We all know that hearing aids can help remedy hearing loss – whether it’s caused by aging, injury, medication, or heredity. But what you might not know is that hearing aids can also indirectly save marriages and relationships.
Audiologist Lisa Ballinger, owner of Accurate Hearing Technology (AHT), recalls a couple who came to her Sanford office, and they were “arguing and very upset with one another,” she says. Lisa fit the husband with a demo hearing aid, and the next time the couple came in, they were holding hands and kissing.
“Usually, a spouse or partner will be the first one to notice a hearing problem,” says Lisa, who opened AHT – located in the Lake Forest Village Shoppes on West State Road 46 (next to Publix) – in 1998. “Then they start interpreting for their [hearing impaired] spouse, and that starts misunderstandings and arguments. And when you’re interpreting, you’re missing what’s going on. So, when one person has a hearing impairment, you both have a problem. Hearing impairments really do affect relationships.”
Lisa, who has both a master’s degree and a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology, has spent the past 20 years helping people of all ages with all their hearing aid service needs. Working with Lisa since 2003 is Lauren Laney, who recently became certified as a Hearing Instrument Specialist.
Both Lisa and Lauren love their jobs, because they know how much hearing impairment can negatively affect people’s lives, and they have the simple solutions. Lisa, in fact, has been wearing hearing aids for about three years. Her hearing prematurely began to wane because she spent many years during her childhood shooting guns with her father, who was in the military.
AHT is fully licensed, certified, and insured. The hearing aids it uses are state-of-the-art, barely visible Oticon brand devices, which are Bluetooth compatible and can utilize a phone app for adjusting volume levels or answering phone calls through the hearing aids.
“Hearing aids used to be perceived as a bad thing or an old-people thing,” Lauren says. “That’s not the case anymore. Now, wearing a hearing aid is no big deal – like me wearing glasses.”
“We have a reputation of being miracle workers,” Lisa adds. “We don’t do anything here that can hurt you. We improve your quality of life by giving you the gift of hearing. That’s very rewarding. And it’s quick. I can put hearing aids on you and – bam! – you’re fixed!”