I have been a California-licensed hearing aid dispenser since 1991. I worked for HearUSA under both the Holden and HearUSA names. I was the dispenser at the hearing aid practice when it closed during the pandemic, but I am now the owner and hearing aid dispenser at Alliance Hearing Aids. I have been a hearing aid dispenser for 30 years and have worked in a variety of practice settings over my career, including franchise owner, franchise employee (with Beltone), small-practice employee, corporate employee, and now practice owner again.
The greatest lesson I have learned over that time is the negative effect untreated or improperly treated hearing loss can have on an individual’s life, primarily by affecting their ability to understand words. Scientific literature links hearing loss to many other comorbidities. I can’t comment to those; I can only share my experience serving the hearing impaired and witnessing the effect that loss of word understanding has on their lives. As you lose the ability to understand words, you don’t get it back. You can only attempt to maintain what you have. Not understanding speech is very isolating. This is why we stress the importance of full-time usage with properly tuned devices. You’re wearing hearing aids for two purposes: to hear better in the moment, but more importantly to maintain your ability to understand words.
Unfortunately, my second major lesson was realizing that the person fitting the product was more important than the product itself. I wish it wasn’t that way, but it is. I am familiar with and comfortable with reprogramming all the remaining manufacturer software and products. Getting the device settings adjusted properly and verifying with real ear measurement can make a huge difference in the performance of the devices. Our practice model is that everyone has their hearing tested every 18 months and is in every six months for cleaning and service. You will have follow-up visits after the initial fitting appointment to verify satisfaction and full-time usage.
I look forward to helping you or your loved one hear better.
— Gerald Vietor