For Wayne Saint, there are few better feelings than the freedom of being out on his bike.
However, with an increasingly noticeable hearing loss beginning to affect Wayne while cycling on the roads, he knew he needed act with a hearing test to ensure his beloved hobby could remain safe.
“All my friends were always telling me, ‘Go get your hearing checked, you need to do something about your hearing’,” said Wayne, age 57.
“I ride with a group of people most days of the week and I really enjoy that. But I had noticed that I couldn’t hear the calls from the coaches, especially if I was at the front and they were at the back. My hearing always left me worried about the safety aspect of cycling.”
Wayne had visited another hearing clinic several years beforehand to have his hearing tested, but was left feeling let down by the experience and didn’t proceed further.
“They were trying to push me into a product, and it felt like they just wanted to extract the most money out of me. As a result, I had built up quite a cynical attitude towards hearing organisations,” said Wayne.
It was only after one of his cycling mates had raved about the services at Hear and Say, that Wayne reconsidered investigating options for improving his hearing.
“I still went in with a very defensive attitude thinking, ‘Is this going to be the same experience as the last place?’ But it wasn’t – Hear and Say didn’t rush me into buying anything. The audiologist, Georgia, took her time to explain the different hearing aid models recommended for my hearing loss, the benefits of hearing aids, the cost and how to maintain them.
“The whole process of having my hearing tested to getting fitted with hearing aids has been very good. I wasn’t pushed into the most expensive hearing aid model. I was actually advised not to go for the dearest hearing aid because I wouldn’t get as much benefit out of it for my specific hearing loss. I went with the recommended one, and it’s all worked out very well.
“It was meaningful to me that Hear and Say is not-for-profit, and I was putting money into a charity giving back to children with hearing loss. I also appreciated that Hear and Say wasn’t tied to any hearing aid manufacturer, because one thing I doubted about other companies was whether they were receiving a kick-back. Hear and Say was able to offer me the best hearing aid model which actually suited my hearing loss, and not just to drive a profit.”
Wayne said he had noticed huge improvements in his hearing since wearing his new hearing aids. This was especially noticeable in noisy environments like restaurants where he used to just “zone out” because he couldn’t follow conversations.
Of particular excitement was the progress Wayne had felt when cycling, and a much greater sense of safety out on his bike.
“When I’m cycling now I can hear what people say, and I can actually listen to the person next to me and have a conversation. I can hear the coaches’ calls, and friends have remarked that I’m not saying, ‘What?’ or ‘Hey?’ every five minutes. It’s made the world of difference.”