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Protect Your Ears This 4th of July

Posted on July 1, 2013 at 7:53 PM Comments comments (223)
Protect Your Ears This 4th of July, 
Stone’s Hearing Aid Service Urges Community

The Stone’s Hearing Aid Service Family is urging people to use sound judgment and ear plugs in celebrating the 4th of July, America’s noisiest day of the year. The single bang of a firecracker at close range can permanently damage hearing in an instant. Loudness is measured in decibels, with silence measuring at approximately 20 dB sound pressure level (SPL). Any noise above 85 dB SPL is considered unsafe. Most firecrackers produce sounds starting at 125 dB SPL–presenting the risk of irreversible ear damage.
 
We are asking that people pack earplugs when heading out to this year’s 4th of July celebrations and is advising them to exercise safety whenever around fireworks. The single bang of a firecracker at close range can permanently damage hearing in an instant. But by following some simple precautions, people can enjoy the 4th of July festivities and still protect their hearing.
 
The best advice we can offer is to leave the fireworks to the professionals and sit at a comfortable distance from the display, where you can enjoy the colors and lights, but not expose yourself and your family to loud noises. To protect your hearing, make sure you are wearing ear plugs and that they are securely in place before the show begins. And be sure to keep them in for the entire show.
 
Disposable ear plugs, made of foam or silicone, are typically available at local pharmacies. They are practical because you still can hear music and the conversation of those around you when you have them in your ears. But when they fit snugly, they are effective in adequately blocking out dangerously loud sounds.
 
Noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. Ten million Americans have already suffered irreversible hearing damage from noise; and 30 million are exposed to dangerous noise levels each day.
 

According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, consumption of fireworks in the United States has risen dramatically over the past decade, from 152.2 million pounds in 2000 to 213.9 million pounds in 2009. As more and more Americans come into contact with fireworks, it becomes increasingly important that people follow sound safety measures, including the use of ear protection.
 
The Dangers and Signs of Loud Noise
 
Loudness is measured in decibels, with silence measuring at 0 dB. Any noise above 85 dB is considered unsafe. Most firecrackers produce sounds starting at 125 dB–presenting the risk of irreversible ear damage. Repeated exposure to loud noise, over an extended period of time, presents serious risks to hearing health as well. If you have to shout over the noise to be heard by someone within arm's length, the noise is probably in the dangerous range. Here are other warning signs:
 
·         You have pain in your ears after leaving a noisy area.
 
·         You hear ringing or buzzing (tinnitus) in your ears immediately after exposure to noise.
 
·         You suddenly have difficulty understanding speech after exposure to noise; you can hear people talking but can't understand them.
 
Anyone can take the first step to addressing hearing loss by taking a simple, interactive screening test in the privacy of their own home by going to www.hearingcheck.orgif there is a hearing concern, please visit Stone’s Hearing Aid Service for a more comprehensive hearing evaluation for free .
 
Prevention is so critical to preserving our hearing, especially for children who are at highest risk for noise-induced hearing loss.  Make sure your family and friends fully enjoy the holiday festivities and celebrate smart. Leave the fireworks to the professionals. Stay a safe distance away. And pack the earplugs. Remember: close to 40 percent of hearing loss is preventable with proper protection.
 
Protecting Our Hearing
 
We hear sound when delicate hair cells in our inner ear vibrate, creating nerve signals that the brain understands as sound. But just as we can overload an electrical circuit, we also can overload these vibrating hair cells. Loud noise damages these delicate hair cells, resulting in sensorineural hearing loss and often tinnitus (ringing of the ears). The cells that are the first to be damaged or die are those that vibrate most quickly–those that allow us to hear higher-frequency sounds clearly, like the sounds of birds singing and children speaking.
 
The best way to protect hearing is to avoid excessively loud noise. When you know you'll be exposed to loud noises, like fireworks, wear ear protection. Every day you can protect your hearing by keeping down the volume on ear-buds  stereos, and televisions. And you can teach children to quickly plug their ears with their fingers when they're suddenly and unexpectedly bombarded by loud sirens, jack hammers, and other loud sounds.
 
