Read some success stories from satisfied patients below:
Dear Dr. Magilen,
As a physician and a college science major, I have utilized three different audiology offices in my quest to improve my hearing. My visit to your office ended my quest.
Your Ph.D. in Biophysics has provided you with an understanding of the science of sound transmission and the pathology of hearing loss. Those two skills allowed you to accurately diagnose the nature of my hearing loss, much more so than any of the other audiology offices. Armed with this diagnosis and the state of the art of your audiology equipment, you were able to customize everything to my specific needs.
The Signia hearing aids you customized on my behalf, and the various sound control settings of those hearing aids, provided me with the ability to easily adjust them for the setting (crowd, dinner table, movie etc.) in which I was using them.
The improvement the Signia equipment provided, compared to the prior hearing aids I was sold is remarkable.
Your explanation of the science behind your approach, and the quality of the service from your staff is first rate.
I am recommending to my physician colleagues who specialize in Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT or Otolaryngologists) that they consider sending their hearing loss patients to you for evaluation and trial of these state of the art hearing aids.
Clair S. Weenig, M.D.
Clinical Professor Emeritus
Univ. of Calif. Medical Center, San Francisco Dept. of Anesthesiology
Retired Physician John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek
I have a drawer of about five pairs of hearing aids that gave me factory prescribed prescriptions. My most recent pair of hearing aids were digital and programmable. I was told that was the best that could be done for me and that I needed to accept my diminished hearing loss.
I knew there had to be more and it was not until after I saw Dr. Gil Magilen that I realized what hearing I had been missing. Today, I can hear with so much more natural sounding depth and quality that I will never go back to another practitioner who does not use this technology.
Mary Bailey, Sacramento, CA
My relationship with hearing aids dates back over 25 years. I'm on my fourth one. All my units were able to amplify sound. However, as my hearing deteriorated over the years; my ability to comprehend conversation (versus hearing sounds) was noticeably reduced. I saw Dr. Gil several years ago when my third unit (which I had gotten from a hospital hearing aid center) was giving me a lot of problems. After testing my hearing, he devoted two visits to "shaping the sounds" with the use of his equipment. The result of his adjustments to my unit was a noticeable improvement in my comprehension. He also demonstrated to me the effect of these adjustments on one of the state-of-the-art hearing aids available at his center. Gil turned his back to me and shielded his mouth. I could actually understand what he was saying! Other problems caused me to replace this unit several years later. I was lured by a big box store's bargain price and 3 year guarantee. I'm having the same problems that I had before—I hear the sounds but don't distinguish words well in other than ideal conditions. I've been in at least a dozen hearing aid offices over the years and I've never encountered one that has the sophisticated equipment that the Walnut Creek Hearing Aid Center has. I wish I had gone to Dr. Gil when it was time to replace my hearing aid several years ago.
Frank Barton, Danville, CA
In the past 18 years, I have been receiving treatment from a variety of audiologists. I now hear delicate sounds I haven't heard in years. I understand people on TV and on the phone, much, much better. I'm enjoying music.
Eleanor Bezanker, Walnut Creek, CA
A little over a month ago we had just moved to Rossmoor and were in the process of making many changes in our life when by chance, I walked through your office door.
My hearing has been a problem for years and was just getting worse and worse. My audiologist had been telling me there was nothing more he could do for me and my hearing aids were the best on the market. I had even gotten a second opinion, which confirmed the opinion of my audiologist that nothing further could be done to help my hearing.
What a change has happened since I walked through your office door!!! I am now hearing the wind blowing in the trees, the birds singing in the garden. I actually am able to sit down at a table in a restaurant and carry on a conversation with people at the end of the table. To say the least, it has made a major change in my life. Hearing loss can isolate a person from life itself.
Ken Ferrell, Walnut Creek CA
I just wanted to take the time to thank you and your courteous and competent staff for significantly improving my quality of life.
