With more hours, a wide selection of hearing aids and a promise of great customer care, locally owned and operated Powell River Hearing is celebrating one year of helping the community not only hear better, but live better.
Located on Joyce Avenue, Powell River Hearing specializes in providing hearing tests with personalized consultations, hearing aids to suit all needs and budgets, as well as aural rehabilitative counselling and options for tinnitus management.
Before opening the clinic, owner and longtime Powell River resident Shannon Miller had a 20-year career in public health. She is a registered hearing instrument practitioner with the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC.
“I’m delighted with the degree to which Powell River has embraced a locally owned hearing clinic,” says Shannon. “The past year of helping my clients hear better has just been amazing.”
One factor that sets Shannon apart from other hearing aid providers in town is her connections in health care and her ability to help advocate for the growing number of seniors who receive health care support in their own homes.
She notes that while many seniors live with hearing loss, they are not the only ones who grapple with the condition. Workers who are, or were, exposed to regular workplace noise are a growing number of people, and they are seeking help. Shannon says that’s one of the reasons why she approached WorkSafeBC to have her clinic be recognized as a member of WorkSafeBC’s network of service providers.
“Powell River Hearing is now part of a large group of service providers, including others locally, that are WorkSafeBC approved,” she adds.
The great part of being part of this network is that it gives third party clients options, explains Shannon.
“If you are unsatisfied with your service provider you can easily switch to another without any hassle, simply present with your third party identification and tell me what you need,” she says. “I’ll do the rest.”
Wearing proper hearing protection is the best way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss.
“If you have tinnitus and have exposed yourself to excessive noise, you might consider having your hearing tested.”
Shannon can provide custom earmoulds designed to protect hearing from excessive noise and for those who use sleeper plugs, swim plugs and communication earpieces. Powell River Hearing is also able to assist clients covered under federally funded programs that provide benefits for veterans, RCMP and status first nations people.
“If you are a person with a disability and have hearing loss you could be eligible for hearing aid benefits as well,” adds Shannon.
One challenge Shannon has run into is not being able to assist some local people who bought hearing aids from other providers. Some people are discovering their hearing aids can only be serviced by the company that sold them, she says.
“Because some hearing aid brands are proprietary, they don’t share any of their supplies, replacement parts, or fitting software with independent shops,” she adds. “This is unfortunate if people don’t know this before they purchase.”
Shannon says it’s always best to purchase hearing aids close to home as it could save money and hassle in the long run should the purchaser require a repair or adjustment. One has to assess cost savings with service provision; in the first six months of wearing hearing aids, a person may have to make as many as half a dozen follow-up visits before everything is fitted optimally, she adds.
Built into the cost of hearing aids is a client care plan at Powell River Hearing, in addition to batteries, warranties and consumables.
Before jumping at offers elsewhere that promise what seems to be significant savings, Shannon encourages potential customers to talk to her first.
“I welcome everybody to come in and compare what I can provide against the price they think they can get from another clinic; they'll be quite surprised,” she says. “There are real benefits to shopping local for hearing aids.”
Shannon is offering $500 off the cost of the new Oticon Opn1S rechargeable and non-rechargeable hearing aids during July.
Powell River Hearing is open 9 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday or by appointment.
More information about the clinic and the services it offers can be found online at powellriverhearing.com or by calling 604.485.0036.