Joe Leto


Hearing Aid Patient

Technology fits Joe Leto to a tee

Joe Leto noticed his hearing loss when he was just in his early 40s. “I had been exposed to loud equipment and tools in my early 20s,” Leto says. “That’s probably when much of the damage to my hearing occurred.”

Over the next 20 years, Leto says his hearing steadily declined. “I had a lot of trouble hearing soft voices, especially if someone was whispering, or if I was in a noisy environment, like a crowded restaurant,” he says. And because Leto is in sales, both of those situations presented problems for him. “I did fine at home, but it was hard to make out what people were saying in restaurants and at meetings. I found myself saying, ‘I’m sorry. Could you repeat that?’ a lot!”

That’s when Leto first came to see Tim Steele, Ph.D., president and CEO of Associated Audiologists. “Joe and I began working together about 15 years ago,” Dr. Steele says. “We tried completely-in-the-canal technology. Due to his type of hearing loss, he had challenges with it.”

“I was concerned about the cosmetics of wearing hearing aids,” Leto admits. “Over the course of several months I tried several completely-in-the-canal hearing aids, but they just didn’t work for me.” Then about four years ago, the Leawood man noticed his hearing was getting even worse. “I knew the technology had improved greatly since my first attempt to wear hearing aids, so I went back to see Dr. Steele.”

This time, Leto tried open-fit technology. “The open-fit technology helped me significantly. It was small and barely noticeable, so I wasn’t as concerned about the aesthetics of it and it took care of almost all of my hearing needs,” he says. Still, when it came to meeting clients in restaurants or playing a round of golf, Leto strained to hear.

“Joe has tried several new technologies this past year, but it wasn’t until the CLEAR that he was able to achieve optimal performance thanks to the sophistication of the technology and the improved cosmetics,” Dr. Steele says.

Now with the CLEAR, he no longer finds himself asking clients to repeat themselves. “This is the biggest improvement I have experienced in my hearing aids,” Leto says. “These hearing aids can communicate wirelessly with each other, and with the remote that Dr. Steele programmed for me. When I select the restaurant setting, they even cut out the background noise. On the golf course, they reduce wind noise, and I can even hear a whisper, something I haven’t been able to do for years.”

“I value Joe’s success with the CLEAR,” Dr. Steele says. “Because he has tried several different technologies, he can provide us with an accurate comparison. In addition, objective data such as real-ear measures help add greater legitimacy to the technology we recommend for our patients.”