The Most Common Questions About Hearing Loss
Dr. Mark Syms is a Neurotologist/Otologist and the Founder of the Arizona Hearing Center. He is one of the first physicians in the country to be board-certified in neurotology and is currently a national leader in hearing technology. After nearly two decades of experience treating ear problems, Dr. Syms has helped thousands of people improve their quality of life.
Dr. Syms graduated with honors from Boston College before earning his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College. He completed his fellowship training at the House Ear Clinic in Los Angeles, one of the world’s premier surgery organizations. Today, Dr. Syms frequently gives lectures on neurotology both nationally and internationally. He is also an extensively published author, a member of numerous professional organizations, and the host of his own podcast, ListenUp!
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Concern #1: Hearing loss is normal for my age, and I should just learn to live with it—right?
- Concern #2: What if I don’t want people to see me wearing hearing aids?
- Concern #3: If I had serious hearing loss, wouldn’t my general practitioner know?
- Concern #4: I’ve been told my hearing loss can’t be helped—are there new treatments?
- Why the Arizona Hearing Center does not sell hearing aids and why patients should seek treatment there
- Concern #5: Why does it seem like people are mumbling?
- Concern #6: If I’m only having a little trouble hearing, should I still consider hearing aids or treatment?
- Dr. Syms talks about causes of hearing loss among people under the age of 45
- Concern #7: I’m not ready to get hearing aids, so can’t I wait?
- Concern #8: Does insurance cover hearing aids?
- Concern #9: How do I decide on a hearing aid—aren’t they all the same?
In this episode…
Most people with hearing loss are not good at perceiving their problem. They often believe that other people are just mumbling. For those who are willing to admit that they have a problem, getting them to agree to see an ear specialist can be challenging because of all their concerns.
Many people’s concerns revolve around getting quality hearing aids, the cost of treatment and insurance coverage, the problem not being too serious, or their general practitioner not diagnosing them with hearing loss. These concerns can prevent them from seeking medical help and lead to more severe problems.
Dr. Mark Syms, the Founder of the Arizona Hearing Center and host of ListenUp!, gets interviewed by Dr. Jeremy Weisz, the Co-founder of Rise25, about the most common questions and concerns people have regarding hearing loss. Dr. Syms talks about the reasons behind these concerns and explains why insurance may not cover treatment for hearing loss. He also explains why his clinic does not sell hearing aids.
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- Arizona Hearing Center
- Listen Up!: A Physician’s Guide to Effectively Treating Your Hearing Loss by Dr. Mark Syms
- Dr. Mark Syms on LinkedIn
- Dr. Jeremy Weisz on LinkedIn
- How Dr. Mark Syms Lost His Brother Twice
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by the Arizona Hearing Center.
The Arizona Hearing Center is a cutting-edge hearing care facility providing comprehensive, family-focused care. Approximately 36 million Americans suffer from some sort of hearing loss, more than half of whom are younger than the age of 65. That’s why the team at the Arizona Hearing Center is focused on providing the highest-quality care using innovative technologies and inclusive treatment plans.
As the Founder of the Arizona Hearing Center, Dr. Mark Syms is passionate about helping patients effectively treat their hearing loss so that they can stay connected with their family and friends and remain independent. He knows first-hand how hearing loss can impact social connection and effective communication. By relying on three core values—empathy, education, and excellence—Dr. Syms and his team of hearing loss experts are transforming the lives of patients.
So what are you waiting for? Stop missing out on the conversation and start improving your quality of life today!
To learn more about the Arizona Hearing Center, visit https://www.azhear.com/ or call us at 602-307-9919. We don’t sell hearing aids—we treat your hearing loss.
Welcome to the Listen Up Podcast where we explore hearing loss, communication, connections and health.
Dr. Mark Syms 0:17
Hi, Dr. Mark Syms here, I’m the host of the Listen Up Podcast where I feature top leaders in healthcare. Again, I have Jeremy Weisz from Rise25, who has done 1000s of interviews with top healthcare experts. And he’s going to interview me instead of me interviewing him. So let’s get going.
