Business brings back sounds of life

REED CITY — Sound is one of the pieces of life that many people take for granted, but something most would miss if it was suddenly gone.

Michigan Hearing is a resource for those who believe they are losing their sense of hearing or simply want a check-up.

Erica Oswald is the hearing instrument specialist, and for the last 10 years she has been offering hearing tests, determining hearing loss and deciding what type of hearing aids will benefit each patient before fitting them.

The business can serve both adults and children, providing them with care and assistance to make them hear the sounds they may have been missing.

“Seeing the joy on people’s face when they can hear after not hearing for so long ... that was worth it all and I’ve done it ever since,” Oswald said. “When they come to pick up their hearing aids or come back for their first check afterward, they tell me all of the wonderful things they’ve heard that they haven’t heard in years.”

Michigan Hearing has offices located in both Reed City and Big Rapids, which provides two convenient locations for customers.

HERALD REVIEW: Give a brief explanation about the business.

OSWALD: We test for hearing loss and we fit hearing aids.

How was the business established?

OSWALD: The business was established in 1998 in the Detroit area. They opened the Reed City office in 2006 and then opened the Big Rapids location.

What sets Michigan Hearing apart from other similar businesses?

OSWALD: We service hearing aids for forever. There’s never a service charge. We have very individualized testing and fitting. We work with any brand of hearing aids, we’re not just set on one brand. We can look at somebody’s hearing loss and pick which brand we think is going to fit their hearing loss and budget the best.

What are the types of issues or trends is the business seeing more of?

OSWALD: What we see a lot of is people with noise-induced hearing loss from working around loud sounds throughout their lives. We see a lot of that. There are a lot of people who are uninformed about hearing loss and hearing aids. Technology has changed greatly over the years. So what people might know of their parents’ hearing aids that they didn’t like or the problems they had, with the changes in technology, hearing aids are much better today.

How do you give back to the community?

OSWALD: We always do expos, health fairs and things like that. We go to senior centers, commissions on aging and assisted living facilities. We’ll go there and clean hearing aids and do testing. The founder of the company does a veteran program that we donate to, which is a nationwide program.

Why are hearing checks so important?

OSWALD: We recommend annual hearing screenings because it’s much easier to treat hearing loss the sooner it’s found. The longer you wait, the worse it can get and the harder it is to treat. Annual hearing screenings are very important so you always know what’s going on with your hearing. We give free hearing tests.

What do you see in the future regarding hearing loss assistance?

OSWALD: With the baby boomers approaching us, there are a lot more people that are going to have hearing loss. I think we’re going to be seeing more people. The technology changes every day, so it’s fitting the needs of people. People want small hearing aids that are invisible and that are very comfortable.