BROCKVILLE- Dealing with a hearing loss may be one of the toughest health challenges you face in life, but Sophie Cushing can help you make the transition to hearing aids much easier and certainly with less stress.
Cushing presently has two hearing clinics - one in Brockville and one in Iroquois - with another opening in October at the Prescott Medical Centre on King Street. She is excited about adding another outlet which allows her to help people who are looking for an improvement in their situation.
"People are scared of getting hearing aids and some of them see it as a sign of aging," says Cushing. "Actually, your hearing loss is much more visible to others than any hearing aid will ever be."
Today's hearing aids are virtually invisible in certain cases. Gone are the days of large, bulky additions to your glasses. Some are so small they fit into the ear canal with a tiny wire for easy removal and are all but unseen by those around you.
"We are seeing a healthier more vibrant seniors' group now than we did even 15 years ago and people are more socially interactive and concerned about what they're missing," she explains. "And because we have a generation which has been raised on headphones, we are seeing people younger and younger coming to us."
Cushing admits that there is a lot more "noise pollution" in today's world, and people should be paying more attention to what is healthy and what could cause minor hearing loss later on. Video games and phones all seem to be connected to headphones these days and people should be aware of the sound levels they choose.
"The average age people start looking for hearing aids now is 57 as compared to much later just a generation ago."
She herself is a third generation hearing specialist, following in the footsteps of her father and grandfather. She opened her first clinic in 2016 after rigorous study and 1,000 hours of internship. She truly enjoys her work and that fact is evident in the cheerful, outgoing attitude present in her clinics. Cushing is an independent healthcare practitioner and acts as a broker for several hearing-aid manufacturers, so she is always going to find the best deal while keeping a client's particular needs in mind.
"I know hearing aids can be expensive and I try to work within people's budgets while getting them the most-up-to-date technology possible," she says. "We are very much client-focused, and we are going to do everything we can to find the right solution for the individual person.
"Everyone is an individual and every client is special and unique when they come here," she adds.
The Prescott clinic will be opening this month and will be available three days a week for the first six months, as the need grows. Cushing says that clinic will be staffed by a very qualified technician, Kathleen Lowe.
"Kathleen is truly qualified for this position, as she has a hearing impairment herself - she understands what each client is facing in a very serious, empathetic way," says Cushing. "She is also local, so she understands the community as well."
In the meantime, 1000 Islands Hearing will continue its fulltime operations in Iroquois and Brockville. Both clinics are fully staffed with kind, qualified hearing specialists who know their communities and their clientele.
If you have been putting off going for a hearing test, you can trust the professionals who work with Sophie Cushing. They'll make you feel comfortable and cared for, and they will make sure you are hearing everything you should be - you'll feel better and look younger when you stop missing out on all the important things there are to hear in your life.
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