Stone’s Hearing Aid Service recommends that people should not personally use firecrackers to celebrate the 4th of July, since one explosion in close proximity could cause permanent hearing loss, not to mention bodily harm. There is a reason why fireworks are illegal in many states, and that is because of their inherent danger.
 
Noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. Ten million Americans have already suffered irreversible hearing damage from noise; and 30 million are exposed to dangerous noise levels each day. Children are most vulnerable.
 
Adverse Health Effects
 
Noise can pose a serious threat to a child’s physical and psychological health, including learning and behavior. For example, noise can:
 
INTERFERE WITH SPEECH AND LANGUAGE. Repeated exposure to noise during critical periods of development may affect a child’s acquisition of speech, language, and language-related skills, such as reading and listening.
 
IMPAIR LEARNING. The inability to concentrate in a noisy environment can affect a child’s capacity to learn.
 
IMPAIR HEARING. Tinnitus, often described as a ringing or buzzing sound in the ear, is a symptom associated with many forms of hearing loss.
 
NIHL is a permanent hearing impairment resulting from prolonged exposure to high levels of noise or by sudden high level (impulse) noise.
 
DISTURB THE CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM. Elevated blood pressure and other cardiovascular ailments can be found in children who are chronically exposed to loud noise.
 
DISRUPT SLEEP. Noise can awaken a child or disrupt his or her sleep patterns.
 
Minimizing the Risks
 
Take the following steps to protect your child from the physical and psychological effects of noise:
 
•           Instruct him or her to walk away from sources of loud noises.
 
•           Limit the amount of time spent on noisy activities.
 
•           Lower the volume.
 
•           Have your child’s hearing tested if he/she routinely participates in noisy activities, such as playing an instrument or attending concerts or sporting events.
 
•           Ensure that he or she wears child-sized hearing protection, such as earplugs or earmuffs, during noisy activities and events.
 
•           Create a quiet learning and sleeping environment.
 
When to Seek Help
 
Consult a hearing specialist (a person who tests and measures hearing) or an otolaryngologist (a doctor who treats diseases and problems of the ear, nose, and throat) if you or your child experiences any of the following symptoms:
 
•           Asks people to repeat themselves.
 
•           Regularly hears ringing, roaring, or hissing sounds.
 
•           Speaks loudly or raises voice to be understood by someone standing nearby.
 
•           Does not react to unexpected loud noises
 


The noise levels (in decibels) on the thermometer are approximate as measured at a typical listener’s distance.
Use this sound thermometer to judge your or your child’s noise exposure. Noise levels at 85 dB or above can be harmful to your hearing and require protection.

As you can see, firecrackers alone range at 125DB, that is louder than a rock concert...
 











Stone’s Hearing Aid Service is reminding the community that regular hearing checks are critically important for detecting hearing loss early and for getting appropriate treatment in order to minimize the negative impact that unaddressed hearing loss can have on quality-of- life. Stone’s Hearing Aid Service offers FREE hearing evaluations.
 
 The Stone’s Hearing Aid Service Family wishes you, your family and friends a happy and safe 4 of July.

Stone’s Hearing Aid Service, Your Hearing is OUR Concern

The Impact of Treated Hearing Loss on Quality of Life (Pt 3 of 3)

Posted on June 27, 2013 at 7:09 AM Comments comments (211)
The Impact of Treated Hearing Loss on Quality of Life 
(Pt 3 of 3)

PERSONALITY ASSESSMENT
 
Seventy-nine items were devoted to miscellaneous personality scales in addition to the personality measures under emotional and social effects. All of the personality scales used in this study are published scales. Family members indicated that the respondents' cognitive/mental state (e.g., they appear confused, disoriented or unable to concentrate) was affected by their hearing loss, primarily if the hearing loss was "severe" to "profound" (groups 4 and 5). In this study, impressive improvements in family perceptions of the persons' mental and intellectual state were observed if the individual had a severe to profound hearing loss (groups 4 and 5 only). Non-wearers were more likely to be viewed as being confused, disoriented, non-caring, arrogant, inattentive, and virtually "living in a world of their own."
 
