As a teenager growing up in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, Gary Jacobsen believed that “louder was better,” especially when it came to rock music.
“I drove a four-door ‘65 Chevy Impala,” Gary recalls. “It wasn’t exactly a muscle car, but I had a great stereo with a power booster. Whether it was Led Zeppelin or Crosby, Stills and Nash, I liked to listen to my music loud.”
Now, more than 30 years later, the 49-year-old still listens to the same music, but he drives a GMC Yukon and is a sales director with greeting card giant Hallmark Cards, Inc. In fact, Gary first noticed difficulty hearing conversations at work.
“I went to see Traci Ring, M.S., C.C.C.-A., at Associated Audiologists, and she tested my hearing,” he says. Traci determined that Gary had a high-frequency hearing loss, a typical loss prevalent in baby boomers and others who have been exposed to music and other loud noises, such as mowers or cars.
That was several years ago and although hearing aids would have helped Gary, at that time, he decided he wasn’t quite ready to proceed with amplification. Over the next few years, he began to notice how much he was missing during meetings, especially if he couldn’t see the speaker’s face or read their lips.
He also realized he was having difficulty hearing the television. “Instead of turning the volume up, I began using closed captioning more and more so I could understand the characters’ conversations,” he says.
After having a difficult time following the conversations at a colleague’s retirement celebration, Gary had his hearing re-evaluated at Associated Audiologists. This time he decided he was ready to experience the benefits hearing aids could provide.
Traci fit him with two, state-of the-art, micro behind-the-ear hearing aids. Gary is pleased that the aids are barely visible and says they have made a huge difference in his ability to hear everything from workplace discussions, to crickets chirping.
“I can hear and understand everything,” he says. “I don’t miss a thing in meetings and I don’t need to turn the volume up on the television. I can hear it from the next room.”
Gary credits Traci with diagnosing his hearing loss and recommending the right hearing aids to meet his needs. “ The staff at Associated Audiologists has been very professional and provided me with the education and information I needed to make an informed decision about hearing aids,” he says.
“Hearing aids aren’t something you can just buy off the shelf,” Gary adds. “It takes some adjustment to make certain you’re getting the most from them, and Traci has always been helpful and patient with me throughout this process.”