Hearing specialist honored for 25 years of service
By BY KELDY ORTIZ - KORTIZ@VICAD.COM
Feb. 12, 2013 at 8 p.m.
Updated Feb. 11, 2013 at 8:12 p.m.
Fixing someone's hearing is a job Henry Aoueille has done since 1987.
During his time as a hearing instrument specialist, Aoueille has fitted more than 7,000 hearing aids for people with hearing impairments.
In January, his life's work was recognized when the NewSound Hearing Aid Centers corporate offices presented him with the Lifetime Achievement Award. He was the first to receive such an award.
Aoueille takes pride in helping others, sometimes playing the role of counselor.
"Counseling (patients) on the advantages of hearing - different things motivate people to get hearing aids," he said.
Hearing aids are needed for various reasons but mainly noise and the aging process, Aoueille said. He, too, wears a pair.
Hearing aids can lasts from five to seven years, but it depends on a person's loss of hearing.
The need for hearing aids is determined by either a conductive loss, which occurs when the conductive channel in the ear canal is not working, or by damage to the cochlear nerve.
For some, the biggest challenge of wearing a hearing aid is the appearance and associations, Aoueille said.
"The reluctance to wearing a hearing aid denotes old age," he said. "I'm very frank with someone and tell them if you're around the family, you will be left out. I'm frank with them because that can happen."
Mary Ann Oakley first visited Aoueille 10 years ago to get her hearing checked. At the time, she said she didn't need a hearing aid, but a year later, her ability to hear clearly had noticably decreased.
Oakley didn't believe her hearing was bad, but her grandson did.
"I didn't want to be a bobblehead and move my head up and down," said Oakley, explaining her reason for getting hearing aids. "I wanted to hear clearly. I don't mind telling people I have hearing aids."
Aoueille didn't think he would get into the hearing aid business. He even calls his job accidental. It was not until he brought his father to the same place he works now and got to know people in the office that he decided it was a career he could venture into.
Aoueille took state-mandated tests to receive his certification, which allowed him to prescribe hearing aids to patients. After that, he started working at NewSound Hearing Aid Centers in Victoria, where he's been since.
Since he started in the hearing aid business, Aoueille has helped people from ages 17 to 80. To him, fitting hearing aids has become a routine in which he takes pride.
"It's like glasses and dentures," Aoueille said. "You have to get use to them. It's a getting used to process."