
I must admit I was apprehensive at first with the notion of getting hearing aids. My father first got his hearing aids in his early seventies. He used them intermittently as he found their use jarring. Sharyn Lim at Audiology Trio was excellent. She talked me through the issues and I became convinced that I would be better off ‘starting early’ with hearing aids and using the consistently. Looking back, I am amazed at just how right she was. It may sound strange, but its like hearing the world in black and white when I take my hearing aids out at night.
Now to the hearing aids themselves. Audiology Trio weren’t associated with any hearing aid supplier, so Sharyn took me through the pros and cons of all the major brands and the value of local service and support. Waiting while hearing aids are shipped interstate for servicing could be quite the imposition once I’d become dependent on them.
I settled on Bernafon’s top-of-the-line product, the Zerena 9. I’ve been a technical specialist most of my career and I saw value in the features and adaptability of the product. Being an iPhone user, the Bluetooth connectivity and strong built-in accessibility support was very appealing. Also the ‘receiver in the ear’ (RITE) design makes these hearing aids very compact and a lot less noticeable.
I’ve got to say I was – still am – blown away with the audio quality and functionality of my Zerena 9’s. Professionally, I work in lots of different settings – cafés, open plan offices, meeting rooms, lecture theatres. My hearing aids work far better than I’d ever imagined in them all. Mind you I did have to learn how to make the most of their functionality – Sharyn, Bernafon documentation and the great Bernafon staff in Brisbane helped with that. With a little experimentation I discovered the value of tweaking the volume of the Zerena 9’s from my iPhone to suit the situation. I also found the ‘live microphone’ feature with the iPhone excellent – in a noisy café I can place my iPhone on the table and use its microphone to better focus on the voice of the person sitting with me.
I love my music and so am a big headphones user. I had to abandon my in-ear Sennheisers but my on-ear Sonys and over-ear Bose (QC-25’s … love them!) work perfectly with the Zerena 9’s … no squealing or audio distortion.
Speaking of in-ear … I’d used a Bluetooth earpiece accessory with my mobile phones for well over a decade … keeps my hands free for note-taking or the computer keyboard. I initially thought I’d have to go back to holding the phone against my ear – not a fan of the addition radiation – then I realised I can use my Zerena 9’s as my iPhone’s earpiece … just brilliant! I can have my iPhone on silent and still hear it ring! I still need to keep the microphone close … for the moment. I’m told the clever people at Bernafon are working on a solution … cannot wait to try it out.
Sharyn configured my Zerena 9’s so they gradually increased their volume over a month so I didn’t get overwhelmed by a sudden increase in sounds. Sounds I’d forgotten were a part of everyday life.
So … Sharyn Lim and Audiology Trio – cannot speak highly enough of them. Bernafon – an incredible product. I honestly did not expect hearing aids to be this advanced. They even provide tinnitus support for those quiet moments. My tinnitus has not gone away, but I am coping much MUCH better day-to-day with my Zerena 9’s. The latest software allows me to ‘design’ my own tinnitus masking sound – a brilliant feature that makes the tinnitus support seem more natural.
Final bit of advice – take your audiologist’s advice! I’m glad I started early (I’m not in my seventies!) and I use them consistently, everyday.
Now they just have to make them so don’t need batteries … but draw on all that power flowing ‘round in my brain …
All so effortless and seamless. Thanks to Audiology Trio for such superb professional service, enhanced by a smile
Surely those actors on TV do not enunciate clearly. Surely my husband is mumbling. Surely that person did not ring the front door bell loudly enough. Surely it could not possibly be me who is deaf/ hard of hearing/hearing impaired/ about to join the community of the D and HH. Maybe, just maybe, it is time to face reality.
The quest began for an honest, professional opinion. But which of the myriad hearing services to select. There was a bewildering array of providers. Fortuitously a group named Audiology Trio just happened to offer their services at the medical practice I attend in Auchenflower, Brisbane. Good timing.
