A "contact lens" for my ear!
Twenty years ago, I was diagnosed with hearing loss in my left ear, and although I tried to wear the small hearing aid that was prescribed, I found it very uncomfortable, and could not get accustomed to it. Because of this, I thought that I would have to spend the rest of my days straining to hear, craning to listen out of my “good” ear until time and age took its toll, and the “good” ear was no longer able to hear things properly. When I heard about the LYRIC hearing aid—the “contact lens for your ear”—I thought I would give it a try. Unlike conventional hearing aids, the LYRIC device is so small that it is 100% invisible, and requires no daily maintenance—no batteries to change! Once inserted by an audiologist, the LYRIC remains in the ear for 2-3 months before it has to be replaced. . .and rather than purchasing a hearing aid that may have to be replaced after a few years, LYRIC is covered by an annual contract, allowing for fine tuning and adjustments when necessary. I have been delighted not only with my ability to hear things as they were intended—clearly and without pain or discomfort—but also with the incredible team at Northern Valley ENT who are ALWAYS available. Thanks to Dr. Donna Szabo for introducing me to this revolution in hearing!
Inquiring about hearing aids with Bluetooth capability Donna Szabo recommended Phonak aids able to stream wirelessly from my TV and phone systems. The device works great. A small neckless hangs under my shirt that sets volume, background noise & connectivity to a paired TV, cell phone or any other Bluetooth compatible device. Cell phone connections thru the neckless direct to my ears. I hear every word and no one else detects any sound. The TV link is a small device that sits next to a TV connected to an audio jack. Others in the room control sound at any level they want. I stream sound directly to my ears and control my own volume. I can also hit the control button to turn it off and listen the normal way.
I am pleased to have found this technology for my hearing aids, it works great.
Thank you Donna Szabo.
My hearing loss goes back to a single incident nearly 50 years ago, working for about 12 minutes performing a maintenance task on a jet aircraft which had engines running at low idle (about 9000 rpm). The worst of the loss is at high frequencies.
My hearing took nearly 40 years of gradual deterioration before I decided to use hearing aids, the type which Dr. Szabo suggested and fitted very well. They made a remarkable difference and I was pleased to use them for about 7 years.
While my current audiogram is not greatly different from 7 years ago, I found more and more situations where those hearing aids were not ideal; noisy restaurants or large gatherings of talkative people or entertainment programs where debate becomes active enough that people talk over each other. Their voices become muddled and difficult to separate. Another frequent annoyance was outdoor activities in the wind. Those first hearing aids didn't have much of a wind program. In fact, they indiscriminately amplified wind. I should also mention language learning. Its one thing to try to recognize new vocabulary, but it is much more difficult when certain sounds (s, p, t) are not clearly heard.
Hearing age technology is constantly improving and has made great strides in the 7 years since my first hearing aids. My new Phonak Bolero V90 instruments are simply wonderful. My first response to Dr. Szabo was, "The world's a lot noisier now." As I left her office after the first fitting, I heard song birds not heard for a long time, and as I walked to the car the wind picked up and the anti-wind program kicked in, nicely quieting that noise. Later that day, a bicycling ride further proved the value of the anti-wind program.
I considered using Phonak's TV accessory and "Comm Pilot" for those hard-to-understand talk shows, but found the hearing aids alone provide such improved fidelity that it is now very much easier to separate voices and understand conversations that were once muddled. As for language learning, I now easily hear all the sounds I need for new vocabulary ... but the hearing aids aren't helping my memory much.
There are a lot of other new sounds in the high frequency ranges that I was missing before, song birds, cicadas, crickets, the crackling of plastic wrappings, more clicking things in mechanical devices, road noise, neighbor's lawn mowers and leaf blowers for miles around, etc. Yes, some might not be welcome, but there's a side effect that is very welcome. All of those sounds serve to overwhelm, and reduce, the 8,800-9,000 Hz tinnitus that has been ever present for over 20 years.
I drive by half a dozen audiologists on my way to Dr. Szabo's office. They're probably good, but Dr. Szabo is outstanding. She listens to her patients, understands, makes excellent recommendations and cheerfully makes whatever adjustments needed to improve our hearing. I find it very easy to end our meetings with one word, "Perfect!"
THANKS, Dr. Szabo for making life better!
I met Dr. Donna Szabo at her NYC office in August 2014. At that point in time I was extremely discouraged and anxious about my hearing. Dr. Donna came highly recommended by my Rolfer, who also has hearing loss, and for whom I have much respect. I was not disappointed! To say the least I was extremely relieved. Dr. Donna's matter-of-fact, gentle manner immediately put me at ease. Her solution of the Lyric hearing device was, and still is amazing. She has been very generous with her time and attention; which I find reassuring. At age 63 I feel I have a brand new life.
Thank you so much for everything you and your staff has helped me with. You are a wonderful person.
-Love, Hetal Patel
Thank You From Jewish Family Services
Dear Dr. Scherl,
On behalf of Jewish Family Services, our board and our staff- I want to thank you for your generosity in helping one of our clients, a holocaust survivor, to get a hearing aid. Your help has brought back a sense of dignity and a quality of life to her that is invaluable. She is once again going to school! Your kindness won't be forgotten.
It has been five or six years since you fitted me with my Lyric hearing aids. I am grateful for your expertise and service for all of those years. Now there is available someone closer to my home but it is worth the extra time to continue to come to your office for your expertise. You are a credit to your profession and your office. I appreciate your help and thank you.
Dear Dr Donna Szabo
I'm sure no one wants to be told that their hearing isn't what it used to be
and I surely was no exception. I never considered wearing a hearing aid as an option for me. To say that I was nervous and upset at the thought of saying yes to a hearing aid is an understatement. I also didn't think I was old enough to need a hearing aid. But with your help I finally realized that it wasn't about aging it was about hearing. Being able to look you in the eyes and hear what you were saying rather than trying to read your lips and wonder if I "got it all right" was a happy surprise to say the least!
Thank you for your kindness, gentleness and willingness to try different
ways of helping me until I was comfortable. I'm sure I'm not your easiest patient, so thank you for putting up with me and helping me adjust to hearing clearly with the help of a hearing aid. As I've told you many times over the past few months, that for your patience with me alone you are on the fact track to heaven! I'm so lucky to have found a doctor like you.
This is just a short note to thank you for the wonderful service that you provided. My new hearing aids have opened a new world that I have been missing for years. The adjustment to this new sensation was very rapid and smooth. Hearing my dogs claws on the tiles, my sneakers squeaking, my wife speaking from another room, are just a few of these new sensations. Thank you so much.
The Lyric Hearing aid is a marvelous device that certainly has improved my ability to interface with the world around me. The key to its effective functionality, however, is my audiologist, Lori Roses. It's Lori who programs the computer so I can hear what I want to hear and not hear what I don't. It's Lori who believes that one size does not fit all and willingly inserts and re-inserts the Lyric until we achieve a comfortable fit. It's Lori whose engaging and non-judgmental personality always makes me feel welcome when I return to her office for a replacement or adjustment. Lori validates the very existence of the Lyric for me.