Patient Centered Care

 by Dan Taylor, Audioprosthologist, A Advanced Hearing Care

hearing aids, Patient Centered CareWhen we first met Ed & Maria Paniccia, they were looking to buy a hearing aid for Ed’s left ear. Yet something just didn’t seem right. First, when we began to talk with Ed, he told us that his hearing loss had gotten a lot worse over the past couple of months, but primarily in the right side. Next, when I did the otoscopic exam of Ed’s ears, while the left one looked pretty normal, the right one sent off all sorts of bells and whistles in my head. What I was seeing in Ed’s ear not only didn’t look right, the fact that he was losing his hearing rapidly on that side led me to believe that Ed, very possibly had a serious medical condition, in the form of a cholesteatoma, or soft tumor of the ear.

Unlike their hard bony cousins, the osteoma, which are hard bony protrusions caused by repeated exposure to cold water, such is as found in divers, swimmers and surfers, these tumors are soft and can grow fast. Yet, diagnosing such things is way above my pay grade and I know it. The only thing to do was to convince Ed and Maria to seek medical care as soon as possible. Which is the very thing I did, while trying not to scare the dickens out of them. But, it was important that Ed see an ENT, or Otologist, and I made that clear.

We didn’t hear, or see anything of Ed and Maria for several months, then out of the blue, there they were, and Ed had a big smile on his face this time. It seems that we did the right thing. Ed sought help until he found a doctor that would listen, who then discovered what I had suspected, Ed did have an cholesteatoma pressing on the eighth cranial nerve that serves his right ear. The pressure created by the growing mass, was what had caused the sudden loss on that side. But, they had caught it in time, and after surgery and radiation treatments, Ed was back for that fitting he had originally came in for several months earlier.

But, Ed isn’t the only one in that family with a loss, and several months later, they were back and this time we fit Maria with a new set of Rexton Stratas as well. The Paniccias are great folks. They not only took a chance by seeking us out for that second opinion when Ed was looking to buy originally, they were so impressed that I was more concerned with Ed’s overall health and not just trying to sell a hearing aid, that they attribute my refusal and referral with saving Eds’ life.

While I certainly am glad they came in, and that I got the chance to serve them, I don’t know that I’d go as far as Ed and Maria in their praise. You see, honestly I was just following the FDA rules, paying attention and seeing Ed for what he is a great guy, in need of some professional care first. Simply, by putting his care above making that sale, we did both.

It is very simply what being patient centered and results oriented is all about. Ed’s case just highlights one aspect of that, and their faith and trust that came from that initial encounter and consult meant that I simply couldn’t give them less than my best.

Hearing loss, especially one sided and sudden loss can be brought on by very serious medical conditions. If, you, or a loved one suffers from such a sudden loss of hearing, seek help immediately. If, you aren’t sure what to do, or who to see, call us, we’ll be happy to see that you get to the type of care that is important. But, if the loss you are dealing with has come upon you slowly, over a period of years, it’s still important. You still need to see about it, as the longer you go without help, the greater the chances you’ll be facing other issues as well. So, don’t put off getting the help you need. A brain is a terrible thing to waste. Failing to address a hearing loss, even a moderate one, may very well set you up for a series of cascading events with implications that go far beyond just your making folks repeat, or speak up. Ed and Maria sought help and are very glad for it.

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We’ve been helping folks just like Ed and Maria now for over twenty-two years from the Heart, of historic, downtown Melbourne, Florida at 720 East New Haven Avenue, Suite #12. We welcome walk in visitors and service weekdays 9:30 till noon, and afternoons, or after hours by appointment. You can reach us by phone at: 321-722-2894, or visit our website at: Let us demonstrate to you, like we did Ed and Maria, just what it means to be Patient Centered & Results Oriented.