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Making a pitch to those who want to listen in a bit better

Karen Fritsch, general manager for the Perfect Pitch in Elmira, is eager to help you with your hearing problems. [FAISAL ALI / The Observer]

It can sometimes be hard to detect, but hearing loss, when it occurs, can have a profound impact on a person’s life. For adults of any age, whether it’s at work, at the social club, out with friends or just in the day-to-day interactions, those slight gaps in audibility can severely inhibit a person’s abilities.

Fortunately for those affected, there are a lot of solutions out there, and the newly-opened Elmira business, Perfect Pitch, is here to provide them.

“We’re about servicing the adult population in the entire Woolwich community,” says Karen Fritsch, manager of Perfect Pitch and a professional hearing instrument specialist. “And we really want to offer the best solutions for the needs of anybody who requires help with their hearing loss.”

Opening late last month on Church Street, just west of the Arthur St. intersection, Perfect Pitch offers a variety of services to assist with hearing loss. There are hearing aids available for those who need them, and personal amplification devices for a smaller boost when an aid is not prescribed. Fritsch is also certified in wax removal, and can keep a person’s ears clear and free from blockages.

But perhaps the most important service offered at Perfect Pitch is the free hearing assessment, which can help people pinpoint the best solution for them.

“We would do a full hearing assessment to determine whether or not they need hearing aids. And then if they need hearing aids I would help them choose the correct one to meet their lifestyle,” explains Fritsch of the process, adding that each solution is very much tailored to the individual’s life and health-care expectations.

Even for those who aren’t entirely sure if they are experiencing hearing loss or not, Fritsch encourages them to come in to Perfect Pitch anyways to get a better understanding of just exactly what the problem might be.

“I would recommend that they do come for that hearing test so that I can help them establish their hearing needs. And once you have a baseline of your hearing, we can move forward from there,” she says. “I have lots of different options, whether it’s just an assistive living device, or if we move to hearing aids.”

When a hearing aid is indeed called for, it can still take a while for clients to get used to their new devices. The technology has vastly improved in recent years, and aids can range significantly by size and shape, different battery types like disposable or rechargeable, and extra features like Bluetooth capability. To help with the options, Perfect Pitch offers a 90-day trial period for people to really test their hearing aids and grow comfortable using them.

But while it can take time to get used to a new device for some, the improvements, Fritsch notes, can sometimes be felt almost immediately.

“It can be very overwhelming for some people,” she says. “That they are just touched so emotionally and they’re so happy to be hearing again.

“Either at work they’re communicating better, or hearing their family better. Being able to communicate with their children or their parents. It can be very touching that they didn’t realize the happiness that they can get back into their life when they’re able to hear again.”

Fritsch agrees that people are sometimes uncomfortable wearing a hearing aid because of the negative stigma associated with it, but she points out that ear devices are increasingly becoming the norm. People often use headphones, for example, as well as ear pieces to talk on the phone, while hearing aid technology is constantly improving to become smaller and less obtrusive.

“They shouldn’t be afraid to use that technology because there are such great advancements out there,” she says. “If you’re hearing better then you’re communicating better, and you’re not drawn out of your social situation. So we like to keep people socially active and meeting all of their communication needs.”

With a free hearing assessment on offer, and a friendly and knowledgeable staff on hand, there are plenty of incentives to head to Perfect Pitch. Fritsch is welcoming everyone to come by to discuss their hearing situation with her, while noting that they are focussed on assisting the adult demographic in the community.

Besides hearing instruments, Perfect Pitch also sells a variety of assistive living devices to help with all manner of problems, such as phones with enlarged number pads for the sight-challenged, making it a one-stop-shop for all those quality of life improving needs.

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