For those who fear or don't truly understand all that the world of technology has to offer in the realm of hearing loss, Heidi Knoblett's story is sure to encourage.
Knoblett, a patient of Johnson Audiology, has been hearing impaired since birth and has worn hearing aids since age 3. Born in Germany, she said it never occurred to anyone to have her hearing tested, until her family started seeing signs of trouble early on.
"When I didn't start talking and kept turning the TV louder, blowing everyone away, they knew something wasn't right," she recalled. After receiving her first set of hearing aids, Knoblett was immediately enrolled in intensive speech therapy. In Elementary school, she learned sign language to aid her in a classroom setting. Throughout schooling, in addition to hearing aids, she relied on her sign language interpreter and lip reading skills. As a sophomore in college, Knoblett was refused an interpreter, due to her excellent speech skills. Despite these challenges, Knoblett was determined to complete her bachelor's degree and did so with honor's her senior year. She attributes her accomplishments to her advances in hearing aid technology and the continued help from her audiologists.
Recently, Knoblett went to Johnson Audiology for a routine hearing evaluation and to discuss current hearing aid technology. Dr. Johnson fit her with premium level behind- the-ear hearing aids, as well as accessories with Bluetooth capability, and a remote microphone.
"Before I got my latest hearing aids [and accessories], I was never able to understand people on the phone, especially people I didn't know," she said. "I always had to ask them to repeat everything. Now that I have the wireless accessories, that's changed tremendously." The Bluetooth connections allow pairing with up to eight different devices, including TV, cell phone, computer, MP3 players, and more.
Knoblett added that she now enjoys music because she is able to hear the lyrics more clearly. She is also able to understand speech on her favorite television programs without relying solely on closed captioning.
Knoblett and her husband also take advantage of a remote microphone that adds to the effectiveness of her hearing aids. The remote microphone worn by her husband, allows her to hear him better from room to room in and around their home, Dr. Courtney Guthrie explained. "For example, if her husband wears the device and he's in the kitchen, she can hear him even if she's in the living room. The device reaches up to 60 feet."
Knoblett also shared that she recently made use of the remote microphone with her husband while learning how to ride her new motorcycle. "He was able to direct me and tell me what to do, and I could hear him on our motorcycles," she said. "He sounded clear in both ears. It was amazing!"
"For most people with hearing loss, hearing aids are enough," said Dr. Megan Johnson. "But if you continue to struggle, it's the accessories that can make an even bigger difference."
Knoblett added that there really is nothing to be afraid of and that the new technology and accessories available today really can improve the quality of hearing and life for those who need it.
Johnson Audiology is located at 1618 Gunbarrel Road, Suite 102. The practice provides diagnostic hearing evaluations and consultations, hearing aid fittings and adjustments as well as hearing aid repairs for multiple manufacturers. For more information about services or to schedule a consultation about the newest technology and hearing accessories available, call 423-710-1432 or visit www.johnsonaudiology.com.