About the Hearing Matters Podcast
The Hearing Matters Podcast discusses hearing technology (more commonly known as hearing aids), best practices, and a growing national epidemic - Hearing Loss. The show is hosted by father and son - Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS and Dr. Gregory Delfino, CC, located in Bethlehem, Nazareth, and East Stroudsburg, PA. C-A. Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino treat patients with hearing loss at Audiology Services.
The Experiences of an Audiology Services Patient
In this episode Blaise Delfino and Dr. Gregory Delfino discuss the journey to better hearing with a patient, mentor and friend, Gerald Ephault. Blaise asks Mr. Ephault, who has been wearing hearing instruments for more than 10 years, to describe when he knew he need hearing aids. Mr. Ephault explains that he finally came to the realization that he wasn’t hearing what he should. He was having difficulty hearing what people were saying and the sounds of the environment.
Eating in Restaurants was Difficult.
Mr. Ephault says that it was especially hard to go out to eat. Pre-COVID, people sat close together, making it hard for him to decipher what his dining partners were saying. Also, the background noises interfered with any conversation he wanted to have. He described going out to eat as “extremely uncomfortable.”
He and his wife of 40-plus years, Darlene, made a pact that Gerald would look her directly in the eye and concentrate on what she was saying to him, and after that he was accountable for what she said. He adds that most men will say “yes” to their wives even though they really haven’t heard or comprehended what she said.
Hesitating to get Help
Mr. Ephault waited for a long time to finally get help for his hearing loss. He was in the military, he worked in a extremely noisy printing /binding facility and is a hunter. All of those environments damage hearing, but years ago it was simply accepted that you would lose some of your hearing as a member of the military and in manufacturing. No one thought to use hearing protection. He knew he was suffering from hearing loss but wasn’t sure exactly what to do.
Accommodating for Hearing Loss
Mr. Ephault explains what he would do when he was in important meetings/situations that required him to hear. In a business meeting for example, he would try to sit next to the main speaker. If he couldn’t, he would take notes and then fill in the blanks when he got back to his office.
When he became a college professor, he realized how tremendously important it was to be able to hear. Some students spoke softer than others, each articulated differently, and several had accents. He did not want to diminish the students’ classroom experience. That was when he decided to go to Audiology Services for help.
Life with Hearing Instruments
When Blaise and Dr. Delfino fit Mr. Ephault with hearing aids, his first response was “I can hear!” He says it was like a revelation in his brain. He had hearing aids from another audiologist, but they weren’t helping much at all. When Blaise inserted the instruments, Mr. Ephault felt that life was now “normal.” Life is not only easier, it’s more fun.
The Importance of Real Ear Measurement
Dr. Delfino explains the reason Mr. Ephault’s Audiology Services instruments were so much better is because of Real Ear Measurement or REM. Dr. Delfino says as practitioners, he and Blaise want to represent hearing for the patient in the most natural and normal way possible. To do that, the instruments are precisely tuned to each person’s individual hearing loss and needs. That creates an environment that is true, or “real."