When I first walked into your office a few months ago, I was resigned to the fact that my hearing loss and the poor performance of prior hearing aids was just something I was going to have to live with the rest of my life. I had made adjustments to my professional and social life to accommodate for my poor hearing, and frankly, my quality of life suffered for it.
When you explained that I should expect improvements from a new pair, I was skeptical, and just thought I was hearing more of the same bull that I had heard from other providers. For that, I owe you an apology.
The hearing aids that prescribed (and the great attention to detail while fitting), have led to significant improvement in my hearing in almost ALL situations. My family and friends have noticed major differences in my ability to hear and understand, and I sometimes find myself even forgetting that I have a hearing loss!
I cannot thank you and staff enough for this.
You definitely have a different approach to fitting hearing aids, and I hope that you continue to challenge the status quo and help improve an industry that has the potential to help so many people.
Jeffrey Blanchard, CFA, San Rafael, CA
There's really no comparison. It's well worth the investment because I can now hear everything I want to hear. I wear it all the time. I'm really impressed!
Will Classen, Walnut Creek, CA
My hearing was gone in my right ear due to damage from an Acoustic Neuroma (tumor). I've seen many hearing specialists over the years, trying to get some help from a hearing aid, all to no avail. I quit going out, attending parties, going to restaurants, all because it was too difficult to hear.
Then I was told of Dr. Gil Magilen at Walnut Creek Hearing Aid Center. My life turned around! After many years and many trials of hearing aids from ENT's and even Stanford's Auditory Dept., this is the first time I've gotten any noticeable help. Dr. Gil is a Hearing Engineer and he approaches hearing aids in an entirely different way, eliminating distortive and negative sounds so I end up with more a sense of space and location with a minimum of distractive noise. The advantage I have is not just hearing who is speaking but the distinction of words, not just sounds. Thank you, Dr. Gil.
I hope this expresses to you, just how much I appreciate what you've done for me. Of course I've gained weight because I'm now going out to restaurants again but that's another story.
Nancy Cytron, Alameda, CA
In 1997 I knew that I was having problems with my hearing, so I went to a hearing aid company in Walnut Creek and they fitted me with hearing aids. I was unhappy with the hearing aids…I didn't hear nearly as well as I thought I should, I didn't like the feel of them so I hardly ever wore them.
Three or four years later I went back, again to the same Hearing Center and they gave me some new hearing aids that were supposedly much better. The same thing applied there. I can't really give you a reason why I went back there. I guess, it was because I just thought it was me rather than them. So I went back to them figuring that maybe a different kind of hearing aid would help me a little bit. So I got those hearing aids and they didn't perform any better than the other ones.
Then they came out with an ad in the paper, a few months ago, end of 2004, beginning of 2005, and were promoting a new hearing aid. I saw the representative from the company, they put a mold in my ear and told me to come back in a couple of weeks to pick it up, and they would call me. And at the price of $6,800…that was after a 40% discount.
I was not really pleased thinking that I would be spending $6,800, so I thought I would shop around to see if I could find an answer, to see if I was being taken advantage of, or what, so I dropped in to this hearing aid center here in Walnut Creek, with Dr. Magilen. We discussed things; I read a couple of articles by him, I also read some other publications and came back for a visit.
He spent 3½ hours with me, doing things I hadn't had done before, repeating a list of words that were given to me on the computer or recorded, background noise, whispering, all things of this nature, and adjusted the hearing aids to fit these qualifications.
The amount of difference I experienced was tremendous. I can't believe how well I was able to hear compared to what I had before. Now, I was tested without the hearing aids, with the hearing aids from the other Hearing Center, and the hearing aids that Dr. Gil had given me. And there was no comparison.
