The spies win this one

It has come to this. We knew this day was coming. Finally, the spies have won the battle.

Here’s what happened. Recent testing confirms that my hearing has declined, mostly in my right ear, less so in my left. Audiologists on the staff of the university medical center in my town advise me to consider hearing aids. Fine with me. I want to hear better, and I would welcome the help of hearing aids.

One might argue that my need to hear well might be greater than my neighbor because I sing. A lot. In groups: A 110-voice chorus, church choir of about 40 singers, a 12-voice a cappella ensemble, and as a vocalist with a 17-piece swing band. Clearly hearing my own voice and those around me is important to me.

So, as the kindly, competent audiologist fitted me with a trial pair of hearing aids at our most recent visit, I explained all that to her. I had heard that some hearing aids, or software associated with them, are better suited for hearing music than others.

Our church’s music director uses such hearing aids and has tipped me to the brand names of a couple that she favors. I was about to act on her tip by doing what most of us would do, today I went straight to my computer to look these hearing aids up online to learn more about them.

Then I stopped myself. Wait. I realized that, soon as I tapped out one of those brand names, I would be subjected to a barrage of unsolicited and unwanted advertising by multiple hearing aid companies. This already had started, in fact, following my first visit to the audiologist. How social media learned of that visit, I don’t know, but the fact bothers me.

I resisted the urge to conduct my own online research today because I didn’t want to invite the next barrage of ads. The spies have won.

Next week, I meet again with the audiologist. Together we’ll choose what’s best for my needs. I trust her more than the ads on social media. A lot more.

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