Tobi Goldberg Maguire lives in Elkins Park, Pa. so she was familiar with Salus tobi2.jpgUniversity and the Pennsylvania Ear Institute (PEI). But up until recently she never had a reason to utilize their services.

“About four years ago I became aware of the fact that maybe my hearing was not as good as it used to be; I had to turn up the TV and it just seemed as if I couldn’t hear things as well,” Maguire admitted. But, like most people when they notice a change in hearing, she ignored it.

Maguire was at the Arts in the Park Festival in Elkins Park a few years ago where Salus manned a table. “Dr. Jonette Owen, audiologist was at the booth and I told her my concerns,” she said. “We had a long conversation and she gave me her card and told me if you ever decide to have your hearing checked, see me.”

But despite her concerns, Maguire continued to ignore the problems with her hearing. The average delay between the time someone is affected by hearing loss and when they finally seek treatment is seven years. She did start to make some inquiries among her friends about hearing aids and they advised her to go to a discount store for hearing aids. Finally, about a year after her encounter in the Arts in the Park, she went to the PEI for a hearing test which showed she had mild hearing loss in the upper range.

Despite the findings of the hearing test, she was still not sold on getting a hearing aid. “I was dragging my feet, I felt like wearing hearing aids would make me feel old,” she said. She started talking to more people about hearing aids and went online to research places that sold hearing aids but was not impressed with the options. “I knew that PEI was the clinical component of the Audiology program at Salus and I worked at the University of Pennsylvania which was a teaching hospital, so I was used to that model. Eventually, I called and made an appointment with Dr. Owen,” said Maguire.

“Dr. Owen took so much time with me. She explained about the little hairs in your ears that stick up, how they get flattened which means your hearing isn’t going to get any better,” she said. “She explained how your brain adjusts when you get hearing aids. Then she went over my choices of hearing aids; we talked about my lifestyle and what I needed. I felt like she was really tuned in. I picked out one of the more expensive options which fit my needs. Though it was more expensive it was worth the service I received.”

“Patients like Ms. Maguire are a true gift to PEI, she understood from the beginning that we are a training clinic and trusted that the care she would receive would not be negatively impacted as such, but rather enhanced with the latest technology and clinical applications. Tobi embraces her role in clinical education as a patient, with real life experiences, concerns and questions,” said Dr. Owen.  

Maguire noted when she wears her hearing aids at home she’s able to hear the TV. On a recent trip to Cuba, her hearing aids enabled her to hear the people in her group and during the tours. “I forgot to put them on recently when I went to a yoga class and was conscious of the fact that I could not hear the instructor as well as I wanted. So it was a note to self – better start remembering to wear these,” she said.

Maguire said she’s happy with her decision to come to PEI. She feels that discounted rates at a big box retailer would not compensate for the service and expertise she has received.  And, with her hearing aids, she received two years of free visits.

“I felt very comfortable with Dr. Owen, I feel like she’ll never steer me wrong. And, I love having the students there as well. They would help me program my hearing aids yet again because I’m not computer literate. Every time I came in I received a lot of attention,” she said.

“And, once I started wearing hearing aids I noticed that a lot more people than I realized were wearing hearing aids,” she exclaimed.

If you have a question about your hearing or hearing aids or think you may need one, contact the Pennsylvania Ear Institute today for an appointment at 215.780.3180.