Previously we indicated that there were no significant differences in measures of "withdrawal" between aided and unaided subjects. This finding is contrary to the literature. However, family members did report that non-wearers in three of five groups (1,4, 5) were more introverted as evidenced by greater likelihood of being private, passive, shy, quiet, easily embarrassed, etc. Moderate to severe hearing loss non-wearers (quintiles 3-5) were shown to score higher on a personality variable called "external locus of control." This means they were more likely to believe that events external to them control their lives. In other words, they felt less in control of their own lives. On the other hand, hearing aid wearers felt they were more in control of their lives and less a victim of fate.
 
HEALTH IMPACT
 
The survey asked six generic questions on self-perceptions of health, prevalence of pain and the extent to which the respondent believed that hearing loss impacted their general health. In addition, from a list of 28 health problems, respondents indicated whether they experienced that health problem and the extent to which the problem interfered with their activities.
 
Overall assessment of health (including absence of pain) appeared to decline as a function of hearing loss with further deterioration of heath associated with non-usage of hearing aids for the three most serious hearing loss groups (quintiles 3-5). Three of the five hearing aid wearer groups (quintiles 1, 3, 5) reported significantly better health compared to their non-wearer counterparts. The lowest self-rating of overall health was the non-wearer group in quintile 5 (profound hearing loss). Nonetheless, our research determined there was no consistent evidence that hearing aid usage is associated with reductions in arthritis, high blood pressure, heart problems or other serious disease states.
 
PERCEIVED BENEFIT OF HEARING AIDS
 
As a validation check on comparisons of hearing aid wearers and non-wearers, both respondents and their family members were asked to rate changes they observed in 16 areas of their life that they believed were due to the respondent using hearing aids. Total findings are shown in Figure 2. In general, for nearly all quality of life areas assessed, the observed improvements were positively related to degree of hearing loss. Family members in nearly every comparison observed greater improvements in the respondent.
 
The top three areas of observed improvement for both respondents and family members were "relationships at home," "feelings about self," and "life overall." The most impressive improvements were observed in quintile 5 (profound hearing loss) in that 11 of 16 lifestyle areas were rated as improved by at least 50 percent of the respondents or family members.
 
CONCLUSIONS AND DISCUSSION
 
The results for this study are impressive. Hearing aids clearly are associated with impressive improvements in the social, emotional, psychological, and physical well-being of people with hearing loss in all hearing loss categories from mild to severe. As such, these findings clearly provide strong evidence for the value of hearing aids in improving the quality of life of people with hearing loss. Specifically, hearing aid usage is positively related to the following quality of life issues:
 
Greater earning power (especially the top 60% of hearing losses)
 
Improved interpersonal relationships (especially for mild-moderate losses) including greater intimacy and lessening of negative dysfunctional communication

Reduction in discrimination toward the person with the hearing loss

Reduction in difficulty associated with communication (primarily severe to profound hearing losses)

Reduction in hearing loss compensation behaviors

Reduction in anger and frustration

Reduction in the incidence of depression and depressive symptoms

Enhanced emotional stability

Reduction in paranoid feelings

Reduced anxiety symptoms

Reduced social phobias (primarily severely impaired subjects)

Improved belief that the subject is in control of their lives

Reduced self-criticism

Improved cognitive functioning (primarily severe to profound hearing loss)

Improved health status and less incidence of pain

Enhanced group social activity

In this study, both respondents and their family members were asked to independently rate the extent to which they believed their life was specifically improved due to hearing aids. All hearing loss groups from mild to profound reported significant improvements in nearly every area measured:
 
Relationships at home and with family

Feelings about self

Life overall

Mental health

Social life

Emotional health

Physical health

Short of stating definite causality, the evidence is quite compelling and perhaps suggestive of causality for the following reasons:
 
The sample, the largest of its kind, is nationally representative of hearing loss subjects ages 50 and over. Thus, we need not be concerned with spurious findings due to sampling methodology.

Many of the findings held up across all hearing loss quintiles from mild to profound.