Jeremy Weisz 0:32
Dr. Syms, thanks for having me. And I, you know, really, this is gonna be about the most common questions you get. And you were telling me something the other time we talked and I went back, and I told my wife, you need to do this because Dr. Syms is the man when it comes to the IRS, though, don’t it’s not me telling you to do this. It’s him. And so this episode will be our you know, Mo, if you have a husband, you have a wife, and they’re maybe not listening to you and just say it’s not me, it’s Dr. Syms telling me to do this. So we’re going to talk about the most common questions. And before we do this episode is brought to you by the Arizona Hearing Center. And I know you’ve been helping patients to effectively treat their hearing loss so that they can connect better is that about hearing right? Dr. Syms is about connecting better with your family and friends and about remaining independent. And the reason you’re so passionate about it is there’s another episode that we do talk go into depth about it, but you lost your brother Robbie twice. And really you what you do is you are an ENT, and you only care for IRS, you’ve done over 10,000 years surgeries for the past 20 years, founder of The Arizona Hearing Center, you can go to listenuphearing.com where you author the book, “Listen Up”, and you can go to azhear.com and contact them if you have any questions or email them. They’re very responsive. So Dr. Syms, a common question I’m going to go through, I’m gonna be the devil’s advocate and the patient here for a second, okay. Um, people often say, you know, my hearing loss is normal for my age, and I should just learn to live with it.
Dr. Mark Syms 2:11
Yeah, I think that that’s a common response, like, you know, people say, Well, you know, things, I’m not hearing my spouse’s much. And sometimes people say, well, that’s just part of getting old, right? And look, you know, arthritis, maybe creaky bones, or, you know, those types of things are feeling stiff, or those types of things are also part of it as well. But you know, there are a couple things. One is, if this is highly treatable. So, you know, making it the normal is, it is not the way we want it to be. And also, you know, it interferes with your social connection. So as you were alluding to, before, you know, you want to stay socially connected, you want to be able to have great vibrant relationships with your friends and family. And you know, you want to remain independent, because, you know, what happens, unfortunately, is when, you know, your kids come and they say, Hey, you know, mom or dad aren’t, you know, they’re not as clear as they used to be, they’re not kind of plugging in and they start thinking, hey, it’s time to go find a new place for them. And so that’s where you lose your independence, and we want to help people stay independent. So just because it’s part of the aging process doesn’t mean we should accept it as normal. And we shouldn’t treat it. And so compared to a lot of the other things that happen when you age, this is treatable. And so we’re big advocates of the best quality of life. So people, sometimes they’ll come in and say, Hey, you know, I’m, I’m not, you know, I’m 80 years old, I’m okay, and always say, but it’s about quality, not quantity, right? I don’t, I don’t have a crystal ball to know when they’re, you know, going up to the big Hearing Center in the sky. But I do know that they should have the best quality possible. And so for me, it’s about connecting with your friends and family and having vibrant conversation,
Jeremy Weisz 3:48
right there thinking why I’ve gone without this long, but that’s, it’s, that’s not an excuse. I mean, you want to be you want to have a quality of life and hear people.
