May is Better Hearing Month, and hearing is still an essential part of communication, even in a virtual world. That’s why the Bradford HearingLife Centre continues to encourage residents to book a free hearing test to ensure the auditory system has not been impacted in any way during the pandemic.
Located at 61 Holland St. West, the clinic works with clients to determine the symptoms and type of hearing loss, treatments needed to correct or aid with hearing, and provides prevention tools to avoid further hearing loss. No doctor referrals are needed for an appointment.
“Everyone should get their hearing tested at some point,” notes Sara Finlay, client service administrator with Bradford’s HearingLife. “Anyone with WSIB, Veterans Affairs, or ODSP… if they complete an application and their hearing loss was induced by loud noise, they could be eligible for free hearing aids paid for through their elective service.”
The clinic’s audiologist, Nicolas Petrera, has been treating clients in town for over 10 years and has worked in the hearing healthcare field for 13. He developed an interest in the hearing industry through his experiences in private health care practices as a hearing instrument specialist. In 2008, Petrera pursued a Doctorate of Audiology from the State University of New York, Buffalo, specializing in the adult and geriatric population.
“Nick just really wants to help people hear better – it’s his purpose in life,” shares Finlay.
Petrera shares when you book your no-charge hearing test, you can expect to discuss your hearing concerns, medical history and communication needs, a visual inspection of the ear (Otoscopy), a comprehensive audiological evaluation, and a final discussion of results and recommendations.
“Your hearing and safety are top priorities, and guidelines provided by local authorities are always followed,” states Petrera. “[I] enjoy helping people hear better as hearing aids improve overall quality of life for most people.”
Finlay and Petrera both strive to provide excellent customer service to their clients and continue to educate the community on the signs of hearing loss.
“Hearing connects us to our world so we can receive love and connect with the world,” says Finlay, noting they have seen less people during Covid due to cleaning between clients and sanitizing. “I love seeing the clients and welcoming them into the clinic… we want to make them feel important and listen to their stories.”
Finlay notes the clinic has had to temporarily stop certain services due to Covid restrictions such as providing loaner hearing aids for clients who have their own hearing aid in repairs. However, all HearingLife clinics continue their National Campaign for Better Hearing, donating $4 from every hearing test towards people who can not afford hearing aids. Devices can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 (and is not covered by OHIP).
“We’ve given away three sets of hearing aids this year,” says Finlay.
The clinic continues to remind community members what the five signs of hearing loss are:
- Mumbling – you can hear but not understand everything
- Complaints that the TV is too loud or you can’t hear it *popular*
- Difficulties hearing with background noise
- Withdrawal from social situations because “they can’t keep up”
Ways to assist with hearing impairment are:
- Face the person when speaking
- Talk slower and move closer (except during a pandemic)
- Get the person’s attention before speaking
- Position your back to other noises/distractions
- Recommend a hearing test or hearing aid adjustment
For more information or to book your FREE hearing test, contact the Bradford HearingLife Centre here.