“I’ve been working all during our phone conversation. Have you been hearing any noise?” That’s what self-employed boat builder, David Nutt of Edgecomb asked during a recent interview. “My hearing aids Bluetooth right to my phone so I can keep moving along while I talk.”
But that hasn’t always been the case. David has classic hearing loss from years of working with loud tools and equipment and not using ear protection. “I was too stubborn when I was younger.”
Now, at 67 years old, he’s hearing and communicating with ease again.
“My hearing loss was impeding my business. It was difficult for me to understand customers. Even though I was constantly asking them to repeat themselves, I would still leave meetings unclear about exactly what they wanted. It was embarrassing.”
It wasn’t David’s business that brought him to the point of getting hearing aids though. It was his family.
“Getting hearing aids has improved my personal relationships and made a huge difference in my life,” continued David. “My inability to hear really increased the stress level in our family. I was encouraged by my wife, Judy, and our four children to do something. Now, it’s much easier for everyone. They don’t need to repeat themselves all the time and I can hear from the other room.”
The thing that held David back for so long was the social bias that hearing aids were only for older people or someone with a disability. Once he moved beyond that barrier, he didn’t want to wait a moment longer and was impatient to find the right hearing aids for his lifestyle.
Robin Galleher, director of the Audiology Department at Pine Tree Society, dialed right in to what he needed.
David laughs when he recalls her dealing with his impatience. “She said ‘Whoa, slow down, you haven’t really heard anything for 10 years.’”
Once he knew what he was missing, he wanted to be able to hear again.
“Not being able to hear isn’t like fuzzy vision. With hearing loss, you simply don’t know what you’re missing. One day I was at my boat shop and I thought ‘Wow, the birds are amazing today.’ I took out my hearing aids and I couldn’t hear them at all. I didn’t know what I couldn’t hear until I could hear it again.”
Now David wants to help others. His top piece of advice is to find an audiologist and commit to a trial demonstration period.
“The technology is with us and is only going to get better and better.”
He’s excited to see – and hear – what’s coming.