Hearing Care, Not Hearing Aids



Two years ago, something happened that changed my life drastically. I was on holiday in Tokyo visiting my BFF together with a bunch of friends. During the trip, he suddenly told me, “Hey, go get your hearing checked, you very pekak (deaf for Malay)!” I laughed it off and thought nothing of it. It was only upon my return that I noticed I was indeed not hearing very well.

A television ad about The Hearing Partners caught my attention one night and I thought I’d just go get my hearing checked – no harm and the check was free anyway. I booked my appointment and couldn’t believe my ears (for once I wished I didn’t hear properly) when the audiologist told me that I have moderate hearing loss in both ears. SAY WHAT?! I was in shock and denial, and almost fainted when I saw the prices for the hearing aids. I could have bought a very nice Hermes Birkin bag! Both the audiologist and the ENT doctor that I sought at NUH couldn’t pinpoint the cause of my problem which is in my inner ear. Apparently, I could have had this since young and it has now degenerated to the point where the hearing loss is obvious.

I went into denial mode and carried on with my life, but this time I was acutely aware that I couldn’t hear very well and had trouble keeping up with group chatter in noisy environments and phone conversations. Even in yoga class, I would have problems hearing the instructors sometimes. Still, I persisted on going without hearing aids. I kept thinking that I’d rather spend that money on holidays. In my head, hearing aids were expensive, inconvenient and conjured up images of old ladies.



A year later and I have to say that I coped really well. I even exploited my “selective hearing” because I could ignore what I didn’t want to hear and no one would blame me! I carried on with my work (which ironically involves a lot of listening), told all my friends to speak louder and in high-pitched voices (I couldn’t hear the low basal tones) and even attended a music festival in Amsterdam – subjecting my poor ears to a week of non-stop loud, pounding music.

However, I also found myself becoming more withdrawn and turned down several requests to go out, preferring to spend my time in solitude. I was also more apprehensive when talking to strangers and even balked at the idea of asking for directions in London – I was ashamed of my hearing loss and didn’t want to let people know. When I expressed my frustrations to my bestie, she said, “I actually find hearing aids sexy on someone young, like a cute girl with braces.” My hubby also said, “Just ask everyone to speak up because you can’t hear very well, nothing to be ashamed of.” BTW, he’s colour blind and yeah, we’re the A-team!

Ronald Pang at Clariti Hearing Care Professionals.

Ronald Pang at Clariti Hearing Care Professionals.

Clariti's certificates

Clariti’s certificates

So, after dawdling for so long, I finally made up my mind and made an appointment with Clariti Hearing Care Professionals. I was sold on all the raving customer testimonials on their website and Ronald Pang, their managing director, was prompt and helpful during our email exchange. At our meeting, Ronald was very informative and explained the different psychological stages one goes through when first diagnosed with hearing loss. First, it’s denial, then partial acceptance (when you tell close friends only), acceptance (when you tell everyone) before you seek help. This period can take between seven to 15 years. In the meantime, people struggle and make do with a lesser quality of life. His aim is to help people accept and come forward earlier. He must be on the right path as he has won several awards including the Siemens Quality Assurance 2012, Promising SME 500 2012 and a Certificate of Excellence from Phonak (a hearing aid company). The fact that he has over 17 years of experience and has helped thousands of people proves that my ears are in his good hands.

Different hearing aids

Different hearing aids from Siemens.

Getting my hearing checked in the sound booth

Getting my hearing checked in the sound booth.

Ronald then did another hearing test for me to ensure that my hearing test results previously were accurate and my hearing loss has not worsened. Thankfully, it is the same. Then, he showed me the recommended hearing aids and explained their functions. Naturally, I wanted the best. I also wanted to fulfill my Bionic Woman aspirations. So, he suggested the Siemens Insio 5Mi IIC which would be invisible to the outside eye as they are fitted deep into my ear canal, comes with automatic adjustments in different situations, cancels background noise and its automatic acclimatization feature even helps my ears adapt slowly to it. SOLD!

Mold of my ear canal shape for my customised hearing aids from Siemens

Mold of my ear canal shape for my customised hearing aids from Siemens.

So now, I am poorer but happier. My hubby said he’d sponsor part of my hearing aids for my birthday present…and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Most importantly, I’m looking forward to hearing clearly and taking part in conversations confidently. Hearing aids are nothing to be ashamed about. In fact, I liken mine to really expensive reading glasses – I can still function pretty well without them and use them only when I need to, like at business meetings, in group outings or when I want to feel like Bionic Woman!

My invisible Siemens Insio 5Mi IIC

My invisible Siemens Insio 5Mi IIC.

Look at how tiny they are!

Look at how tiny they are!

Don’t be like me and suffer needlessly. If you have any of the symptoms below, you need to get your ears checked:

1. Constantly asking your friends to repeat themselves.

2. Difficulty keeping up with conversation in a group or noisy environment. Or misinterpreting what people are saying.

3. Straining to hear during phone conversations.

4. Turning up the volume of your television or earphones.

5. Feeling tired after meetings or outings because you had to put in extra effort to listen.

Finally, getting the right hearing aid model is one thing, but it’s more important that you find someone experienced who can attend to your needs consistently in the longer term. There are many centres that depend on employees to attend to patients. It can be very frustrating to see a different consultant each time you go back for a review. I have done my research with other hearing centres and Ronald at Clariti made me feel the most assured, that’s why I decided to go with him.

The man who helped me hear better.

With the man who helped me hear better.

You can contact him at:

Clariti – Hearing Care Professionals

176 Orchard Road #03-14 Singapore 238843

Tel: 6733-1011

Website: www.claritihearing.com

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