Wayne Hall, a teacher and father of three from Lakeshore, Ontario, wasn't sure what to expect when he filled out the form for the CAA Stay Connected Contest.
What he did know was that he was finding it difficult to hear and was constantly asking his students to repeat themselves so he could understand them.
“I just happened to see the contest and I filled it in,” said Hall. “I know that I was having trouble hearing and I saw the contest and I thought, hey why not. So I filled it in not really expecting anything and apparently I got lucky and won.”
What Hall won was two hearing aids with a retail value up to $6,500 total, a hearing evaluation and a consultation and fitting by a Connect Hearing professional. He also won five years of free batteries and three years of Soundcare Assurance courtesy of Connect Hearing’s industry-leading aftercare program. Hall is thrilled with his prize and says he can already see a difference.
“They have helped quite a bit, I can hear much better, especially in the classroom.” says Hall. “Not having to ask my students to repeat themselves is a huge benefit.”
Hall says visiting the clinic in Windsor, Ontario (3737 Tecumseh Road East - 519-944-9102) and speaking with Danielle Abray-Rizk and Tracey Auld was a positive experience, although he was a bit worried about the fact he may need hearing aids at a young age.
“I was a little apprehensive to go in there but they were very kind, they were very nice. I was more concerned with the fact I felt I was a little young to be getting hearing aids, that's what it really came down to.” says Hall who is 48 years old. “But (Tracey and Danielle) told me you know what, it doesn't matter your age, it matters that you can hear properly. They made me feel comfortable. They were very kind, very sweet and they did a great job taking care of me. So I went for the hearing test and learned that unfortunately, I actually did need (to get hearing aids).”
Hearing loss isn't an age thing. In fact, Hall explained that the person who came in after him was younger than he was by four years or so. Hall went on to say people shouldn't hesitate to get a free hearing test if they believe they are having issues and that they shouldn't feel embarrassed or worried doing so.
“Well, if you think you need hearing aids, by all means take the test, you need to find out if there is a problem first of all. And if there a problem it's not that big of a deal wearing them,” says Hall. “People don't care if you're wearing hearing aids. And they're very discreet, they're not intrusive, not noticeable.”
Director of Professional Practice for Connect Hearing Jon Waterhouse is thrilled that Wayne Hall is the 2016 CAA Stay Connected Contest winner. Waterhouse extended congratulations to Hall on for winning the contest and says he hopes that Hall's story will inspire people to visit a Connect Hearing clinic for a free hearing test.
“Mr. Hall realized something was going on with his hearing health and made a wise decision to stop by our clinic so that he could get a clearer idea of what was going on,” said Waterhouse. “Our ears are so important and it affects every aspect of our life, from personal relationships and personal safety to satisfaction and productivity at the work place. We need our hearing to be the best it can be. And there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Hearing loss is something that is having an impact on people of all ages. It's a condition that doesn't discriminate and it's important for people to realize that we are all in this together.”
Statistics Canada says 42% of Canadians aged 16 to 79 years have worked or currently work in an environment where it is required to speak in a raised voice to communicate with someone standing an arm’s length away. Among these individuals, 22% always used hearing protection, while 39% never did. The remaining 39% used hearing protection often, sometimes, or rarely. The report went on to say that 41% of Canadians aged 3 to 79 have experienced tinnitus (hissing, buzzing, ringing, rushing or roaring sounds in the ears). Among these people, 1 in 5 reported that the tinnitus was severe enough that it affected their sleep, concentration, or mood.