Are you having to turn up the volume on the TV?

As you age, have you noticed people ignore you or mumble? When they're not mumbling, they're yelling? The TV volume needs to be turned up and when you dine out restaurants are noisier so you can't enjoy a conversation?

You could be suffering the beginning of hearing loss and rather than hoping it will go away, you need to tackle the problem.

For some reason, there is a stigma attached to hearing loss.

A hearing aid? Good grief! People will think you're old! No, people are more likely to think you're a dreary old pest if you keep saying, "What's that? Speak up!"

The Office of Hearing Services is a government service that provides free hearing assessments to pensioners and if you need a hearing aid, they will provide one free. All you need is a letter from your GP requesting an assessment.

The thing to do then is to contact Expert Audiology Rehab Solutions (EARS - clever, no?) in Buddina and ask Michael Williams and his staff for an assessment.

Michael will invite you to come along, preferably with a family member, to discuss exactly why you are there and what your needs are. Having someone with you is not only good for morale, they also may have noticed little hearing problems you are unaware of.

During the first consultation, Michael will discuss exactly what your needs are, if you're actually ready to wear a hearing aid (they're no use shoved in a drawer at home), and what kind you need.

There is an ever-growing range of hearing aids available and if you prefer a more sophisticated device, the Office of Hearing Services will partly fund it, as will your private health cover.

Michael is enthusiastic about the Lyric, the latest innovation in hearing aids, that goes in your ear and stays there - no having to take it out to shower or when you go to bed. It can remain there for two to three months at a time.

Whatever kind you need, the staff at EARS will make sure the assessment and provision of a hearing aid will be a friendly, reassuring process and you'll be able to once more play a full role in society.

Think how nice it will be to be able to chat to your grandchildren and friends again as you once did.

Or, if you already have a hearing aid and you're not getting the results you want, don't give up! Call EARS and they'll be happy to help you hear better.

So, obtain your referral from you GP today and contact the friendly staff at EARS on 5452 6288 for an appointment.

Then just go along to their clinic at 5/21 Nicklin Way, Buddina, to solve your hearing problems.

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