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Submitted by Tom O. from Indian Head Park, Illinois
Congratulations to Keri Maas, Doctor of Audiology, for receiving the following patient testimonial.
I recently gave up on my former hearing aid center ever providing me with the level of service required for my lifestyle and hearing needs. It was getting frustrating. Their quality of service was waning until their new technology came out and then all of a sudden their interest in me was again piqued in hopes that I would purchase their latest product. This was the third such hearing center that allowed their level of service to drop after my initial purchase.
One day I noticed a new hearing center in Oak Forest, AccuQuest Hearing Center. Their sign of "Free Hearing Exam - No Obligation" caught my attention. Thankfully I gave them a try.
I could sense from the moment I walked in that this place was serious about striving for "client based solutions." Dr. Maas and her assistant, Christina, wanted to present more than the usual well-polished "come on" to buy hearing aids. After a well pointed Q&A session by Dr. Maas, I was duly impressed with how skillfully she collected information about me and areas to focus on that could best provide improved hearing. Areas of key interest dealt with home, work and social environments where I felt my hearing was being challenged and causing me to miss comprehension in everyday conversation.
The hearing exam confirmed where my present hearing capabilities were lacking. My current hearing aids worked ok but were obviously not performing very well. I was made aware of Starkey's new technology. With costs and financing discussed, I determined that by taking Dr. Maas' offer to upgrade my current hearing aids now, I could always move up into later technology when time and money allowed. A modest investment proved incredibly valuable and I can now be more involved in family and professional conversations, something I had previously missed out on. This new found professional hearing center (AccuQuest) has certainly won me over.
Dr. Maas and Oak Forest's AccuQuest Hearing Center staff have exceeded my every need. What a blessing in finding them. Thank you Dr. Maas.
Indian Head Park, Illinois
Submitted by Margaret M., from Mount Prospect, Illinois
Congratulations to J. Curtis Watson, Hearing Instrument Specialist, for receiving the following patient testimonial.
I have nerve damage in both my ears from working in a mill in England when i was a teenager. It had progressively gotten worse over the year. Finally, I got hearing aids.
I feel the quality of service was and continues to be friendly and excellent. Certainly my hearing has improved by using the hearing aids. My spouse and adult childen appreciate that I can hear them and that I am not misinterpreting what they are saying.
Hearing aids could be expensive and I did research before I bought my aids and found AccuQuest the best value by far.
I council people in my work, so hearing properly is vital to me. I really couldn't function in my work without the hearing aids and I am grateful to have that sense back.
I remember coming into our condo after receiving my hearing aids for the first time and wondering if someone left the water in the bath tub on as I could hear this rush of water. After checking that it was not the bath tub, i discovered it was the fountain on the golf course we live on. I had never heard the fountain before.
J. Curtis Watson is a fabulous specialist and I have recommended him to several people and will continue to do so. You can trust him and he is not going to sell you something you don't need. He truly works for the good of the patient. He is to be commended.
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Submitted by Dave H. from Fort Collins, Colorado
Congratulations to Brett Thompson, Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist, for receiving the following patient testimonial.
You don't need to be deaf to need hearing aids. For the longest time I thought the opposite. I grew up with a younger brother who was born deaf. He needed hearing aids his whole life and had to put up with the hassles of the old style hearing aids for many years because that's all there was. His first one was in a harness strapped to his chest and a cable up to his ear. Then finally one that mounted behind his ear, but he had to be very careful not to get it wet or damaged. This limited his ability to play with the rest of the kids. Not to mention the very high cost of them! That was the vision I had when someone said, "You should get hearing aids". I blocked the thought of it out every time, because after all...."I could hear!" Or so I thought.
I'm 50 years old and an electrician who had been exposed to many loud sounds in the construction world. I grew up hunting and shooting a pistol without hearing protection because I felt I was 'cool' and didn't need it. Of course, there was loud music as a kid and all the components needed to develop a constant ringing and destroying part of my hearing. But hey, it was only 'part' of my hearing. I could make out enough words in a conversation to usually understand what the people were talking about... usually. Other times, I would hope that it wasn't important or they weren't asking me a question that they expected me to respond to. Driving in a car was the worst. I basically sat back, nodded my head like I understood and hoped there wasn't going to be a quiz later. Movies to me were not about what was said, but more of watching the action and expressions to figure out the plot of the movie. The subtitles opened up a new world for me with movies, but I missed out on some of the details of the scene because I was reading. Lip reading was something I was getting good at and was proud of myself for learning how to do on my own. That was handy in crowded places with lots of background noise... but what about driving in a car? What about a phone? I had to ask my customers to repeat phone numbers and addresses several times. Often I gave up because I felt like they were starting to wonder what was wrong with me. Instead I would try to figure it out by searching the public records. At times I'd have to call back and say, "I'm sorry... what was your address again?"
