If your hearing aids are uncomfortable, or echo, or scratching your head sounds like polystyrene, you don’t need to put up with it. If you are concerned that wearing them will make your ears stick out like Dumbo’s and people will think that you are a deaf old coot, Shantanu Kirtikar at Oracle Hearing has a solution for that too, says Paul Symmans.
‘You shouldn’t have to put up with interfering noise or feel uncomfortable or conspicuous if your aids are correctly fitted. Go see Shantanu, and he will sort it out for you.’
Paul is a fitter and welder who has worked for years in the heavy steel industry, starting at a time when there was little encouragement to wear hearing protection. He now has noise induced hearing loss.
He was worried about how hearing aids would make him look. ‘I didn’t want people to think that I was impaired or broken, and I was certain that hearing aids would be very visible, so it took me a while to do something about it. It was six years to be exact, but now Paul has been wearing them for a year. He says he wishes he’d got them earlier as he ‘just loves them’, but it took a while to get used to them.
‘Shantanu fitted me with aids that no one could see, but even then, they felt like bricks. It took me about 6 months to feel comfortable wearing them, but you know, most of my colleagues didn’t notice them for 4, 6 and even a year after I got them. Now I have to touch them to remind myself they are in, and if a battery goes flat, I feel imbalanced and my ear feels like it is stuffed with cotton wool.
‘They have made a profound difference to my life. On the first day I wore them I had to ask why the television was so loud. I will never have perfect hearing, but I can now hear my long-suffering wife and son, who nagged me incessantly to do something. And during the morning safety meetings I can tune in to conversations around me and hear everyone. I put them in at 6:15 in the morning and they don’t come out until 9:30 or 10:00 at night. They are fitted so I can comfortably wear all the required safety gear – helmets, ear muffs and glasses.
‘Shantanu’s ultimate goal is to give you the best possible hearing and comfort that he can. He’s very personable and talks to you, not at you, and has so much professional and technical knowledge, and empathy for your personal comfort that none of your worries or concerns are too insignificant for him.
Mrs Rosemary Kimberley says her first appointment at Oracle Hearing was like a ‘family reunion’.
‘I hadn’t seen Minoti for over seven years when she was treating my late husband’s hearing, but she remembered me! Her care of my husband was so very good, patient and caring – such a personal touch. And she hasn’t changed a bit! She’s an amazing lady.
‘Minoti gives a first class service in such a friendly way that it makes you feel that you are the only one. She has such a calm business-like manner and talks through everything so that it is easy to concentrate and understand. It’s a wonderful experience and ticks all the boxes. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.
‘I’ve been wearing hearing aids for four years. I was just coping with the old ones, but the new aids Minoti fitted me with are gorgeous – far more advanced and better. Oracle Hearing’s clinic is only a short walk from my retirement village in Carterton; if I’m worried about anything I can go and knock on her door, and if she can she will fix it on the spot.
Mrs Rosemary Kimberley
‘Shantanu worked hard to get the best diagnosis and prescription for me. I was put through an amazing suite of tests—more than I have ever had before. I’ve not had such excellent treatment from any other clinic. There was a hearing aid coming onto the market soon that Shantanu said would suit me, so suggested I wait, and I am grateful that I did as it is the best I have ever had,’ Vernon says.
Vernon has been wearing hearing aids for twelve years, and this is his third pair. His hearing loss was caused by a farming life that exposed him to noisy machinery, chainsaws and guns. He now drives a dumper at Belmont Quarry and says there are a lot of guys who go through there who use no hearing protection. ‘I try to get them schooled up, you’ve got to look after your hearing, as when it’s gone you won’t ever get it back.’
Mr Vernon Goss
“I went to a clinic that fitted me with aids that didn’t work, even though we tried for four years. Eventually I had to buy another new set from the same supplier, but still had problems hearing, and after six weeks of trialing and adjustments of this SECOND set I returned them, ” Mrs Robb says.
“The clinic was associated with a major hearing aid manufacturer so I thought, okay, I’ll try my chances with an independent clinic. Oracle Hearing’s name came to mind.