Joe McElroy, Walnut Creek, CA
After struggling to "get by" for many years, my husband finally agreed that his loss of hearing was causing him to age more rapidly than he should, making him irritated and/or disinterested in company and frustrated most of the time. That was 14 years ago. After failing to get relief from the highly advertised, supposedly hi-tech gadgets guaranteed to enhance hearing, his medical doctor recommended Dr. Gil Magilen. David was negative after all the disappointments, but the excitement and enthusiasm of Dr. Gil was catching. And we were both fascinated by the intricate procedures on the first visit. I'll always remember David's first words as he was hooked up... “so that's what you sound like?” I guess I had never really appreciated just how difficult it is to struggle to hear day after day. Needless to say after a few return visits David came home with two new ears. Honestly, the years dropped away from him and he no longer had that vacant look in company.
As I said, that was 14 years ago. Since then, we both retired and moved from the area and David tried a new audiologist and brand-new hearing aids that were meant to be top-of-the-line. For two years, he struggled with these, going back again and again for adjustments, but still his hearing was getting worse. Finally I said, “Call Dr. Gil and see if he can help you.” We felt a bit awkward not having been for so long, but Dr. Gil immediately returned David's call and said, "Come in!"
This has been far too long of a story, but I am so convinced that there are many people like David who are suffering needlessly to merely join in a pleasant conversation or enjoy their music or television. I am confident that it is not only the hearing aid that has to be operating well, but it is the personalized programming that is so vital. We certainly have no knowledge or experience of anyone who has the knowledge, dedication, and enthusiasm of Dr. Gil, or is willing to take the time necessary to discover the volume highs and lows and all the other intricate adjustment of tones, which I still do not understand. I hope someone will read this and get the help they need from this extraordinary man!
Rita and David Anderson, Elk Grove, CA
Dr. Gil's philosophy concerning his individualized approach to the technical phase of fitting equipment to an individuals' need appears unique to us, as does his use of specialized programs and instrumentation, much of which he has developed himself. We gratefully thank Dr. Magilen for sharing his knowledge and ideas.
Leslie Tint, President, Engineers Club Of Rossmoor, Walnut Creek, CA
I am now once again able to contribute to professional discussions and decision-making because I hear and thoroughly understand what is transpiring. The interpersonal relations that were diminished because of my hearing loss have been restored, and social events no longer cause me concern.
Prof. Randy Hamilton, Goldman School Of Public Policy, U.C. Berkeley, CA
I now hear the traffic, but it doesn't roar. I can understand what's being said on the car radio. I can hear the birds singing. You are a genius!
Ardella Jones, Walnut Creek, CA
I have, over the years, tried a number of people who failed to provide me with benefit. Many have failed, but I am fully satisfied with Dr. Gil and his hearing center. I put it in right after I brush my teeth. That's what makes me smile.
William Lee, Walnut Creek, CA
You did fine-tune my old hearing aids and they were much better, but nothing like the new. Quality of life is far more important. A Happy Camper from Rossmoor.
Carol Howe, Walnut Creek, CA
As the husband of a profoundly hearing-impaired wife, my own life has been made much easier. I no longer have to turn my head to speak to her as I'm driving our car or standing at the sink, she hears me when I answer her question from another room, we carry on a normal conversation in a relatively noisy restaurant, she can hear the television and most of a movie, she now speaks easily with waiters, folks in the elevator, people on the other end of the telephone, etc.
Above all, my wife is happier than I have ever seen her since she began wearing hearing aids.
Allen J. Goebl, San Francisco, CA
The professionalism and expertise demonstrated by the staff far exceeds that of any other hearing aid provider that I have had experience with. My hearing has greatly improved. Joe Oliver, Walnut Creek, CA
Joe Oliver, Walnut Creek, CA
As a musician and teacher, I wore a hearing aid, but the sound wasn't always the best, especially when I played music because I couldn't hear the music as well as I wanted to. I would never go to another office because I am convinced that you are the best. I love my hearing aid because it helps me enjoy the wonderful world of sound. Keep up your fantastic work on behalf of the hearing impaired!
