The sound of water gently cascading over rocks or leaves rustling in the wind – they’re sounds most of us take for granted and sounds Phil Dalton couldn’t fully appreciate until he met Alegent Health Clinic Audiologist Rebecca Braun.
"She is the human part of the equation," says Phil. "I don’t know how you put a value on her."
The journey started when Phil was just eight years old. A teacher first picked up on a problem with his hearing and a doctor diagnosed profound hearing loss in his left ear.
"The doctor explained to me that my ear hears but, because of nerve damage, it can’t transmit what it knows to the brain," explains Phil. "The ear holds glasses on – that’s the only function it has at this point."
For nearly half a century, Phil learned to compensate for the loss by listening with his eyes and sitting with his good ear to the conversation. But not any more – at 55 years old, everything is coming in loud and clear thanks to Alegent Health Clinic, Rebecca Braun and a set of hearing aids – complete with Bluetooth.
"For the first time, I can experience sounds out of my left ear," says Phil.
He’s been working with Braun since 2005 and credits her with doing her homework and finding the right technology to fit his needs.
"There are a lot of ways to tackle this problem," she explains. "Surgery is scary. This way there is no surgery. It works wonderful – gives him back his hearing so he can live a full life."
And a full life it is – Phil doesn’t miss a beat on the job or at home. He can now stream his MP3 player through his hearing aids and talk on the phone without ever putting it to his ear. He says it’s the difference between existing and living – and he owes it all to Braun.
"I have $4,000 worth of hearing aids on my ears – but they are just junk in a drawer if there isn’t someone there to program them or to assess my hearing and change things."
If you would like more information on hearing loss or to find a provider who is right for you, call 1-800-ALEGENT or log on to www.alegent.com/doctors.