I was asked by Selene Finlayson when I first received my NexGen Hearing Aids, if I would be willing to give an honest assessment on the performance of my Hearing Aids. Little was I to know that when I returned to Saskatchewan, I was about to experience one of the worst Fire Seasons in our Province’s history.
As someone who has severe hearing loss it is hard to fully explain what a struggle life can be when you have lost the ability to hear and are dependent on reading lips to fully understand a conversation. Your world changes dramatically, and becoming involved in a conversation can become a very stressful thing. I have been wearing Hearing Aids since 2008 and had the opportunity to get a set of the NexGen Hearing Aids in March of 2015.
My name is Don Borgerson and I am a Provincial Safety Officer for Wildfire Management in Saskatchewan. The fire season of 2015 certainly allowed me to give not only an assessment on the technical abilities of the Hearing Aids, but also an honest assessment on their performance under the most adverse of conditions. I was assigned to monitor fires in the LaRonge area, for a total of 58 days last summer. My time in both areas included exposure to extreme fire activity and Smokey conditions. To clarify, the conditions were in an environment of continuous smoke and ash, dirt and dust.
I will speak to the performance first of all. I was very impressed with the dependability of these hearing aids. I was wearing them for 12-18 hours a day, working shifts of 12 days on and 2 off and I never experienced any technical issues at all. The only maintenance I did was the changing of batteries, filters and cleaning them off once I took them out for the evening. With the hands free capabilities I was able to take calls whether in the field or traveling from one fire area to another. Their ability to take calls even when the phone was 50 feet
away sitting in the truck was also very convenient. The only issue that did arise was when staff noticed me walking around talking to myself, but a short explanation on the hands free was sufficient to put their minds at ease. With calls being made and received numerous times throughout the day, I had no issues sending or receiving these calls. Also with the calls being channeled through the hearing aids, I had no issues or problems
hearing the individual I was speaking with, no matter what environment I was working in.
Next I will speak to the technical abilities of the hearing aids. What impressed me the most was the ability to pair them to the phone & TV. My wife Deb has admitted that for home use it has probably saved her hearing. She can now watch programs at a volume which she can control and is comfortable for her, while I have the TV audio channeled through the hearing aids at a volume that is comfortable and controlled by me. Secondly, I have always been an advocate against distracted driving, and always turned my phone off while traveling.
This process with the hands free and calls coming in through the hearing aid themselves has changed my attitude. When a call comes in, a simple push of the button on the controller which hangs around your neck, answers the call. You are then free to carry on your conversation while traveling without distraction and still keeping full attention to the road or highway you are traveling on.
To put it quite simply Selene’s introduction to the NexGen Hearing Aids has been a life changing thing for both my wife Deb and me. I have become more comfortable speaking and hearing in any and all environments. As an instructor and Safety Officer I can field questions from students with confidence and can actually hear these questions with my back turned while walking away… just like it was before my hearing loss. Selene and all of the staff at NexGen have changed my life and made living with my disability manageable and easy.
I look forward to years and years of functioning as a normal individual with severe hearing loss, because of the technology that has been developed and because of the caring and wonderful staff at NexGen Hearing.
Thank You Selene.