Niagara Gazette

March 14, 2013

Let us be kind to our ears

By Michele DeLuca
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Alan M. Geldin has looked into a lot of ears.

“I’ve done about a thousand hearing tests a week for 37 years,” he said, smiling proudly during a recent interview in his office at 600 Pine Ave.

Even though he’s slowing down just a bit these days, he’s been at the controls of his audio meter for about 43 years and believes he’s the longest working audiologist in the Niagara Region — once the director of a speech and hearing center at a local hospital and until just recently associated with a trio of ear, nose and throat doctors.

He happily dispenses advice on how people can keep their ears finely tuned for as long as possible.

Q: What’s new in the hearing aid industry these days?

A: Hearing aids are much better now. There is so much research going on out there that every six months or so there is a new technology coming out

Q: You work with a lot of senior citizens. What’s your favorite part about that?

A: I really like seeing if I can help seniors communicate better. Most really don’t want to hear better. They don’t want to spend the money. They want to have something to leave their children. But their children are very frustrated because they don’t like to have to shout. So when their elderly parents get hearing aids, it relieves the stress of dealing with their parents.

Q: What don’t people know about hearing aids?

A: Hearing aids are very expensive. Some places charge five to six thousand dollars for them. The ball park price is $2,000 to $2,500, but a lot of good, quality people like myself dispense hearing aids at prices lower than that, rather like $1,500. People should shop around and beware of information that seems to good to be true. In the long run, read the fine print.

Q: What can you tell me about hearing loss?

A: Well, as you get up in age you are going to have some hearing loss. But, If somebody is exposed to hazardous noise over a period of years they are going to have worse hearing loss. People should protect their hearing when they are around noise, like when using power tools, grass cutters, snow blowers and vacuum cleaners.

Q: How can people best protect their hearing?

A: What they have to do is go buy some simple roll up ear plugs. If you don’t use the ear plugs (around noise), even when you are young, you could be a candidate for a hearing aid much earlier in life.

Q: How did you get into this business?

A: My uncle died at age 16 of an ear infection, long before there were antibiotics. So, I think I feel like my career is a calling.

Q; How is your hearing?

A: (Laughs) Ask my wife. It’s terrible.

Contact Features Editor Michele DeLuca at 282-2311, ext. 2263.