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Patient Feature: Kathleen Aller

Kathleen Aller used to practice what she jokingly calls ‘communication survival’. “I was – and I believe that many other women still are – just finding ways to cope with my hearing loss by having one-on-one conversations, or asking everyone to speak up, or repeat what they had said. I call it ‘communication survival,’ but life doesn’t have to be that way,” Kathleen says.

She coped this way for many years. “I know my hearing loss is noise-induced because I worked in a factory for years. When you are 18 or 19 years old, you don’t want to wear earplugs – if the company even provided them at all. Years ago, that is just how it was,” Kathleen recounts. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) didn’t publish its recommended standards for occupational noise exposure until 1972, and it wasn’t until the Hearing Conservation Amendment of 1981 that the focus shifted towards protecting hearing.1

Kathleen studied speech pathology after high school, so she knew how to communicate with people who have difficulty hearing or no hearing. “I was using what I learned to lip read during conversations, or I would move conversations away from noisy environments so I could hear. I was spending so much time and energy trying to understand the conversation that it just wasn’t worth it to continue merely coping with the loss anymore,” Kathleen explains. “I was on the brink of avoiding situations so that I wouldn’t have to adjust for my hearing loss.”

She admits that the cost of hearing aids initially kept her in the cycle of just getting by. “The frustration will get worse the longer you wait to have your hearing tested and get hearing aids,” she warns. “People deserve to be comfortable. If it were your vision, you would get it checked and buy glasses if that’s what you needed, and we need to start doing that with our hearing. When I finally put money aside to buy hearing aids, I was surprised to find out that our insurance covered part of the cost. After that, I decided to go do something fun with the savings I had leftover.”

At Concept, we recommend that you provide your insurance information when scheduling an appointment so we can contact your insurance company beforehand to determine what benefits you might have if you are a hearing aid candidate.

“Now that I have them, I see that the value of buying hearing aids from Concept is the service and warranty you receive with them. That is what sets Concept apart from other hearing aid companies for me,” Kathleen remarks. “I’ve spoken with other people who bought hearing aids elsewhere, and they walk out without a warranty, or don’t wear them because they don’t work and follow up care costs them money. It’s terrible!”

We couldn’t agree more. That’s why Concept packages a warranty with every new hearing aid, along with an accidental loss or damage benefit for two to five years depending on the hearing aids purchased.

Kathleen attends Concept’s Cedar Rapids clinic, but we have 19 additional locations across the state of Iowa that are conveniently located in a city near you. If ‘communication survival’ sounds familiar to you, don’t wait any longer. Schedule your free, no-obligation hearing evaluation with us today.




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