A hearing device company is offering free hearing tests in Kemptville and Merrickville. Hearing Instrument Specialist, Kathleen Lowe, is passionate about helping people who may be struggling with hearing loss. As someone who has worn hearing aids since she was four, she understands the unique challenges of someone who is hard of hearing, and hopes to help them find a solution through one of the many Miracle-Ear products.
Kathleen says that old hearing aids used to be all about volume. These days, they are digital and can be programmed to target a person’s specific type of hearing loss. “Digital hearing aids have made a huge difference,” Kathleen says. “I remember being able to hear a bird chirp for the first time.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, some signs of hearing loss are: muffling of speech and other sounds; difficulty understanding words, especially in places like a noisy restaurant; trouble hearing consonants; frequently asking people to speak more slowly, clearly and loudly; needing to turn up the volume on the television or radio; withdrawal from conversations; and avoidance of social settings.
With the 20-minute test, Kathleen can pinpoint what type of hearing loss a person has and suggest what products may be beneficial for them to try. She will take into consideration a person’s lifestyle and budget, and create a plan that will work for them. “Everyone has the perception that hearing aids are expensive,” she says. “They come in different levels.”
Kathleen says Miracle-Ear has a program with DesJardins, which helps people finance hearing aids to relieve some of the financial burden. The cost can be spread out over three years, with the person paying minimum payments every month, interest-free. “It’s a nice way not to have to fork it out all at once,” Kathleen says.
That being said, Kathleen says there is no obligation to purchase anything during an appointment. If she finds there is little to no hearing loss, she will suggest they book another appointment in a year to re-assess. “It’s always good to check your hearing yearly,” she says.
Kathleen is also happy to adjust hearing aids for people who may be unhappy with how they sound, and she goes into retirement homes regularly to look at the senior’s ears and hearing aids, free of charge. Miracle-Ear also sells custom hearing protection for people who use or work around noisy equipment. Even people who cut their lawn could use hearing protection, Kathleen says.
The free hearing tests are run out of Rideau Crossing Family Health Centre every Friday, from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Kathleen is in Merrickville every second and fourth Tuesday of the month, at the doctor’s office at 28 St. John Street. To book an appointment, call their office in Brockville at 613-342-0888.