I'm also a member of a local Search and Rescue team and we often search for individuals that become lost in the wilderness of Colorado. We use attraction to try and make voice contact with the subjects. We use horns, whistles and yelling. When the subject hears us, they yell so we can zoom in on their location. With my hearing loss, I often had to rely on team mates to "be my ears". They'll say, "Did you hear that?" I'll say nope... but I'll follow! I'm also one of the search organizers that gather information from the reporting parties or dispatch. Often it's on a phone and I need to make sure I have all the information correct.
My wife had been asking me to look into hearing aids for several years. Often, she has to repeat what people say. She is my hearing aid and I think she was getting tired of it. One day, I picked up a newspaper and saw the ad for AccuQuest. It talked about a free hearing screening and a chance to try one out in the office. I've had hearing test before, but never had the experience of having an aid in my ear. I kept it on my desk for a couple days and finally decided to make the call. I set up the appointment and when I told my wife, she was all smiles!
We went in for the consultation and they asked me to bring my wife so they could use "familiar voice" testing. The staff was very friendly and one wore hearing aids herself, so she knew some of the things I was going through. We had the normal hearing testing in a booth and Brett came up with similar levels of hearing loss that I've seen on other test. Ok, now for the familiar voice test. Out of the booth and into his office he had me turn away from my wife and gave her a list of about 25 words to say and I was supposed to repeat what I heard. I only got 3 of the 25 right... and that was after her repeating many of them! I felt terrible, and she was amazed at how few I got correct. She never realized how much I was missing. Of course they were probably words that people with my level of hearing loss would usually miss, but they're words. Words that I've been missing for many years.
He let me try a model of Starkey Hearing aids that he felt was the best fit for my activity level and hearing loss. The Starkey S series iQ 9. When he programmed them for my hearing loss and turned them on... I never realized how many "S" sounds there were in the English language. My wife repeated the list and I only missed 5 this time! That test alone made both of us realize it's worth looking into an aid.
Well, hearing aids have come a long way since my brother's early aids. They are small enough to be hidden or very unnoticeable. They are waterproof enough that you don't have to worry about being caught in a rain storm. The cost?... well, they're not cheap and in fact I started blocking out the possibilities of getting them because of it, but then I asked myself, "How much do I pay a year for cell phone and internet connections to stay in contact with people?" Then asked myself, "How many years have I gone without hearing everything?" With my low income it wasn't going to be easy, but a payment plan was discussed that would make it manageable. I had to give it a try.
My world has changed! I forgot what it was like to hear the birds chirping again; Being able to hear "every" word in a conversation; To drive in a car and hear what people are saying; To not ask people to repeat themselves on a phone so often. On occasions I ask people to repeat something, but that's only because I truly want to hear 'every' word now that it's possible! I find myself looking into the eyes of the person talking instead of their lips. I remember my first hour long ride in a car with my stepdaughter that I've always had a hard time hearing. At the end of the ride, I said, "I actually heard EVERY word you said!" I don't think she realized how much I was missing... and neither did I. It was great!
I have 4 different levels that I can choose by pushing a button on them. Level 1 is normal, 2 is when there are background noises, Level 3 makes me feel like I have a bionic ear! Level 4 is when I'm on my construction site or in a loud surrounding.
You don't have to be deaf to need hearing aids. I'm walking proof of that and I'm glad I have them now.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Submitted by Diana S. PhD from Walnut Creek, California
Congratulations to Rusty Van Hoose, Hearing Instrument Specialist, for receiving the following patient testimonial.