Dr. Mark Syms 3:58
Yeah, you know, I think one of the other things that’s really interesting, hearing loss is invisible, right. And so there are a couple things. One is, you know, it’s not to say that this is a good thing, either. But we know when we see a blind person, right, they have dark glasses and are red and white cane. So it’s pretty obvious. But you know, one of the examples I give to people is, you know, what, if you had the unfortunate handicap of losing a leg, right? And so you kind of have these options, right? Like, you could hop up and down on one foot, right? You could get a crutch, or you could get an artificial leg, right? And so I always say like, if you saw somebody going up the sidewalk along the road, as you’re driving, hopping up and down one foot, you’d be like, that’s crazy, man. Get it? Right, get an artificial leg, right? And so just because it’s invisible, and you’re like that person with hearing loss, you’re like hopping up and down on one foot. Like it’s crazy, right? And so, the thing is, is even thinking about hearing aids as a treatment for it, right? Like an artificial leg is a great option, but you’re not gonna you know, you’re not gonna run. Unlike you did before you had your leg, so it’s not perfect. But it’s it makes a heck of a lot more sense than an untreated disability or problem, right. And so that’s one of the things people have to think of it. And the mindset is like, this is a highly treatable thing. We got to do something about it. But if people could see you had hearing loss, they do it. And that actually kind of leads into the other thing, people say, Hey, you know, I don’t want people to see my hearing aids. And I always say, they already see your hearing loss, right? So, you know, when you say, oh, you’re mumbling? Or you answer the wrong question. And people kind of look at your finding, like, well, what happened? Or, you know, I talked about, like, you know, there’s kind of three groups of people, right, so your loved ones, they’ll be brutally honest with you. So one of the reasons we love our loved ones is because they’re brutally honest, one of the reasons we’re annoyed by our loved ones is because they’re brutally honest, right? And so that issue is the thing, then they’re your friends and your friends, kind of my child, you are tolerant, but everybody else, you know, they think they see your hearing loss, and they think, Hey, he’s just not smart. He’s not connected. He’s out of it. So people already see your hearing loss. So when you treat it, you actually make your hearing loss more invisible than when you don’t treat it. It’s kind of this, you know, flipping the mindset in terms of that, because people know you have a hearing.
Jeremy Weisz 6:14
Yeah, yeah. So you don’t have to live with it. You are treatable. Another question that you get is, hey, Dr. Syms, if I had a serious hearing loss, my doctor would have told me when I did my last checkup, you know, well, I mean, I don’t need a hearing test.
Dr. Mark Syms 6:29
There are a couple of things one is like, you know, only maybe one in five doctors actually check it or test it. But sometimes this is their test. Can you hear me rubbing your fingers, right? And so one of the things that’s interesting about hearing loss is I tell people, it’s not binary, right? It’s not either you hear or you don’t hear, right, which is the same as vision, right? It’s not like either you see, or you don’t see, there’s gradations of vision where you know, you can’t make things out. So you can have blurry hearing where parts of the things you want to see or hear clearly aren’t clear. And so the pattern of hearing loss is people lose more high tones, they do too low tones. And so the nature of that is one woman and children’s voices are more difficult. And then the second thing is consonants, the softer parts of words, the parts of words that give them meaning the FDS, the D and the P, that’s where they lose that first. So people hear the vowel sounds, but they don’t hear the consonants. And that’s why people say, I mean, it’s so funny to me when they go, Well, I don’t know what’s happened, but my spouse is now mumbling, like, Wow, that’s amazing. Like, they turn into a mumbler. everybody else’s mumbling, because it’s a projection of the outside world, rather than understanding it’s in you.
Jeremy Weisz 7:38
So what does that look like? So, you know, they go, and the doctor, you know, most, there’s so many other things for the general practitioner to worry about. And for me, that would be like, probably the last thing, someone has diabetes, they have heart issues, they’re probably the last thing they’re worried about is their hearing, potentially, unless someone complains about it, which most people aren’t necessarily complaining about?
Dr. Mark Syms 8:02
Well, one, they won’t complain, because they know the conclusion, what they have to do. But the second reason is, both other people and patients themselves are very poor at perceiving their own hearing loss. And the reason is, is people think communication and hearing is the same thing, right. So if I can communicate effectively, I don’t have hearing loss. But the reality is, hearing is hearing, it’s the detection of sound with your ears. So what makes that worse background noise, okay. But the other two ways we communicate one is what we call speech reading, which is looking at people’s faces, mouths, and lips. So as a side calm, and in this time of COVID masks make that very difficult. But it’s something that we learned before we learned spoken language, right? So parents hold babies in front of them and start talking to them and making facial expressions. So we know when people are happy or sad, and all that stuff. So that’s non verbal communication, but looking at people’s lips, gives them information. So what they’ll say sometimes is, well, when people turn away from me, they’re mumbling. But they’re actually not because if I turn sideways, you can almost hear me as well as if I look at you directly. They lose the speech reading component, and then they can’t understand what they’re saying. And then the third way people communicate is context. Once they know what the subject matter is, their brain actually fills in the gaps. So if you have all of those skills, and you walk into your doctor’s office, and you can still communicate effectively, it’s very difficult to assess people’s hearing to know whether or not they have hearing loss or not. And that’s why you know, we advocate like you know, getting other things you should get your hearing checked on a regular basis. So we would tell you to come in and get an Arizona Hearing Center comprehensive hearing evaluation, and you know what the best possible news is, Jeremy, that it’s normal. That would be the best news, but usually more often than not, it’s not.
