Braintree, Massachusetts has been home to many notable residents during its existence; politicians, musicians, sports figures and ReSound hearing aid wearer Leland “Lee” Dingee.
Lee, 70, is a retired printing salesman, strategic sourcing buyer, city councilman and veteran of the United States Army. Don’t let his retired status fool you; Lee is still as active as ever. He enjoys spending time with his wife, their two sons and all of his grandkids, going to the gym three to four days a week, shooting pistols and taking dance lessons.
An overhead explosion while serving in Army in his 20’s caused Lee’s bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. The event directly impacted how Lee would communicate during his career and time in public office.
“I had to learn to read lips early,” said Lee, “It was, at times, hard to pay attention to clients, especially in a meeting room with multiple people talking.” Similar issues occurred when Lee would be in a noisy environment, such as restaurants. “It was hard to focus in when so many people were talking at once.”
Lee’s 30 year tenure in public office had moments where his hearing loss caused difficulties. “It was hard to hear when someone was speaking. I missed quite a lot,” said Lee, “I would have to use the meeting minutes to catch up on what I missed.”
The influence of his hearing loss extended to Lee’s tone of voice as well, leading him to speak more quietly than intended. “I was speaking in a very low range. I could hear in that range, so it made me feel like I was projecting my voice and speaking up. It was actually very quiet for others to hear, and they would often ask me to repeat myself,” said Lee.
That all changed a few years ago, thanks to Rhonda Natanblut Ruby, M.S. of the West Newton Hearing Center. “Rhonda has tested my hearing for years,” said Lee, “A few years ago she called me to let me know she found something. Thank God for the personal attention she gave me. She constantly was looking for hearing aids over the years that would help my hearing loss, because nothing would have helped before. I was excited about possibly resolving some of my hearing issues.” After Lee tried the ReSound Smart Hearing™ aids Rhonda had recommended, it was a done deal.
“That’s it, I want them.”
Since then, it’s been a whole new experience. “I heard noises I’ve never heard before; subtle sounds like birds chirping, paper clenching and floorboards creaking. The first few weeks I had them, I thought someone was following me because I was hearing all these new sounds.” Lee also looked forward to what they could do for him in noisy environments.
While out to dinner with his wife and Rhonda, Lee was able to easily participate in conversation despite the noisy environment by adjusting his programming using the ReSound Smart™ app on his iPhone®. “When I got them, I was expecting that if I was in a crowd, I could understand the people around me. These hearing aids have exceeded my expectations. It gives you a great deal of confidence going forward knowing you’re getting the information.”
Besides being able to hear more clearly, Lee loves his ReSound Smart Hearing aids Made for iPhone features. “Besides being able to hear better, my favorite feature is listening to music through my hearing aids while I’m at the gym. I can take phone calls right in my hearing aids as well.”
“It’s such a big plus to be able to better hear. How often do people get in trouble by misunderstanding what someone has said? I don’t have that anymore. People put them off because of price, or look or don’t want to admit they need one. I’m bald, but people still don’t notice that I have them in. It just improves quality of life so much,” said Lee, “It’s life-changing, it really is.”