The following was provided by The Sarnia Journal.
“You need your hearing checked.”
For the third time that night, I’d asked my wife to turn up the volume on the TV. My wife is a lot smarter than I am. Maybe she’s right, I thought.
After all, I love my dentist, and see her at least twice a year. I’m visually impaired, and see my eye surgeon every three months. So why have I never had my hearing checked?
A little research to determine Sarnia’s most caring hearing specialist (they’re called audiologists) led me to the delightful family team of Doctor of Audiology Kathleen and Hearing Instrument Specialist Carl Schneiker at 3-1403 Michigan Avenue.
Schneiker Audiology Services (SAS), unlike many businesses in Sarnia crippled by the coronavirus pandemic, has flourished – so much so, that they’ve just welcomed 30-year-old Dr. of Audiology Johnathan Dirks to their team. Dr. Dirks, born and raised in Courtright and Mooretown, left a practice in Fort Lauderdale to join SAS.
As a man in my 70s, I recognize the concept of “old-world service.” That style of caring, attentive and personalized service is abundantly apparent at Schneiker Audiology. You feel like these people really want to help you. Their customary one-hour appointments provide the time to do so.
I really like these people, I thought. But Dr. Johnathan Dirks told me some startling facts about hearing loss that I never knew. For example, hearing loss is the third most serious health care issue in Ontario after diabetes and cancer.
Over half of the population over age 40 and two- thirds of Ontarians over 60 suffer hearing loss. It is also the province’s most common work-re- lated injury; especially in Sarnia. Schneiker works with a large number of Chemical Valley patients and WSIB trade union claimants – even helping many afflicted workers with their claims.
Old-world service indeed. As a visually-impaired person, I know that, given the daunting choice, most people would choose to live blind rather than deaf. Who would choose to live without music, or gifted oratory, or the sound of a loved-one’s voice?
No – hearing loss is not something to ignore. “We were very lucky to get John,” Kathleen Schneiker told me about the new addition to her family team. “He came just at the right time.”
Dr. Dirks told me that, in joining SAS, one thing really surprised him. “In Florida,” he told me, “Most people won’t drive more that five minutes to see a hearing specialist.” But so loyal are SAS clients, and so delighted are they by the level of personalized care, that they come from as far away as Hamilton to use their services.
Old-world service is still highly valued in Sarnia.
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