Jeremy Weisz 9:51
For me, it’d be like, I’d love for you to remove wax so I can watch it afterwards. But that’s Yeah, yeah. And then tell me it’s normal. But So you There’s another question or statement people say to you, and I’m wondering what your response will be. If someone says to you, my hearing loss Can’t be helped.
Dr. Mark Syms 10:10
Yeah, it’s amazing. There are some people who used to say, Well, you know, in the old days, they said, Well, my hearing loss Can’t be helped. And it’s like, no, that’s really referring to older technology and older problems. And it’s kind of a different mindset. And so there is technology, right. And even people who’ve been told in the past that they’re hearing loss camp and how I would recommend a reevaluation because, you know, it is a highly innovative field, there’s a ton of new stuff being developed. I mean, when I think about what I practice with now, as compared to when I started, there’s like, a ton of new stuff being developed. And so to that extent, you know, I would recommend a reassessment, I am highly doubtful that your hearing loss cannot be helped, I think that’s just kind of a myth that’s traveling out there for people to believe, well, you know, I, this can’t be helped. So I don’t have to do anything about it. Right. And so, you know, it’s almost like, you know, kind of being resolved to being sick, right, like, Well, you know, nobody can help diabetes. Well, that’s not true, right? I mean, all of these diseases can be helped. You might not like the answer,
Jeremy Weisz 11:08
but it can be helped. What some examples of technologies that you’ve seen,
Dr. Mark Syms 11:13
Well, like so you know, one of the newer technologies out that we’re involved in is a technology called the gear lens, okay. And so that is an amazing device, where a lens is placed on your eardrum, and there’s a little motor that directly drives your first bone of hearing. And so it can give a higher fidelity, like a wider bandwidth and more volume than regular hearing aids are. So we can treat hearing losses that maybe regular hearing aids would we call air conduction hearing aids couldn’t with this technology, and it also sounds so one of the things people will complain about hearing aids and say it sounds, it’s not as vibrant, or it sounds condensed or a little electric, or those types of things. And that’s because the hearing aids only present a certain bandwidth, while the airline’s will provide a more vibrant and wider bandwidth. So that’s just an example of the types of things that have been developed. And so it’s always changing. These are, you know, these companies that are developing these things, they’re spending, you know, literally hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in research and development every year. So this stuff is changing all the time. So I certainly wouldn’t come to the conclusion, oh, I saw somebody, you know, 13 years ago, told me there was nothing I could do. So I’m just gonna ride with that, I would highly recommend people come on in and get checked out. And again, you know, maybe there are a few, but I think more often than not, those people can be helped somehow.
Jeremy Weisz 12:31
Yeah. And you have a saying somewhat in your office about Arizona Hearing Center does not sell hearing aids. What do you mean by that?
