Over­joyed to hear clearly at last

Central Leader - - Sport -

Af­ter a life­time vow­ing never to wear hear­ing aids and a dozen ear op­er­a­tions, Dave Calling­ham is kick­ing him­self for not hav­ing acted decades ear­lier.

Ear­lier this year he vis­ited an Ap­plied Hear­ing clinic for a free hear­ing test and when he saw what hear­ing aids had be­come, opted to try a pair of com­pletely-inthe-canal dig­i­tal aids.

“Why I did not do this 40 years ago is be­yond me,” says the semi-re­tired busi­ness­man liv­ing in Ka­iaua who has suf­fered vary­ing de­grees of hear­ing loss since birth.

“I bunged them in all day from day one and af­ter a few vis­its for fine tun­ing, the re­sult is amaz­ing.”

Con­ver­sa­tions, phone calls, bird song, television at nor­mal vol­ume and all sorts of other back­ground noises have come back into fo­cus. “The fam­ily have no­ticed a tremen­dous dif­fer­ence.”

Dave Calling­ham has plenty of praise for the con­tin­u­ing pro­fes­sional care he has re­ceived from Ap­plied Hear­ing at its Auck­land and Thames clin­ics, in par­tic­u­lar au­diometrist Steve At­ley, and for the broad range of brand hear­ing aids it of­fers.

An es­ti­mated 10 per­cent of New Zealan­ders re­port some de­gree of hear­ing loss.

Ap­plied Hear­ing au­di­ol­o­gist Alan Fer­gu­son says this num­ber is ex­pected to grow as we ex­pose our ears to ever nois­ier en­vi­ron­ments – MP3 play­ers be­ing the latest worry to make head­lines.

Like many peo­ple who should wear hear­ing aids but don’t, Dave Calling­ham was put off by past aids that used old tech­nol­ogy.

As a boy grow­ing up in Lon­don, he hated the aids con­nected to huge bat­ter­ies and a trans­former that each weighed 6.5 pounds.

“Af­ter wear­ing them for six years I be­came pretty tough in the play­ground and in a fit of tem­per, I threw them away vow­ing never to wear one again.”

Van­ity also played a big part in Dave not ad­mit­ting to hear­ing dif­fi­cul­ties.

He “conned my way” through 10 years in the fire brigade, ris­ing to be­come an area com­man­der, while also serv­ing as an army ter­ri­to­rial, be­fore em­i­grat­ing to New Zealand in 1976.

“This lasted un­til re­cently when my part­ner Gay­lene sug­gested en­rolling me in a lip-read­ing course so she could have some peace and quiet.

“I went down kick­ing and scream­ing but she won out in the end.”

Alan Fer­gu­son says hear­ing loss is one of the most eas­ily reme­died dis­abil­i­ties with ever-im­prov­ing dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy that makes hear­ing aids smaller, bet­ter per­form­ing, and eas­ier to wear.

“The in­vis­i­ble hand­i­cap of hear­ing loss is so much greater than the worry some­one might no­tice you wear an aid,” he says.

Through its Au­racare pro­gramme, Ap­plied Hear­ing’s qual­i­fied team of­fers pro­fes­sional as­sess­ment, a min­i­mum 60-day trial and ex­cel- lent fol­low-up ser­vice. Clients are en­cour­aged to keep im­prov­ing on their hear­ing with the free cus­tom aid and ear checks of­fered dur­ing the first year.

They also re­ceive free: A year’s sup­ply of bat­ter­ies for each aid, a hear­ing aid de­hu­mid­i­fier, and a bat­tery tester as part of their Au­racare starter kit.

Ap­plied Hear­ing’s head clinic at 232 Great South Rd, Re­muera and at How­ick are among more than 25 clin­ics na­tion­wide.

Take the first step to im­prove your hear­ing and en­joy life again by call­ing Ap­plied Hear­ing on 524 5736 to ar­range your ear and hear­ing check.

If you are aged 50plus, this check is free.

Im­proved hear­ing: Dave Calling­ham with part­ner Gay­lene Lin­coln.

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