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The Westmoreland Journal
King George, Virginia
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July 27, 2016     The Westmoreland Journal
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July 27, 2016
 

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www,journalpress.com THE JOURNAL Wednesday, July 27, 2016 5 I 'l p- PHYLLIS COOK Bert Ferren owns the New Life Hearing Health busi- ness in King George in the First Lady's Shopping Centre next to the King George post office on Route 3. "Having been at this for a long while now, I believe I have a perspective on the industry, hearing loss, and hearing aids;. Ferren said. Forget about what he calls the 'dark age' of hearing aids, with those large banana-shaped appliances perched on the ears for all the world to see. Now they come sized smaller than a penny. "Those were linear processors that merely amplified. Today they are digital. That means they are controlled by a computer chip to give what you need when you need it" Ferren said. Using those old hearing aids in churches and large halls and restaurants was a problem. '=They would just amplify everything; Ferren said. "The old hearing aids had no discrimination and would simply amplify the wall of sound" That was the state of technology then. In about 2002, companies started coming out with dig- ital hearing aids. Now patients are tested on a computer and the hearing aids are programmed on a computer for the various hearing frequencies. "The new hearing aids are little computers. They con- tain an amplifier, processor, two microphones and a chip,"Ferren said. "There is no annoying feedback like in the old days." He's been in the business since 1989. He's had customers dragged in by spouses or with ap- pointments made by close frien~ds, t Sometimes, others notice someone avoiding social situations and suspect the person is mentally slowing down, when often the reason is gradual hearing loss. About every three to five years, most people experi- ence hearing shifts, and they can become more prevalent with aging. Thirty percent of people between the ages of 50 and 59 suffer some degree of hearing loss in one or both ears. Forty-five percent between 60 and 69 have impaired hearing, and it's about 75 percent for hearing impairment in people over 70. "Most people go through about seven years of denial" Ferren said. It happened to him. He said he got grumpy about going out with his wife for social engagements and appeared surly when he seemed to ignore conversations around him. "It just got to the point where I had to take my own advice," Ferren said. "By owning my practice, I'm able to teach, counsel and educate on a very personal level. I've been wearing aids for eight years, for the same issues many people experi- ence, understanding conversations in restaurants, meet- ings, dialogue on television." He said what decided it for him was the state of the technology. i~,fter having worked in private practice and doctor of- rices, it is still satisfying to see the wonder in a patient's face when they allow themselves to hear and understand" Ferren provides a full m0ney-back guarantee to all customers during a 30-day trial period. He opened his business in King George a year ago next month. "In the past year, I've no returns. Once they put the hearing aids in, they get it. They see what all the fuss was about" Ferren advises all of his patients to stop back about every three months for cleaning and any adjustments needed. That after-care free.It's part of his service for hearing aid purchasers. Customers may make an appointment by calling 540- 775-5400, or stop by to see if they can catch Ferren be- tween appointments. New Life Hearing Healths address is 7971 Kings High- way in King George, at the Route 3 end of the block of businesses a few doors down from King's Pizza. Photos by Phyllis Cook New Life Hearing Health busi- ness owner Bert Ferren has tips for seniors who are experiencing hearing loss. ~D'~~ !'m Ju I PURE TONE-SPEECH-BONE CONDUCTIVITY-VIDEO ODOSCOPE Financing available It'= really I Ic wn I: Subject to credit approval that small! CUSTOM ITE IN THE EAR CUSTOM ITC IN THE CANAL RETAIL $650 7971 Kings Highway, King George VA 22485 540-775-5400 HearWell 13@gm ail. corn www, NewLifeHearingHealth.com