Dr. Mark Syms 12:40
Well, you know, I mean, one of the things is when people are diagnosed with hearing loss, some people say, well go get hearing aids just go to somebody who sells hearing aids, right. And so the concept I would say about that is, is that when you think of something as a commodity, right, so when you want to go get hearing aids, or by hearing somebody sell you hearing aids, they are selling you the device called a hearing aid that you put in your ear, right? And I tell people like look, if that’s what you want, go to the same place where you buy, you know, meat, trash bags, and toilet paper and get your hearing. But the concept is, what really determines the outcome is the care. Okay, so here’s an example. Right? paints paint, right? So, you know, but we all know that you can get different painters in your house with the same paint the same brush, and you can get totally different outcomes from paint, right. So it’s not the paint that matters, just like it’s not the hearing aid that matters. It’s the hearing care that matters. And that’s why what we say at Arizona Hearing Centers, we don’t sell hearing aids, we treat hearing loss. And so as a result, for some people, they might have to purchase hearing aids, but that’s not our driver, our driver is to treat your hearing loss. And so the other thing is, is, you know, the proverbial if your hammer, everything’s a nail, right. And so when people sell hearing aids, that’s what they do. We don’t do that, you know, we do have a hearing in distress. But you know, hearing aids surgery, medical treatment, cochlear implants, Baja airlines, I mean, you know, what we’re trying to figure out is not what can we sell you? Or can we sell you what we have? What we’re trying to figure out is, what is the technology that’s going to get you to hear as best as possible, which circles back to better relationships with your family, better relationships with your friends, and remaining independent and it’s only once you get the best possible care? Can you maintain that independence and those connections, right, so one of the problems is there are people out there who have hearing aids, who still can’t hear. And so I patiently say, hey, my friend, he got hearing aids, he can’t hear my other friend got hearing aids, they returned them. And my third friend got hearing aids, and they put them in the nightstand drawer. So none of them are being treated well. And so my answer is, is That’s right. They went and got hearing aids, they didn’t get their hearing treated. And that’s the fundamental difference. Yeah.
Jeremy Weisz 14:57
So that, that you also, you know, there’s a question So why should I go to Arizona Hearing Center? With my hair?
Dr. Mark Syms 15:03
I actually kind of answered that question. But you know, I mean, one of the things is, there is another issue, right? And so we actually are very specialized. So one of the things is people will say to me, you know, which hearing is should I get? And I know, there are, you know, 1000s, there’s over 1000 different types of hearing aids. And so in our organization, I am the expert at medical treatment and surgical treatment of hearing related disorders, right? We do cochlear implants, I have audiologists who just do cochlear implants, we do testing, I have some audiologists who just do testing, and I have people who just do hearing care or hearing aids, right. So I have people who are very, very specific in what they do, because we’re all like sub specializing, if that makes sense. So we’re not jack of all trades. We’re masters of these very, very specific things. So that’s the other thing, you’re getting the cutting edge premium, excellent care, because everybody is kind of an expert in their own lane.
Jeremy Weisz 16:02
Yeah. And Dr. Syms, you touched on this a little bit. But another question you get is why does it seem like people are mumbling?
Dr. Mark Syms 16:10
Yeah. And so that’s what I was talking about before, you know, consonants, so they don’t hear the parts word. So, you know, one of the examples I give is Wheel of Fortune, right. So in Wheel of Fortune, you can buy as many vowels as you want, right? And the reason you can buy as many vowels as you want, they never solve the puzzle, right? It’s the consonants that you get to spin for right. And those are actually all the high pitch parts of words. And that’s what solves the puzzle. And to the same extent, you know, when you’re hearing loss sacrifices, or you lose the high pitches, first, you hear the vows, you don’t hear the consonants, and that’s why, you know, people are talking to you, but you can’t understand what they’re saying. Or they’re mumbling or you mistake words, you know, wife for wipe wise for wide like that. Those are the types of things where people say, like, you know, I’m going to go, you know, fill the tank, you know, the car, and they go, why are you going to the bank? Right? Because the T and the B sound alike? And so people will answer like, that’s when you should know your hearing loss when you say something, and people look at you like, or they’ll chuckle I mean, you know, the nice way to disarm that is to laugh. Right? And so people take it as a humorous, you know, humorous event. But actually, these are the signs of Early Hearing loss.
Jeremy Weisz 17:27
Yeah. You know, you probably get this statement question a lot. I do think I’m having a little trouble hearing, but it’s not that bad.