The specific findings were corroborated within the study. That is, significant differences between wearers and non-wearers were noted. Also, at the end of the survey respondents and their family members were asked to specifically indicate if their life was improved as a result of wearing hearing aids in 16 quality of life areas. Both respondents and their family members indicated significant benefit due to hearing aids in most areas measured.

The differential efficacy between the 16 quality of life parameters noted by respondents and their family members (from a low of 4 percent to high of 74 percent improvements) indicates that a positive halo or acquiescence did not exist in this sample of respondents.

The survey findings are consistent with other correlational and especially the randomized control studies and pre-post hearing aid fitting studies among smaller, more narrowly defined samples.

The findings are consistent with the literature on factors impacting hearing loss; that is, the theoretical improvements that should occur if hearing loss is alleviated.

The findings are consistent with the observations of clinicians and dispensers of hearing aids.

A CALL TO ACTION
 
Dr. Firman of the National Council on the Aging stated in his speech to the media in the summer of 1999, "This study debunks the myth that untreated hearing loss.is a harmless condition."
 
In focus groups conducted with physicians, the prevalent view is that hearing loss is "only" a quality of life issue. If, quality of life is defined as "greater enjoyment of music," then one might agree. But the literature and this study clearly demonstrate that hearing loss is associated with physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being. Depression, anxiety, emotional instability, phobias, withdrawal, isolation, lessened health status, lower self-esteem, and so forth, are not "just quality of life issues." For some people, uncorrected hearing loss is a "life and death issue."
 
This study challenges every segment of society to comprehend the devastating impact of hearing loss on individuals and their families, as well as the positive possibilities associated with hearing aid usage. We need to help physicians recognize hearing loss for the important health issue that it is. We need to help those with hearing loss who are currently in denial about their impairment, to understand the impact their hearing has on their life as well as that of their loved ones. We need to assure that hearing aids are recognized in society not just for their treatment of hearing loss, but also as a potential contributing factor to the successful resolution of other medical, emotional, social and psychological conditions.
 
This study also demonstrates for the first time that individuals with even a mild hearing loss can experience dramatic improvements in their quality of life. This finding is significant because the challenge is to demonstrate to "baby-boomers" (ages 45-59) with emerging hearing losses that hearing aids offer something to them of value early-on in their lives, and that they do not need to wait until retirement to receive the benefits of enhanced hearing.
 
If you are one of those people with a mild, moderate or severe hearing loss, who is sitting on the fence, consider all the benefits of hearing aids described above. Hearing aids hold such great potential to positively change so many lives.
 
COMMON MYTHS
 
The consequences of hiding hearing loss are better than wearing hearing aids.
 
What price are you paying for vanity? Untreated hearing loss is far more noticeable than hearing aids. If you miss a punch line to a joke, or respond inappropriately in conversation, people may have concerns about your mental acuity, your attention span or your ability to communicate effectively. The personal consequences of vanity can be life altering. At a simplistic level, untreated hearing loss means giving up some of the pleasant sounds you used to enjoy. At a deeper level, vanity could severely reduce the quality of your life.
 
Only people with serious hearing loss need hearing aids.

The need for hearing amplification is dependent on your lifestyle, your need for refined hearing, and the degree of your hearing loss. If you are a lawyer, teacher or a group psychotherapist, where very refined hearing is necessary to discern the nuances of human communication, then even a mild hearing loss can be intolerable. If you live in a rural area by yourself and seldom socialize, then perhaps you are someone who is tolerant of even moderate hearing losses.

For more information about hearing loss, the importance of hearing aids and the quality of life and a FREE hearing evaluation, please contact Stone's Hearing Aid Service.

Why Do Hearing Aids Cost What They Do?

Posted on April 18, 2013 at 7:32 PM Comments comments (19)
Why Do Hearing Aids Cost What They Do? 




We at Stone’s Hearing Aid Service have created an explanatory  breakdown of what you get for the cost of your hearing device as this is a valid question and concern by many. 





Due to personal patient questions, as well as reading through comments on a blog by the Better Hearing Institute a majority of the comments seem to indicate that hearing aid costs where high because the people who sell them are dishonorable and take advantage of the need of quality hearing health. 

