When Rick Ediger married into a family of hearing aid specialists, he had no intention of joining the business. However, once he learned how much hearing aids could improve someone’s quality of life, he found his calling. In 1982, Rick received his license as a hearing instrument specialist, and shortly after, along with his wife Debra, opened Ediger Hearing Aid Service in Topeka.
The business offers personalized hearing aid fittings, hearing aid repairs for most major brands, custom earmold impressions, hearing aid batteries, assistive listening devices such as TV Ears, consultations and more. “Service is key, and we always let our patients know we are here for them from fitting to service,” says Rick.
He also offers free hearing tests. “I think everyone should have a hearing test because it's just like getting a physical or having your eyes checked.”
During an exam, he uses a video otoscope to look inside the ears to make sure the eardrums are healthy. “If I see an abundance of wax, it needs to be removed, or God forbid, I see a tumor or a cyst,” says Rick. “That's when we need to send them to a medical doctor right away.”
Now, it's more important than ever to get our ears checked. “About eleven years ago, a professor from Johns Hopkins found that if the brain isn't getting fed sounds, you're starving it, and people can see a 30% to 40% faster decline in mental function and are more likely to develop dementia,” he says. Hearing also affects your balance, which can be dangerous, especially for older people.
Of course, hearing aids have come a long way since he started. “We still have behind the ear hearing aids, but they’re so much smaller and more comfortable,” says Rick. “Others go deep into the canal and can barely be seen. Many are now rechargeable and that's a big deal because people can spend $80 to $100 a year on batteries.” Some hearing aids actually have Bluetooth technology and can be adjusted through a Smartphone, which is very convenient.
It’s critical to go to a specialist when it comes to hearing aids. “No two ears are alike and everybody needs something a little different. Even after 40 years of fitting hearing aids, I still get excited about the new technologies they are inventing, and they are still working to perfect hearing aids to be even better!”
Being in business for so many years means he’s watched many of his patients age gracefully. “We are blessed to have patients that are loyal to us,” he says. “Some are third-generation families that have worn and are still wearing our hearing aids.” The business is also part of the nationwide Audibel Network, which aims to provide the greatest hearing care experience possible by abiding to high standards in everything they do.
To find out more about Ediger Hearing Aid Service, go to topekahearing.com. You Should Hear What You Are Missing!