I picked up my new Oticon Agil Pro hearing aids from Metro Hearing. These are the 4th pair of aids that I have had, since my very first pair years ago. My deficit now is about 60-65 dB, so I do need powerful aids.
I have been amazed over the last month at how well I am now hearing. These are the first aids I have ever had that provide me with the power and clarity that allow me to comfortably hear the sounds that I want to. And these are definitely the first aids that I have had where the noise suppression actually works. Previously, with the aids I’ve worn, the noise suppression has been more of a novelty and at times a hindrance to me hearing clearly. But with these Agil Pros, I can go into a noisy restaurant and converse with the hostess, with the bartender, with the waiter, and with my wife, all fairly comfortably.
About two weeks after picking up my new aids, my wife and I went out to celebrate our anniversary. Over the last decade, anytime we go out to a crowded restaurant, party, or similar type of environment, much anxiety accompanies the experience, because I am constantly straining to hear the conversation. But on this occasion, I was amazed. Instead of being able to only hear maybe 10% of the conversation and having to guess at the other 90% that I was missing, I now can clearly hear about 90% or more of what is being said, even with the cacophony of a crowded restaurant at 7pm on a Saturday night. I have been aware with these new aids, in situations like this, how the background noise diminishes as I am listening to what is being said. Wow! What a difference from before!
We were out shopping on the same weekend, and while at the store, I could clearly hear the background music playing. Before, with my first pair of aids, I wouldn’t have even heard the music. With my next pair, I might have heard it, but I wouldn’t have been able to identify the song. With my third pair of aids, I might have been able to identify the song, but it would have blended in with all of the other sounds and would have been hard to distinguish. But with my new Agil Pros, the background music stood out separately from all of the other sounds, yet it was still in the background. And each of the other sounds stood out separately from all of the other sounds, and the conversation stood out from all of the background noise.
This is really the big difference. With my previous aids, they were a little better than the aids I had before, which were a little better than the ones prior to that. But the Agil Pros are a giant leap forward. The sound differentiation; that is, the separation of different sounds is, to me, what makes these so special. With my other aids, no matter how much volume, or how well my audiologist would adjust them, all of the sounds sort of blended together. But with these, all of the different sounds are distinct and separate, with little or no overlap. It’s really a huge deal.
And with the Agil Pros, I have the option of four different modes to choose from, one of which my audiologist set specifically for music. Before my hearing loss really started becoming a handicap 12 years or so ago, I was an audiophile with a very nice, expensive hi-fi home stereo system. These Oticon Agil Pros now allow me to enjoy the fidelity of the music like I have not been able to do for so many years, long before my first set of aids. To be able to hear all of the instruments clearly and separately, without them being blended together is an incredible pleasure.
I am so grateful for my new aids, and for the expertise of my audiologist at Metro Hearing who suggested them and fine-tuned them for me. As those of us with hearing loss know, there is so much in conversation, and therefore in relationships that we miss. But with the technology now available with the Oticon Agil Pros, the things that we were missing out on before, can now be part of our lives again. Many thanks to Oticon, to Metro Hearing, and to my audiologist, Dan.