Dr. Mark Syms 17:37
Well, of course, that’s that? You know, the answer is, the test will tell, right. And so one of the things is people aren’t very good at perceiving their own hearing loss. So that was what I kind of went back to where I talked about Hearing, Speech, reading, and, and context, so they compensate for their hearing loss. So they’re not aware of their hearing loss. So you know, I say to patients, I say, look, we do an objective measurement, we do a comprehensive evaluation, and we objectively measure your hearing. And, you know, it’s kind of like you saying to me, Well, I know you took my pulse, and it said, 64 beats per minute. But the reality is, I feel like it’s 32 beats per minute, like you can feel it is whatever it is, but objectively, you have it. And so that’s one of the things might, you know, other health care providers, and patients aren’t able to perceive it. I’m going to tell you, if your loved ones telling you have a hearing loss, you probably do. Yeah. Why would any spouse want to hassle their other spouse, like, Hey, I’m gonna, I’m going to razz you today until you have a hearing loss. I mean, that’s that’s not that that’s not going to help you. That’s, that’s a non winner, right? So if your spouse is telling you that they’re, they’re telling you that because they actually care, and they want you to get better.
Jeremy Weisz 18:56
And in people’s eyes, will my hearing loss isn’t bad enough for hearing aids?
Dr. Mark Syms 19:00
Well, that I think that there are a couple things one is if you don’t know what you’re missing. So if you don’t hear it, you don’t know you missed it, so you can assess it. And so I always tell people, like look, you know, one of the nice things is you can try them, right? And so the reason I wear glasses is because when I put them over my eyes, I read better. And that’s why I wear them. So if I put the glasses on, and I didn’t read any better guess what I would do? I wouldn’t wear it right. And so hearing aids are kind of the same. Like if you put them in and they help you communicate better, and you do better guess what you’ll do? You’ll wear them that’s circling back to the whole thing where I said people put them in the nightstand drawer, right? Because the reason they don’t wear them is because they’re not programmed or adjusted or selected appropriately for people. So they don’t wear them because they don’t help them. Right. So that the answer becomes You know, there are some very, very slight and mild hearing losses that you know, maybe you could do that. But the reality is the test will tell us subjectively what you’re missing and what We can help and where we can get you back to normal.
Jeremy Weisz 20:03
I was surprised, Dr. Syms, about some of the statistics out there that hearing aids. You know, there’s a lot of people under a certain age. So can you touch on that for a second, you just picked I just pictured the older people well, that
Dr. Mark Syms 20:19
There are millions of people under the age of like 45 who need hearing aids. So it’s not just, you know, elderly patients who get this, I mean, there is hearing loss out there. And I will tell you, you know, the, the evidence is pretty clear that there’s what we would call a little bit of an epidemic, because people are overplaying on air pods and earbuds. And so there is some noise induced hearing loss that’s happening in people. And then the other area where we see a hearing loss, or, you know, the people who have returned from some of the military service abroad where they’ve been around lots of gunfire and ordinances, they have hearing loss too. So it is not just only people with gray hair, get hearing aids, that’s not true. There are other people who need either hearing loss treated as well.
Jeremy Weisz 21:06
There’s another camp of people that say, you know, I can wait to treat my hearing loss, and I’m not ready to get hearing aids.