Well.... We at Stone’s Hearing Aid Service cannot speak for other businesses, however, we can tell you that we have been a family owned and operated business for 128 years in the same community with the same reputational name and no Department of Health complaints by being truthful and ethical —our patients are like our family members and we value them and appreciate their loyalty to us. 

A cost breakdown: 

Hearing aids represent a significant investment due to many factors that go into the over-all price. Medicare and most insurance companies usually do not cover the costs of hearing aids. Hearing aids represent a significant financial investment for your hearing health and quality of living. The price of a hearing aid covers a number of costs including: 

1) Testing Equipment--We at Stone’s Hearing Aid Service are proud of keeping our evaluation technology state of the art, in office and transportable equipment. 

2) Research and Development--This is a significantly important process in the hearing industry and part of the cost of your hearing aids, however, it is also a very important one that you directly benefit from. 

3) Follow-up Care--We at Stone’s Hearing Aid Service never charge you for follow up visits, cleanings, evaluations, in home appointments or even “By Appointment” Saturday or Sunday care. 

4) Quality Construction and Parts--You get what you pay for-- We purchase our devices only from the highest quality manufacturers and we stay on top of the industry so that we are aware of trends and changes in design and quality. Do not take this commitment for granted. There is *significant* variation out there in regards to this matter. We could purchase less expensive devices and charge less (and will do so if there is a financial need for less technological devices). However, we chose to stick with quality products and keep our patients happy. We are not going to sacrifice quality for price.

5) Professional Treatment--We treat our patients like we would treat our treasured family members. We set aside enough time for each of you to receive the quality treatment you deserve and we do not run you through our office like cars in an automated car wash or a production line. Some patients end up trying several sets of devices before we settle on just the right one, and we do this because it is the right thing to do for you, the patient. We even have patients who just come in to talk and keep up with current community events, because we care.

6) Normal Overhead-  Business vehicle, fuel and maintenance to do home visits at no additional charge-There is a cost to having a physical building, Historic District Fees, with the grass trimmed and the snow shoveled, with comfortable heating and cooling, a clean bathroom for you, phone service and a friendly voice on the other end when you call us.

7) Taxes and Insurance--Yes, we have to pay those too....

8) Professional Continued Education--Hearing aid technology changes as fast or faster than cell phone and computer technology does. We at Stone’s Hearing Aid Service have to keep up on the latest technology so that we can be competent and professional and bring the most up-to-date technology to you, our patient. 

We could sell you older technology and charge less, but you would not have the advantage of the latest advances in sound processing and state-of-the-art research. 

We are committed to providing our patients the best technology that is available on the market and we will not accept less than that for you, our patient.

Hopefully this blog breaks down and explains the questions you have lingering, that there is more to the price tag than just the device. It is not "just a hearing aid", it is an advanced piece of hearing technology that makes decisions about your listening environment every 8 milliseconds. 

Please feel free to visit or call us with questions or concerns as “Your Hearing is Our Concern” 

Mark, Matt and the Stone’s Hearing Aid Family  

Hearing of Family Tradition

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 8:50 PM Comments comments (103)
Hearing of Family Tradition

Stone’s Hearing Aid Service is not only about hearing aids, we are also about family, with being a family owned and operated business for 128 years, we consider all of our patients and our community our family too. That is why when we hear of something special from our family, we like to share it. 

We all recollect certain moments and times of our childhood that we will cherish forever. Almost all of these memories in one form or another were a tradition. These family traditions are sadly one of the great casualties of modern times. As families have more time constraints due to careers, become focused on team sports, are more fragmented and disengaged, there is less time and opportunity to benefit from the traditions that were formerly a natural part of family life. The present households often has a TV and/or computer in every room, so even a small custom like all sitting down to eat dinner, doing homework together or playing a favorite family game may just not happen as often as it once did. 

Recently a photo appeared that melted our hearts, it was a photo of one of our Stone’s family,   Jane Marie Swavely, Assistant Director of Nursing at The Meadows at Shannondell in Valley Forge, PA and her daughter Katie enjoying making peanut butter eggs with family members. 