This was professionally and ably administered by Sharyn Lim from above mentioned Audiology Trio. Surely this will be a “piece of cake”. And surely I am only a tad hearing impaired. My little fingers diligently, vigorously and furiously pressed the button and responded to all of those little beeps … distant, not so distant, receding, sounding closer. Well done I thought. Not so. Sharyn kindly, and with great empathy, informed me that I had missed a significant number altogether and had probably only responded to others because the sound had been amply turned up.
I required hearing aids to be able to participate adequately in conversations and fully comprehend what is going on around me. Who would have thought so !
Expertly guided by my advisor, Sharyn, I was able to make an informed choice from the wide range of hearing aids on offer. Oh dear, choices, choices ! I chose the Number One, “you beaut” Bernafon Chronos 5 Nano Rite. According to the Bernafon booklet, and in golfing parlance, “a set a golf clubs is as important to a golfer as the right choice of hearing solutions is to you”. So , once again according to the booklet, I was able to “get into the right swing”.
I did not pick the top of the range set with all “bells and whistles”, but instead chose one that would be beneficial for my lifestyle and within my financial means. So enamoured am I with my new hearing devices, that it has become routine to pop them in first thing in the morning and remove them last thing at night. I just have to remember to remove them before hair washing !
No longer do I have the TV/radio up full-bore. No longer do I have to ask my husband to repeat conversations ad nauseum. No longer is it difficult to hear work colleagues. Life is far more pleasant. I am not even physically aware of the aids themselves. Perfect fit, perfect hearing.
The Maintenance and Service:
Sharyn spent an inordinate amount of time at my first anniversary checkup, re-testing my hearing and adjusting/tweaking my aids based on the new test. When I run out of batteries/speakers I merely phone, a friendly voice (Janelle ) responds to my request and, voila, they appear, via mail, the next day Magic !
Happy endings :
All so effortless and seamless. Thanks to Audiology Trio for such superb professional service, enhanced by a smile and the fact that the client is put at ease. Why didn’t I respond earlier to the fact that I was experiencing hearing problems. Human nature I guess !
My advice to those who have a problem with others “mumbling” all of the time is to take the “bull by the horns”
Why was there a stigma attached to hearing aids? Note the past tense here, because the unwieldy, cumbersome hearing aids of the past are just that – PAST!
Now, we have choices. For the uninitiated, that means design, colour, size, price, and a huge variety of functions. It’s equivalent to buying spectacles, although admittedly a great deal more expensive, because of the tremendous amount of technology involved. The fact remains though that people who opt to make sure that they function well in their daily interaction with others and that they can hear their television or radio without sharing their programmes of choice with the whole neighborhood can now rest assured that there are a myriad of options out there.
My advice to those who have a problem with others “mumbling” all of the time is to take the “bull by the horns” so to speak and get their hearing tested immediately. The younger you are when you accept that the problem is with you instead of the rest of the world, the sooner you will benefit from the miracle that is the modern hearing aid.
“This device has made my life better in that I can use it in the car taking phone calls without distracting from my driving.”
For several years now I have had to use hearing aids in both ears but have had to remove one of them to be able to use a mobile phone. This meant I was constantly taking it in and out, so it came to the stage when I left one out altogether.
Then Greg from Audiology Trio told me about Bluetooth compatible hearing aids. I wear a small and comfortable “Streaming” device around my neck to enable me to hear my mobile phone through my hearing aids.
This device has made my life better in that I can use it in the car taking phone calls without distracting from my driving.
Better still I can now hear in both ears again clearly without background noise at functions and the shopping centres.
The only side effect is people sometimes look at me because they think I am talking to myself!
Thank you again Greg for this product and service and a better life style.
“Thank you again for all the time and effort you put in to making my hearing normal again.”
I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful attention you gave me when you fitted me with my first hearing aids. As most people do, I had put off getting a hearing aid for some time and now wonder why I did not do it sooner. Where I often felt left out of a conversation (or couldn’t hear the television) I now can join in and am my old self again.
Ellen you spent so much time with me explaining what I should expect – the loud rustle of paper etc which is quite daunting when you have had limited hearing for some time. I think that is so important as it is quite disturbing to be faced with loud noise if you are not expecting it. This helped tremendously with my transition to wearing aids – I love them!
Thank you again for all the time and effort you put in to making my hearing normal again.