Turning on his hearing aid for the first time was “literally a moment in time that I will never forget,” said Dan Parrilli. To understand where Dan is coming from, it helps to know that Dan has lived with hearing loss since grade school—in the mid-1950s.
Back in grade school, “conversation was not a problem,” said Dan, and so a childhood hearing loss diagnosis was ignored. A few years later, in 1968, Dan received a draft notice. But after two hearing tests, the draft board declared him “1Y” – available for military service, but qualified only in the event of war or national emergency. When he wasn’t sent to Vietnam because of his hearing loss, a mystified recruiter asked him, “Why don’t you wear hearing aids?”
Dan knew he had hearing loss, but coped with it instead of seeking treatment. He asked people to repeat themselves and asked others what was being said. He made do, but didn’t have any sense that he might be missing something. And since older hearing aids seemed to have a hit or miss quality to them, Dan simply didn’t take the matter any further.
Recently Dan brought his aging mother to have a hearing test. While there, the hearing care professional pointed out the connection between untreated hearing loss and increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Dan didn’t think much of it until a few days later when he read the same thing in a national newspaper. Knowing Alzheimer’s disease ran in his family, he thought, “This may be the time.”
So Dan had his own hearing tested—more than 50 years after his childhood diagnosis. He had hearing loss in both ears and could not hear high frequencies. Dan’s hearing care professional, Marie Vetter, Au.D., at Chicago Hearing Services, fitted him with ReSound LiNX2.
When Dan turned on his ReSound LiNX2 hearing aids, for the first time he heard everything. Dan had never heard birds chirping. He did not know there was a background sound to the television. All his life he had not been able to distinguish between the spoken “15” and “16,” he was constantly asking his wife “one dash five or one dash six?”
Today Dan could not be more pleased with his ReSound LiNX2 hearing aids. Besides hearing sounds for the very first time, some situations, such as going to a restaurant, stood out as totally different.
“Your brain hears the clatter of plates in back and says, ‘I don’t need to hear that.’” said Dan. “But my brain said, ‘Hey, listen to that new sound!’” Which at first was very distracting. But with ReSound LiNX2, he can diminish those distracting sounds with a touch of his iPhone. Dan typically uses the four programs his hearing care professional set for him and can switch between them through the ReSound Smart app. He also makes use of Apple’s “Live Listen” setting on his iPhone to capture conversations in the middle of the table and direct them to his hearing aid. He also likes the ability find his hearing aids if he misplaces or loses them.
Having the ReSound LiNX2 has been a life-changing experience, according to Dan, who offered this final bit of wisdom: “You don’t know what you’re missing until you find out what you’ve missed.”