“After my first consultation I was confident that this time it would work, and it did. Minoti and Shantanu asked about the problems I had with the previous aids, and tested to make sure all was okay with the new ones. They heard what I was telling them. I think the previous clinic listened, but didn’t hear; they just seemed to want to sell.
“Minoti and Shantanu are delightful and so helpful. They are professional and very caring, and work well with me. I tell my friends that they have the patience to listen and sort out a working solution. Their after-care is excellent; the door is always open for ongoing care and support.
“I now hear so much better in so many situations that were difficult earlier — on the speaker phone; at social activities, watching TV, visiting family — it is all good.”
Mrs Siew-Khim Robb
He’d been attending a Lower Hutt audiology clinic for a number of years, but was enticed by a special offer to visit Oracle Hearing.
“Their expertise compares favourably with larger clinics,” he says. “The assessment results were the same, but I liked that Oracle had a different range of hearing aid brands. My hearing needs are fairly standard and I am not at all brand sensitive.
“Minoti is such a likeable, caring person. I felt very comfortable with her approach. She was concerned that I understood everything and adamant that I should come back anytime if I had a problem. Well I did, and she sorted it out immediately.
“The other clinic is professional but they had less of the personal touch, I always felt like one more in a long line of clients to be processed.
“I’ll be staying with Oracle Hearing and my wife, who is chronically deaf, will also be transferring,” says Peter.
“They were uncomfortable, and all the time it felt as if they were blocked — the sound was muffled so I just couldn’t hear clearly. My family was always on at me to wear my hearing aids. ‘You don’t have them in, do you Mum,’ my daughter would say. But, oh yes I did!”
“I was driving through Carterton when I saw the sign for Oracle Hearing so I decided to see what they could do. Well, they are really excellent; this is definitely the place to come. Minoti and Shantanu are so very helpful; it’s good working with them. I’ve even recommended them to someone else who is having trouble with their aids.
‘The new aids are really fantastic, I swear by them. I’ve worn them for a few weeks with no complaints, unlike the others when problems occurred immediately with wind noise — not these ones, they are great. I am now hearing things I’ve never heard before. I can adjust them too, and block out background noise that crowds out what I am trying to hear, I could hear my daughter clear as anything when we were in a noisy café.
“I also know so much more about how to care for them. Minoti gave me a drying kit and I had to ask ‘what’s this for?’ I’d never seen one before. ‘It’s for putting you aids in at night to dry them out.’ No one had ever told me that before, or that I could wash the moulds. I didn’t know any different.”
Mrs Jennifer Siemonek
Trevor purchased his aids from a Masterton clinic, but unhappy with their performance came to Oracle Hearing’s clinic in Carterton to have them tuned.
“Shantanu ran tests that I’ve never come across before,” Trevor says. “He knew what he was doing. I suggested to a friend that he also go see Shantanu, with the same outcome: Shantanu has a knack for achieving results.
“I never knew that I could switch the aids to tele-loop until Shantanu showed me how. No one had bothered to explain this to me before! Church has a circuit and I only need to push a button twice to bring up the sound.
“Many smaller hearing clinics that used to be right on the ball are gone now, bought out by hearing aid companies or larger chains. Oracle Hearing gives excellent service and delivers results.”
Mr Trevor Smith
When I walked out of the clinic with my hearing aids in for the first time it was like walking onto the set of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie ‘The Birds’. It was astonishing! And my family just can’t believe that they don’t have to shout now to be heard!
I work in civil construction and some of my friends at work have similar hearing issues. I will be recommending that they go to see Oracle Hearing.”
A friend recently suggested I go to Oracle Hearing. Shantanu helped me access the ACC funding which was a big help. My new hearing aids are good for watching TV as I can tune them into the set, and hearing when I am driving is greatly improved. We’ve just celebrated my son’s 50th birthday and even in the noisy crowd I could hear the person I was talking with.
Shantanu said to come back anytime if I had any problems; it didn’t matter whether it was 2 or 10 years later.
What is my advice if you are looking for a hearing clinic? Don’t go anywhere else, just go see Oracle Hearing. I have experienced other clinics and Oracle Hearing is the best.”
I can now hear my cat purr. There are sounds I had forgotten which I can now hear.”