Oftentimes, a person has a preconceived notion about the potential for success. That innocent shortsightedness places an imagined barrier that seems impossible to cross. Other times, people push themselves, achieve greatness, and realize a life beyond their dreams.
Wilbur and Orville Wright were high school graduates from Dayton, Ohio who owned a bicycle shop. They became world renowned for their ability to design, craft, and build custom bicycles for racing. The Wright brothers had a vision that men could master flight. They used their imagination, ingenuity, observation, skill in design, discipline, and determination to build and test gliders on the coast of North Carolina. From these experiments, they were able to perfect the first airplane and successfully achieve manned flight on December 17, 1903.
These two brothers got off their bicycles and pushed themselves to explore and achieve something important that would benefit everyone for centuries to come. Some people, however, never get off that bicycle.
Over the past three decades of private practice, I have met many, many patients who have impaired hearing. These individuals are unable to understand soft speech, require others to repeat what they said, mistake some words for other words, respond inappropriately to questions and comments, need to have the television volume control placed at a higher- than-normal level, choose not to participate in conversations or groups because they can’t hear, etc.
Essentially, they are going in circles, repeating the same experiences and not making any improvements or changes for the better. They are riding a proverbial bicycle and do not realize they can make a change and dismount. They feel there is nothing available that can make a difference and help them have a better quality of life.
Their new avenue in life could be better hearing provided by a board- certified, licensed audiologist. This professional has the ability to complete an extensive case history, conduct a comprehensive audiological evaluation, review the results, and provide recommendations. This audiologist will help them get down off that bicycle and move forward in life.
Digital amplification has been available since about 1998. Technological advancements in the industry are easily in the 20th generation of development and are beyond the reader’s imagination. Amplification not only makes sounds louder but also makes soft sounds audible, normal sounds clear, and loud sounds tolerable and noninvasive. Speech is emphasized, and background signal is quieted—so the wearer is able to understand what is being said.
In addition, an array of wireless accessories allow patients to use today’s audio technology to best advantage. They can use a remote control to change programs depending upon the listening situations, whether it’s normal conversation, listening to music, watching television, or speaking on the phone. A streamer can be attached to their TV to wirelessly transfer the signal directly from the TV to the hearing aids. The television can be muted so as not to disturb others, and the signal is sent directly to the wearer for easy listening.
Yes, better hearing IS possible. But you need to make the choice to get off that bicycle and seek out what’s available to improve the quality of your life. Doesn’t that sound better than continuing to ride that bicycle to nowhere?
As 2015 comes to a close, it’s time to take stock and make the necessary changes you’ve been putting off. Make a commitment to yourself to check your hearing and find out what improvements you can make. The Wright Brothers dared to jump off the bicycle and fly. All you have to do is pick up the telephone and schedule an appointment to see a board-certified, licensed private practice audiologist to hear better today.
I wish every single one of you a Very Merry Christmas for 2015 and a Happy New Year in 2016!
Patrick Murphy, M.Ed., CCC-A, FAAA
Murphy Hearing Services
330 North Main Street, Doylestown, PA 18901
215-230-9000 • Fax 215-804-1112
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