Karen Kolb

Tonawanda, NY

“I was fortunate to have found a great audiologist.”

How and when did you first realize you were experiencing hearing loss?

I felt that I was not hearing as well as I once had, especially in church and in large groups. I kept wanting to “turn up the volume.” This was about 10 years ago. I had a hearing test and found I had mild to moderate loss.

Where did you first go for information or help? Why?

I went to my doctor and had a hearing test. I was not impressed with that practice and so went to my friend’s audiologist. She suggested I try hearing aids on a trial basis.

What was your biggest concern about hearing aids? Did that turn out to be true?

I did worry that I was incurring a big expense with little return. My hearing has not changed a lot in the past ten years, and I do not wear them regularly, but I am now a more frequent user. Not 24/7 but when I go out I find they help.

How have hearing aids changed your life? How do they help you at your job, in your hobbies or at volunteer activities?

I feel more comfortable wearing them than in the beginning. As I am getting older I see more friends and acquaintances wearing hearing aids. I can change the volume so that helps in different settings.

What would you tell someone who is considering hearing aids?

 I would tell that person to try them, and make sure they go for follow-up visits until they feel right. One friend returned hers after one week. Eventually she went back, had a different set-up, one aid, and she is happy.