Life-long hearing aid user Jared Teter, Au.D., knew he would end up in the hearing health business as an adult, he just wasn’t sure if he’d be a speech pathologist or audiologist. After 14 years as owner of Hearcare Hearing in Penfield, New York, he thinks he’s found his niche.
“Audiology just fit me better,” he said. “People like it when they come in and see I am a life-long hearing aid user. Sometimes I can come up with solutions others may not think of.”
Dr. Teter attributes his clinic’s success to being small and family-owned. “We can spend more time with each client than bigger practices,” he said. A tinkerer by hobby, he’s adept at fixing most hearing aids himself in the office. “Just because you didn’t buy your hearing aid from us, don’t be afraid to bring it here for repair.”
Hearcare Hearing works with children and adults, providing home visits to qualified patients. Additionally, they offer their clients a 75-day trial period and free batteries for the life of the hearing instrument. Other staff members include Dr. Teter’s wife and father.
“Our personal goal is to provide our patients with an optimal solution that will accommodate their hearing loss, life style and budget,” Dr. Teter said. “We focus on patient care, follow up and quality products. We provide a very personable experience in a warm and friendly environment.”
Dr. Teter is a firm believer in providing trial periods and equipment demonstrations for his patients. “Some people have lived with hearing loss for so long, that’s their normal,” he said “A demo allows new users to perceive value in the investment we’re asking them to make. More times than not, that will convince patients to try a trial period and lead them to success.”
One patient, whose ENT told her a hearing aid wouldn’t help her, lived for 18 years without treatment for her hearing loss. A baseline hearing test indicated she had residual hearing so Dr. Teter convinced her to do a trial. As a result, she has worn two hearing aids for the past 10 years. “That experience really goes to show how well qualified audiologists are in the recommendations they make.”
Hearing health has changed significantly since Dr. Teter was a boy. Hearing aids have become smaller and more discreet and are a lot less occluded, which makes for a more natural listening experience. “Feedback cancellation is much improved, too,” he said. “If you would have opened up the ear canal10-15 years ago, sound would have escaped and the hearing aid would whistle. And blue tooth technology makes it possible for hearing aids to receive signals from wireless devices, which creates optimal hearing solutions.”
Dr. Teter prides himself in keeping overhead low and passing the savings onto his customers. Clients know they can stop by anytime for a cup of coffee and to pick up a fresh set of batteries.
“Fitting the hearing aids is the most enjoyable part of my job because you can see the change in someone’s life within 20 minutes. It’s the best part of what we do. For our clients to come back with positive feedback and refer their friends and family is wonderful.”