Dr. Mark Syms 21:14
Well, you know, what I’ll tell you, it’s pretty rare that somebody walks into my office and says, I want hearing aids. It’s also pretty rare that somebody says, I want surgery, right? Or I want medical treatment, right? So the point being is, is it’s not about wanting it, right? It’s about what helps you and make your life better. And so, you know, of course, people don’t want hearing aids, but again, I think until you experience the benefit of them, you might want them actually, once you realize how much you’re missing, you might want to be like, wow, this makes me more connected. Wow, I can answer your questions clearly, wow, I can have better conversation with my grandchildren, while my grandchildren go turn to their parents and say, Grandpa doesn’t hear me very well anymore. So, you know, I mean, certainly people don’t and, you know, nobody wants it. But the point is, there should be benefits. And so it does circle back to that whole concept of selling hearing aids versus getting hearing care. So one of the reasons A lot of people don’t want hearing aids is because they know a lot of people who have gotten hearing aids, who have been dissatisfied, or have been disappointed or aren’t doing well with them. And so one of the hard parts or one of my you know, drivers is the fact that there is a lot of poorly treated hearing loss out there. And that’s one of the reasons for the “Listen Up” book to explain to people how to get their hearing loss well treated. And one of the reasons that Arizona Hearing Center treats people because we want to be is not one of them. We are a place where people can go and have the confidence to know their hearing loss is treated as best as possible. You know,
Jeremy Weisz 22:48
I’m sure you get a lot of questions around pricing. And people ask, you know, does insurance cover hearing aids and variety questions around that?
Dr. Mark Syms 22:59
Yeah. So when Medicare was adopted in the 1960s, hearing aids were sold by door to door salespeople, the same type of people who sold encyclopedias, globes and fuller brushes. And so the law actually says in the statute, Medicare shall not pay for hearing aids. And it’s antiquated, it’s been around for, you know, almost 50 years. But that hasn’t changed. So unfortunately, Medicare does not pay for hearing aids. It doesn’t mean it’s not worth it, right. And so, you know, when you start looking at what people you know, what they allocate their resources for, you know, I mean, frankly, to me, vibrant relationships and connectivity with my family. And independence is more valuable than a car. And certainly people are willing to pay more for a car than they are for their hearings. Now, hearing aids don’t cost as much as a car, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that. But my point to you is, when you look at the value of what it gives people, it’s incredibly amazing that you can now be better connected with people and things like that. Now, that being said, everybody can get the same hearing aids, and people can give you discounted on the device, okay? But look, when you lower your price, you have to cut corners somewhere and you know, where they cut corners on the care. Right. So the care is what you know, when you build a house, what’s more expensive, the building materials are the labor that puts the house together. It’s the labor, right? So painting, is it the paint or the painter? It’s the painter, right? So there is an expense associated with people who are highly specialized at treating people’s hearing well, right. And so you don’t want to be Penny one, as they say, you know, Pennywise and pound foolish because think of how much money is wasted for those people who put those hearing aids in their nightstand drawer. Right. So why get those right? Like there’s no there’s no upside of getting the ones that don’t help you.
Jeremy Weisz 24:48
Yeah, and many times when I’ve, you know, thought about trying to save money on something I ended up spending more money in the end because in the end, I got the less expensive version, and then I just had to get The proper version later, right? Well, I
Dr. Mark Syms 25:03
mean, you know, Home Repairs the example right? Like you get three guys to bid a job on your house to do something. And maybe you take the middle bid guy, and then you’re hiring the top guy to come back and redo the work to actually do it. Right. Right. So, you know, I mean, it, it’s like craftsmanship matters, right. And so there are some people, you know, that they don’t want to value that or they don’t understand that, and that’s okay. But for the people who understand that craftsmanship, value, where that kind of place really, you know, if you want to hear as best as possible and be connected with your family and friends as best as possible, you know, Arizona Hearing Center is a great option. Yeah,
Jeremy Weisz 25:38
I mean, you also talk about, you know, there’s some myths out there, Dr. Syms like, You touched upon it a little bit just now, but all hearing aids are the same. Or I can save money by buying hearing aids from a website or a catalog, right?
Dr. Mark Syms 25:52
Yes, you can, you can buy the device called a hearing aid off of a website. And often, but amazingly, for some people, guess what, it becomes a great ear plug, you put it in, and you actually hear worse, right? So it’s not getting that device, it’s getting that device, making sure that it’s appropriately selected. So what I mean by that is that it gives you the volume you need, right. So if you think about medicines, if somebody is under doses, you for your high blood pressure, and your blood pressure remains too high, you’re actually not well treated, right? The second thing is, is it needs to be of the right physical form. So the physical configuration of the device determines how much volume it can give to you. So depending on the extent of your hearing loss, and then the third, you need a program inside of the hearing aid that adjusts or gets it to the levels that rehabilitate your hearing loss. And then we can validate it, right. So when you go and get your blood pressure treated, it’d be kind of weird. If your doctor just let you walk out the door and never check your blood pressure again, after treating it. Well, we can actually validate that the hearing aids feature correctly. Hmm.
