For Colin Boog enjoying his two favourite hobbies – camping and boating – are what he loves most. His biggest, most lovable and rewarding challenge? Being a full-time Dad of two energetic boys, ten and eight.
But for the 47-year-old Victoria man, one of the biggest challenges he ever faced came when he began noticing that it was becoming difficult for him to hear.
“It was in my mid thirties, between me noticing (my hearing) and other people noticing it. I guess in my late twenties, early thirties that it started becoming an issue,” said Boog. “There were several people who said that I really needed to get hearing aids.”
A regional director with Bionest, an organization that specializes in wastewater treatment, Boog began to so some research. His journey led him to an audiologist from Connect Hearing Canada, and he was really impressed with her understanding of hearing aids. He said it took a bit of getting used to when he first put on the aids, but it was worth it.
“It was loud, and sounded mechanical when I first put on the hearing aids. I didn’t know they could be adjusted at first,” said Boog. “The software upgrade made them awesome. Just learning things about frequency, cell phones, etcetera. I’ve had friends who go and buy hearing aids from Costco, and I tell them save your money, it’s not that simple. You have to like the audio person and technician. I tell people if you don’t feel comfortable with the technician, get somebody else. Staying in touch with the technology is really important. Staying in touch with the technology is really important. The service makes a difference, and just being able to come into Connect Hearing and have my hearing aids cleaned is great.”
Boog explained that he even sent one of his clients to Connect Hearing from Florida because he had been dealing with the same kind of hearing issues and eventually stopped doing business over the phone. But after meeting with Connect Hearing, his whole life had changed.
Another thing Boog is more aware of is the impact of loud noise on children. Being a father himself, he often sees and is more aware of terrible hearing health choices being made by young people. According to Sutter Health Palo Alto Medical Foundation, hearing loss related to MP3 & iPod usage is a tremendous problem. The article quoted Journal of Pediatrics, which says 12.5 percent of kids between the ages of 6 and 19 suffer from loss of hearing as a result of using ear phones/buds turned to a high volume. It's because of sobering statistics like these why Connect Hearing encourages people to come in for a free hearing test.
The article went on to say that portable music players have been around for decades, but where older portable music players (such as the Sony Walkman) could only hold one CD or cassette at a time, nanotechnology in MP3 players allows us to easily store thousands of songs, so we are more prone to listening for longer periods of time, which can lead to more ear abuse.
“I'm more cognizant of hearing dangers, and I think other parents are as well,” says Boog. “You walk through some areas past kids and you can actually hear the music coming out of the earphones. That really shocks me because they have no idea how this will impact them later. I always check the volume on my kids listening devices.”
And now that Boog has regained the gift of hearing, what are his favourite sounds?
“Work!” says Boog with a laugh. “Also, hearing my kids properly. In the morning I wake up without my hearing aids, and my kids, they just crawl into bed and I can’t hear them until I get my hearing aids in.”
To see Colin's video story click here.