La Feria News

Now Hear This! Understanding a Device That Changes Lives


Dan Russell uses the latest technology to evaluate a patient’s hearing needs

At first, the little sounds like keys rattling on a key chain and the crackling of a sheet of crisp paper gradually disappear. Next, you notice the increasing difficulty of joining a conversation or hearing your favorite TV program. Then, someone says knowingly: “I think you need a hearing aid.”

The good new is that the vast majority of hearing problems can be effectively resolved with a properly fitted, custom hearing aid–But, “which one Is for me?”

To find out, LA FERIA NEW visited with Dan Russell, owner of New Sound Hearing Aid Center in Harlingen. This hearing instrument specialist has been in the business of restoring hearing loss for over 12 years. He has helped thousands of people.

“I enjoy my work because I see how being able to hear again is a life-changing event for my patients and their families,” he said. “Hearing aids have come a long way from the bulky amplifiers of the 1920s to the present incredibly advanced instruments. We now have almost invisible units that fit within the ear and over-the-ear models with the technology you would find in NASA rocket science.

New Sound Hearing Aid Center Center is Harlingen

New Sound Hearing Aid Center Center is Harlingen

Russell related that hearing loss is a major problem for our aging population. People exposed to loud noises, such as workers in noisy environments and soldiers exposed to the sounds of war develop hearing losses later in life. A surprising cause of hearing loss in young people is the abuse that Rock musicians and people who attend Rock concerts give their suffering ears. Some of that music has the same decibel range as standing next to a revved-up jet engine. “People who simply must have Ipod earphones constantly plugged into their ears will pay for it later,” he said adding, “I fit hearing aids on young people who have already lost 20%-40% of their hearing.”

Now the question of what to buy and where: First of all, know a licensed hearing aid dispenser. A personal reference from a friend is probably your best bet for evaluation and satisfactory service later. Make sure the testing is done by the dispenser himself.

Also, ask about written guarantees and follow-up service.

Then he cautioned – the cheapest instrument is not always the best. “There are advertised hearing aids at low prices,” he said. “The problem is that not one device fits all the possible hearing problems. The cheap ones are not programmable to fit individual hearing needs. My advice is buy the best you can afford right now, knowing that about every five years or so, there is a major breakthrough in hearing instrument technology.”

Myra Rivera is the Patient Care Coordinator who greets new patients

Myra Rivera is the Patient Care Coordinator who greets new patients

“In my business, I want people to have a good life-changing experience, and be happy with their purchase,” he said.

Then one final word of advice from Dan Russell: “Now hear this–if any of your readers has had an unsatisfactory experience with a hearing aid dispenser, there is a government agency that will help you. It is the State Committee for Hearing Instrument Dispensing, (512) 834-6784 located at 1100 West 49th Street, Austin, Texas 78756.

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