I have struggled with impaired hearing since the early 1960's. My initial evaluation and fitting for aids at the University of California in San Francisco took place in 1962, I was told that I had sensorineural loss which would not improve, nor was there any surgical intervention available. Therefore from that time to the present I have worn bilateral Starkey full shell hearing aids. With this brand new pair of AccuQuest aids, I discovered that this firm is a division of Starkey. I have never tried to live without attempting to improve my hearing. Thus, over the past fifty years, I have worn four pairs of Starkey aids prior to being fitted for the AccuQuest instruments. I am aware that my first aids cost $700.00 for the pair, and with the obvious advancements in technology and upturns of inflation, these new aids were greater than ten times the original amount. Was it worth it to me? More than I ever imagined!
More importantly, my professional activities as a clinical psychologist require that I am able to listen, hear, and understand content accurately. My work activities include a private practice, part time university instructor, and contract employment in various state correctional facilities. I've been impaired for so long that wherever I work, I have always made it clear that I wear aids and beyond that I really don't think about it further. However, as the years passed I became increasingly aware that I was not hearing as well as I had expected to with my technically improved (and increasingly expensive) changes of aids. Movies without closed captions could not be fully comprehended, speech discrimination became more difficult, conferences with greater than 10 people were a nightmare, lastrow student questions had to be forwarded to the front row by row, and simple conversations in a restaurant were increasingly challenging.
Finding Rusty VanHoose - Director of AccuQuest in Walnut Creek, California - was accidental! At a Friday morning breakfast club, a friend mentioned that another woman in our group had just been fitted with a new pair of AccuQuest aids. I chatted with her that morning and was impressed with what I learned about her new aids - and she described Rusty as sensitive to specific hearing needs, thoroughly professional, and had been in the business for almost thirty years. I called the office the following Monday. In my previous two months of looking for a new audiology office, I had had my share of arrogant, self-serving, and inexperienced dispensers. Upon meeting with Rusty in his beautiful new office, I immediately connected to his style of interaction, his complete evaluation of my hearing loss, and the various computerized visuals which were utilized to determine which of the available devices would be best for me. My testing revealed that I have a moderate to profound bilateral loss of hearing in the high frequencies.
Since I was accustomed to full shell hearing aids, Rusty suggested that we stay with this style but use the very newest and the very best in technology. This was a stunning testimony to Rusty's knowledge and his willingness to work with this patient's preference - a full shell aid. I realize that the technology has progressed considerably, but even in the past five years, I have been frequently told that I would be better served with a "battery behind the ear" style of aid. I have worn the full shell style for close to fifty years. Yes, I gave the 'battery behind' type a trial a couple of times, but I am visually impaired as well and have to change glasses several times a day to accommodate for different types of circumstances. The 'fiddling' with the battery component behind my ear as the glasses were changed would frequently dislodge the battery from its position, 'mess up' my hair while repositioning it, and became an inconvenience I am not willing to manage. Actually, the full shell aid together with the best technology, more effectively improved my high frequency deficits, that a behind the ear instrument.
AccuQuest Aids and my masterful audiologist has provided me with more than simply improved hearing. Through a provided at-home program, called listening and Communication Enhancement Software (LACE), I have begun to learn how to listen more efficiently and capture the full meaning of what I am hearing. Additionally I was provided with two research articles - (1) details the early findings that suggest there may be a correlation between untreated hearing loss and the onset of dementia, and (2) discusses the development of neuronal atrophy in untreated subjects wherein the failure to hear speech signals prevents transmission to the brain cells responsible for perception and comprehension of those signals. Simply put - use it or lose it!
My hearing is at least 50% improved with my AccuQuest hearing aids, and the LACE program instructs and guides my listening and discrimination skills - together the aids and the LACE program have opened me to all my old worlds in ways I never expected - I am hearing birds, sirens, whispers, cross-table conversations, and all of the instruments on musical tracts. I may be hearing all my old worlds, but this is surely a new world for me.
Walnut Creek, California
"I'm VERY pleased with the hearing aids! When my husband has his hearing aids in he's back in contact with me again!"
Mrs. Phillip Z., Elkhart, Indiana
"The service was perfect. The hearing aids are wonderful. The staff was friendly and helpful. I just can't say enough."
Dorothy G., Milwaukee, Wisconsin
"Your Specialist has provided excellent customer service and attention in the selection and set up of the latest technology. During the acclimatization period she has been thorough and patient."
Baron H., Nashville, Tennessee