Jeremy Weisz 26:58
There’s another question about, you know, hearing aid salespeople, hearing sales, people may use high pressure sales tactics or sell things people don’t need.
Dr. Mark Syms 27:11
Yeah, unfortunately, I’d like to tell you that that’s not the case. But that does happen. Right. And so part of it’s the exact concept, right? hearing sales people, right. So there are some organizations that are more interested in the sale or getting people you know, the revenue and things like that. But that’s not what we do, we treat hearing loss. So we don’t have hearing loss salespeople, we have hearing loss treaters. I mean, it’s not, you know, grammatically correct. But that’s the whole concept. And so some of those sales, people will use pressure tactics and things like that. That’s not what we’re about Arizona Hearing Center, we are about educating people. So they understand their hearing loss, showing them all their options, so they understand what the options are, and kind of formulating what we call a treatment plan. Right? So we’re not formulating a sales plan or a purchase plan, we’re selling, we’re formulating a treatment plan, how are we going to treat your hearing loss? And so that’s a fundamental difference. So, you know, I mean, frankly, if anybody gets the ice, you know, they won’t, but you contact me. I’ll, you know, I would love to hear for you, because that doesn’t happen in my organization.
Jeremy Weisz 28:16
Yeah. And like you said, that’s probably the more I imagine. I’ve seen those things like in newspapers, is that what you’re referring to?
Dr. Mark Syms 28:24
Well, I mean, you know, those, some of them are good organized, I mean, it really comes down to that person, right, and what the philosophy of the organization is, right. And so, I mean, I’m not gonna say that that’s necessarily the case. But my point to you is, is, there are people who end up with people of high pressure sales and kinda, you know, really want to grind you down. That’s not what we’re about. We’re about education. I mean, you know, if we want people to understand what they’re doing, getting themselves into the extent of their hearing loss, what their options are, you know, perfectly transparent. And you know, what, if you didn’t understand it the first time, come back, and we’ll re explain it to you, because we want people to understand.
Jeremy Weisz 28:57
Well, I also think, you know, from our previous conversation, you know, people self diagnose, and hearing aid isn’t always the answer, probably, I mean, people default to like, probably, oh, I have hearing loss hearing aid. But that’s not always the case. Right, right.
Dr. Mark Syms 29:13
Now agreed. And so that’s the other thing like So again, we will give you the best. And so we might give you options, right? So one of the options might be hearing aids, one of the options might be surgery, right? And so that’s one of the things we give you is the comprehensive options for your treatment, not just Well, all we have is hearing aids. So that’s the answer to your problem. And I think that’s one of the, you know, unique benefits of Arizona Hearing Center is that it offers all of the possible options to treat your hearing loss, not just one. Yep.
Jeremy Weisz 29:44
So if people have questions, they can go to azhear.com to learn more. They can listen to more episodes of the podcast, they can get your book, “Listen Up”. And, you know, anything else to add?
Dr. Mark Syms 29:59
No, I mean, You know, my answer is, you know, you’ve got to find somebody who’s going to take good care of you, right? And we all want that. Right? Like so, you know, what do we do? Like, you know, we want physicians like if you have a primary care doctor, you want them to take good care of you when you have, you know, a car problem. You want a mechanic that you can trust, and we’ll do the best thing for you, right? We all want people who are going to do the best for you. And that’s what you can find at Arizona Hearing Center. And you know, you my personal guarantee of that.
Jeremy Weisz 30:30
Thanks, everyone. Check out more episodes and thanks again, Dr. Syms.
Dr. Mark Syms 30:33
Yep. Thanks. Have a good night.
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