Seven to 10 years: that’s how long the average person waits to have their hearing checked after first noticing a problem. But waiting that long could result in irreversible damage that can’t be helped by a hearing aid, says Andrea Fisher, owner of Tymber Hearing Care. She has been a Hearing Instrument Practitioner in Huntsville for more than 10 years and is proud to have recently opened her own independent, privately-owned office.
What level of hearing care you might need and when you might need it depends on many factors, including things such as genetics, past exposure to noise at work or play, and general aging. But just like you go to a dentist or optometrist for preventative dental and eye care, you should visit a hearing practitioner after the age of 50 to monitor your hearing health too.
If that seems, young, it’s not. “Hopefully when you come in at that age, there aren’t any concerns but it allows us to establish a baseline,” says Andrea. “Hearing health may be invisible, but it’s critical. Humans are communicative by nature and not hearing well can cause stress and affect our overall health. Being proactive is important.”
If you experience hearing loss, you might not be too concerned about it at first. Maybe you don’t hear those birds in the distance anymore, or you have a hard time hearing someone speaking when you’re in a crowd (people tend to mumble these days, don’t they?). Or maybe that ringing noise or buzzing in your ears is making it harder to hear (everything will be fine when that stops, right?).
But those are signs that you should have your hearing checked soon — not in seven to 10 years like the average person.
Often when our hearing begins to decline, it’s a specific frequency range that we lose. You might still hear really well in low base tones — the vowels in words or background noise, for example — but you don’t hear the birds singing anymore or you have a hard time distinguishing the consonants in words. And persistent ringing or buzzing is your ears’ way of telling you that something is wrong.
Andrea Fisher, owner and hearing practitioner at Tymber Hearing Care
So what can you expect at your first appointment?
At your first visit, Andrea likes to get to know you a bit and understand your health, your history, your concerns, and the type of noise you may have been exposed to in the past.
Then she’ll do some testing — it’s not painful — and review the results, letting you know how and why you might be having trouble hearing, and what can be done to help. “And if there are some concerns and a hearing device is recommended, we can talk about that too, but you have to be ready to have that conversation,” says Andrea. “If someone is not ready, that’s okay. There is no pressure.”
Hearing aid technology has come a long way and most are discrete and “very smart little things”, says Andrea. They can separate background from speech and can mitigate any feedback that might have caused squealing or whistling in older-style devices.
Because she is a private practitioner, Andrea has access to every one of the hearing device manufacturers and offers a wide range of styles at a variety of price levels, unlike what might be offered at manufacturer-owned or franchise hearing care centres. And it’s important to know what you’re paying for and be comfortable with who you’re receiving care from, says Andrea.
“It doesn’t matter where you go, you have to be comfortable with the person you’re dealing with. It is a long-term relationship that includes follow-up care for hearing counselling and adjustments, as well as device maintenance and any needed repairs. Be sure you know what your hard-earned money is being invested in,” says Andrea, adding that Tymber Hearing Care keeps costs below provincial guidelines and has payment plans available. “We’re here to work with you to find the right product at the right price point.”
According to the Canadian Hearing Society, “hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic condition in older adults and the most widespread disability”, but only one in five people with hearing loss pursue a hearing device. While Andrea says she would never fit someone with a hearing aid if they aren’t comfortable with it, “we can have a really good outcome if we act on it at the appropriate time.”
As a fifth-generation resident of Huntsville, Andrea is committed to providing quality hearing care to the community she grew up in and loves.
“It’s an honour to have the opportunity to care for our local community and provide these important services,” she says. “We pride ourselves in being a local, trusted, transparent hearing care office and base our recommendations on what each individual needs.”
Tymber Hearing Care is located at 4 Elm Street, Unit 2, in Huntsville. For more information visit tymberhearing.ca or call 705-789-HEAR (4327).
This is a sponsored story paid for by the featured advertiser