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Audiology alum passionate about the people she helps

Posted by Stephanie Brown and Andrew Pelrine on May 31, 2024 in News, School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Alumni & Friends
Lyndsay Bozec (MSc ’14) opened her own hearing clinic and does a yearly hearing aid giveaway. Photo: Callen Singer Photography
Lyndsay Bozec (MSc ’14) opened her own hearing clinic and does a yearly hearing aid giveaway. Photo: Callen Singer Photography

Lyndsay Bozec (BSc '09, MSc ’14) didn’t always know what she wanted to do, but she knew she wanted to be in healthcare and help people.

Now, she has her own audiology clinic, and to give back to her community she does a yearly giveaway to help those who need hearing aids but can’t afford them.

After working in various research labs and graduating from Dal with a BSc degree with first class honours Lyndsay felt she needed a change of pace. On a whim and not knowing a soul, she moved to Ireland where she worked for the Irish Tenancies Board and spent her weekends traveling mainland Europe.  A year later she moved home, returned to her old research position, and applied to the Master of Science Program in Audiology at Dal.   

“Audiology was always something I had considered as hearing loss runs in my family. My grandmother was born deaf in one ear, and I have an uncle with an acoustic neuroma - a benign and slow growing tumor in the ear.’

Bozec began looking into a career as an audiologist more seriously and began shadowing audiologists in Halifax, and that’s when she realized this is what she saw herself doing.

“The day I received my acceptance letter into the program was honestly one of the most exciting days of my life. I remember calling my family and friends in tears to share the news. Everyone knew how badly I wanted to become an audiologist. It was a very, very exciting time in my life.”

Affordable and accessible

Bozec is passionate about hearing aids being accessible for everyone.

“I believe hearing healthcare should be accessible for everyone. In the beginning of my career, I found it extremely difficult to tell patients hearing aids would be of significant benefit to their quality of life knowing some may not be able to afford them. “

She still struggles with this today, but she does her best to ensure her patients are aware of any possible funding opportunities. She also offers and interest-free payment plan at the clinic which has helped many patients afford hearing aids.

Now that Bozec has spent over a decade in the profession, she loves being able to make a positive impact on patients’ lives.

Bozec opened Clayton Park Audiology and Hearing Aid Centre in June of 2023 and says she has had several former patients find and follow her to her new clinic.

 “I often question if I am doing enough for my patients or if I could be doing more, I think a lot of healthcare professionals think this way, and so having so many patients find me has been the biggest compliment and I cannot express how grateful I am for their support of my small family-owned clinic.”

Giving back to the community

Bozec’s clinic gives away a pair of hearing aids and related hearing services to someone who needs them every year. She says there are so many who can benefit from hearing aids, yet many people aren’t able to afford them.

“As much as I know I am helping people, it will always upset me to know that there are still so many for whom hearing aids will never be attainable.”

“Choosing just one recipient is always very difficult as I want to help everyone. I take into consideration the functional impact a recipient’s hearing loss has on their quality of life as well as their financial situation.”

Bozec unexpectedly gifted two recipients for her 2023 giveaway due to the high number of applicants. One of their recipients was a man who had gone over 30 years with hearing loss, and had been wearing some one’s hearing aids that didn’t fit. The other recipient is a young woman in her 30’s who has hearing loss from birth and now works in a very busy setting. She wore her old hearing aids for years, but now is not covered for funding so couldn’t afford new ones after they stopped working.

"After hearing her story, I couldn’t not choose her as a recipient as well. Both recipients' stories make me very emotional."

Advocating for shorter wait times and regular hearing check ups

Bozec’s clinic sees children as well as adults. Having 6-year-old identical twin girls of her own who’ve had hearing struggles early in life, Bozec is acutely aware and disappointed with how timely it can be for children (and adults) to have their hearing assessed through the provincial system.

 “Our clinic has identified several children with hearing loss over the past year. Parents who do not want to wait months to be seen through the province are calling in to book appointments. Untreated hearing loss can have a significant impact on learning early in life and so waiting several months for a hearing test is unacceptable.”

Bozec says people go get their eyes and teeth checked regularly, but not their hearing. It’s something she says should be done before children start school, throughout school, and throughout adulthood.

For those who need hearing aids, Bozec says there has been a significant improvement in hearing aid technology in recent years. “Today, hearing aids can correct 90% of hearing loss cases. They aren’t big and bulky like they used to be. They can connect to smartphones and other devices via Bluetooth. Patients are enjoying them. They really have come a long way.”

Bozec has also observed a shift in the age of patients who are being fit with hearing aids over the years. “We are seeing a lot of younger patients embrace hearing aids. Patients are choosing fun bright colours and aren’t as concerned with hiding them anymore. I always remind my patients that children wear hearing aids too and so it is important that we try to overcome the archaic stigma connected to hearing loss.”

Advice for aspiring audiologists

Bozec says she would recommend the profession of audiology to anyone who is passionate about working with the public and helping others. “It is an incredibly rewarding profession! We get to help patients hear their loved ones again or rediscover an old hobby they’ve given up on because of their hearing loss.”

Over the years Bozec says she’s compiled a mental list of all the unique sounds patients were surprised to hear again after being fit with hearing aids. Some very emotional and others comical.

“Most patients are bursting to tell me what they’ve heard with their hearing aids. It never gets old for me. I just love this part of my job! From the sound of a peeler gliding across a potato, to bacon sizzling in a pan, to patient’s who’ve realized their toilet had been dripping for who knows how long and gentlemen who’ve brought their vehicles into the shop to be looked at due to a ‘weird’ sound.”

“It really is a rewarding profession.”