Tim’s story: Hearing with Roger changes my world

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

By: Femi Cole

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Tim Carpiaux was about 2 years old when his parents noticed a pattern. He seemed to ignore them anytime they called his name or audibly tried to get his attention.


Was something wrong or was he simply a headstrong, fiercely independent child? A visit to the doctor’s office provided answers.


“They finally took me in and found out that I had some missing nerve endings inside my ears, both of them,” Tim says. “So, yeah, I’ve been hearing impaired my entire life.”


It’s posed a lifelong challenge for Tim, who’s in his late 30s and works in metal fabricating.


“Growing up was difficult because hearing aids at that time could only pick up conversations, like 6 feet apart. You’d have to be looking at me. I read lips, too,” he says.


Hearing aids offered some help, especially during his school-age years. He was issued a variety of hearing aids and related gadgets to enable him to better hear his teachers. Some were simple to use. Others, like an FM monitor, were more complex.


“After high school, I didn’t have to wear it anymore. Hearing aids were more advanced.”


Hearing aid technology has advanced considerably since Tim’s school days, says Dr. Andrea Federman, an audiologist with Hearing Center BayCare Clinic in Green Bay.


“These days, we offer our patients a range of hearing aid makes and models from a variety of manufacturers,” she says. “Tim and patients like him now have access to some of the most advanced hearing aid technologies, including those with Bluetooth and wireless capabilities.”


Tim uses Roger technology by Phonak. He researched the device online and sought Federman’s opinion.


“She was nice, she was understandable and I liked working with her,” he says. “She’s like, ‘With your hearing loss, these hearing aids are most compatible with what you’re dealing with.’”


According to the Phonak website, “Roger technology continuously measures the surrounding noise level and adapts the microphone’s volume automatically. If the noise level increases, Roger adapts accordingly, keeping the speaker’s voice above the background noise. Hearing aid users understand almost 10 times better with Roger technology in noise and over distance than people with normal hearing.”


“It’s wireless, it’s Bluetooth, it works up to 33 feet,” Tim says. “It’s a circular thing. It fits right inside my palm. It’s probably like less than a half inch thick. Its diameter is only like 2 inches or something like that.”


The Roger device, which can be placed nearby or a distance away, streams sound to Tim’s hearing aids.


Before he got the Roger device, Tim would wait for supervisors and salespeople to finish sharing their daily announcements with the team, then would quietly approach a co-worker to ask what had been discussed because he couldn’t properly hear the announcements.


The device has made all the difference.


“You can hear everybody’s conversation. You can hear what they’re talking about so you can learn and do better on the job,” Tim says.


“To me, it’s like someone who’s never seen color before in his entire life and all of a sudden gets these goggles and then you can see color for the first time in your life and you’re 50 years old and you’re just blown away. You’re like, wow, I’ve been waiting my whole life to feel normal. I can hear like normal people that don’t have hearing loss.”


That’s the type of feedback Federman enjoys hearing from patients and their families.


“We’re thrilled to be able to help our patients arrive at hearing solutions that help them feel better integrated in their home, social and work circles,” she says. “Our hearing solutions are customized for each patient’s individual needs and that’s an important part of ensuring positive outcomes for our audiology patients.”


Tim encourages others with hearing loss to explore options offering advanced technology.


“This Roger device will definitely change your world,” he says.


Dr. Andrea Federman is an audiologist with Hearing Center BayCare Clinic. She sees patients in Green Bay.

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