Lisa Dwiggins, Crockett, CA
Having worn hearing aids for some 40 plus years, I turned to the Walnut Creek Hearing Aid Center. I was immediately impressed with the testing process, the experience of Dr. Magilen and his staff, and the approach used in determining my precise hearing loss. Of particular importance to me was the prompt and courteous attention given to me after an adequate period of wearing the new aids.
Bob Pesavento, Walnut Creek, CA
I have been involved with problems concerning hearing for over 30 years and have heard other speakers talk about hearing aids and hearing loss, but I've never quite gotten a handle on it. After hearing you, I am no longer in the dark.
Ronda Bonati, President, Self Help For Hard Of Hearing People, San Francisco, CA
Have a success story of your own to share? We would love to hear it; fill out the form below to send us your feedback.
Joan Knapp is a fictitious name for an actual client whose story needs to be told, and whose privacy should to be respected. The data described are taken from Dr. Gil's client files with her approval.
For most of Joan Knapp's interesting life, she had no difficulty with her hearing. In 1986, when she was 65, she realized her developing hearing loss was affecting her relationships with those she loved most.
During the next 19 years, she purchased several sets of hearing aids from local audiologists and hearing aid dispensers in the Walnut Creek area. The aids provided some help but her hearing abilities and her social life continued to become more and more challenging.
In 2005, she was 84 years old when she heard about Dr. Gil and his new office just outside of her Rossmoor Senior Community.
Dr. Gil found a moderate hearing loss on her left side. The right ear bordered on a severe hearing loss. But that is not what shocked Dr. Gil. Joan's ability to understand the words read to her was only 40% of the words correct, on her better ear. The sound was loud enough for Joan to hear all of the speech sounds she needed to get the words correct, but her brain was not capable of transforming that sound into words.
Using the real ear measurement equipment he developed, Dr. Gil was able to quickly ascertain that she was not receiving the type of hearing correction to avoid that severe deterioration in her speech understanding abilities.
At her "demo", Joan experienced an "amazing" improvement in her ability to hear both sound and speech. That resulted in an immediate improvement to her quality of life. But that wasn't to be the most significant change.
Over the next four years, wearing the hearing aids provided by Dr. Gil, her brain's ability to understand words improved. Her speech understanding scores doubled from 40% words correct to over 80% words correct indicating dramatic cognitive enhancement.
Cognitive enhancement is a typical occurrence with Dr. Gil's clients. The vast majority of new clients seen in 2005 (the year Joan came in) saw their speech understanding improve more than 20%. A third of those clients increased their speech understanding scores by 30%-65%.
In 2010, a new challenge presented itself. When Joan returned for her annual hearing test and hearing aid retuning sessions, Dr. Gil discovered a huge drop in Joan's speech understanding scores down to their levels of five years earlier. Dr. Gil and his staff had seen this type of occurrence many times with other clients he tracks in his database.
Sometimes it correlates with the stress of caring for a disabled spouse, loss of a loved one, or depression resulting in an unwillingness to put their hearing aids in one or both of their ears. Or, it could be related to other factors including medication side effects, a minor stroke, or other nerve damaging processes. In Joan's case, it appeared to be stress caused by a physical condition that was being medically treated. The medications she was taking during that time did not list hearing or cognitive impairment as side effects.
Dr. Gil continued to retest Joan as her medical treatment had its effect. Six months after registering the poor understanding levels, her understanding scores returned back to their pre-illness levels.
The decrease in Joan's cognitive function that occurred by 2005 should probably not have developed. Dr. Gil attributes the decline to the difficult technical challenge that hearing aid providers face in trying to properly fit hearing aids to individual hearing and cognitive needs.
Hearing aids are generally designed to be "fast and easy" to fit to an "acceptable" level. However, Consumer Reports said two-thirds of the hearing aids purchased by their research subjects were "misfit". Dr. Gil believes the traditional presentation of amplification does not provide sound appropriately to maintain cognitive function.