We spoke with Jane Marie about how special of a moment this was to capture and how important instilling family time and tradition is. Jane Marie stated “It is not about what we do, it is about doing it together, that is something I try to instill in my children” 

“My traditional values were instilled by my mom and dad, my parents were stellar about tradition”, stated Swavely. “I am almost 40 years old, and I will be disappointed the Christmas that I do not get matching jammies from my mom. I want my children to be just excited about spending time with their family. Working at Shannondell contributes to family value, I love working with the elderly and I love that my children are comfortable around them and respect them as we were raised.” 

Jane Marie’s photos and statements reminded use at Stone’s Hearing Aid Service that the holiday seasons once largely were a time for family traditions; however, it is not necessary to restrict traditions to just this time of the year. Sometimes holiday festivities are a good way to kick start a tradition that can become seasonal favorite or that can be incorporated into family life year round. 

In the twenty first century, family life looks a lot different than it did fifty, twenty or even just ten years ago. Parents’ chaotic work schedules may mean that eating as a family, taking a family walk, or going on a day trip are sometimes impossible. Family vacations involve a military approach with planning just to get everyone together and the holiday season, once a season overflowing with adoring, meaningful, family traditions, all too often involves a painful and complex process of trying to balance which of two divided families gets their children when and for how long. 

Many of us remember and miss the modest rituals that shaped the foundation of our own childhood, yet do not see feasible way to fit them into a life that is so dissimilar from the ones that of our parents when we were growing up. 

Family traditions can be a way to reconnect and create a much needed sense of belonging, and for those no longer part of a “traditional” family set-up, setting traditions can be even more important. Traditions do not have to be time-consuming efforts; it is worth taking a moment right now to reflect on the fact that spending time together is what family traditions are all about and the memories that will be made will be memories of a lifetime. 

Fitting traditions to your family 

There is no “one size fits all” solution to today’s increasingly intricate family situations. Fit your traditions to your family style and diversity as well as the people in it. If you only see your children once a week, that in itself can be a tradition, certainly you do not miss out on seasonal traditions, even if you do not always celebrate them on the exact day. To discover traditions that fit your family you have to include everyone, and make it meaningful for every family member. This can be a particular challenge with large or blended families. Make it fun, experiment to discover activities that appeal to everyone, and where everyone can play a part. If family games night falls flat, change the games. If family meals, outings or vacations are not greeted with enthusiasm try to find out why. Involve every family member in trying to identify regular activities you would all enjoy, and then work on building them into family traditions. 

Resurrecting old traditions 

Think back to your childhood. Did you love that first day at the beach each summer? Picking strawberries each spring at a local farm? Picking out a Halloween pumpkin or a Christmas tree? Flying your kite on windy fall days? Fishing by the river on a Sunday morning? Having a special breakfast weekend mornings?

If you came from a family where tradition was not practiced, borrow from others and create your own. Read up on different traditions that have been popular at different times throughout history, in your own country and around the world. Be inspired by the old, but don’t be afraid to put a new twist on it if that suits your family. 

We would like to thank Jane Marie and her family for the lovely story and reminding us what the meaning of family and tradition means.  

Why you should not purchase a hearing aid from a chain or “big box” businesses

Posted on December 13, 2012 at 9:34 PM Comments comments (192)
Why you should not purchase a hearing aid from a chain or “big box” businesses

Being family owned and operated since 1885, Stone’s Hearing Aid Services believes strongly in community commitment and enhancing the sense of community that makes Pottstown so special.

Mark Shanta, Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist, BC HIS

Matthew Dailey, Hearing Instrument Specialist, HIS

Members of Pennsylvania Hearing Healthcare Association

Voted Pottstown Mercury‘s Reader's Choice Consecutively since 2006

 Legislatively Recognized
 
Top Ten reasons to Think Local - Buy Local – By Local – Be Pottstown

Buy Local -- Support yourself: Several studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally owned business, rather than a nationally owned, chain, “big box” businesses, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers and farms -- continuing to strengthen the economic base of the community and lower the tax base.
 
Support community groups: Non-profit and local organizations receive an average 250% more support from local independent business owners than they do from large “big box“, franchised and chain businesses.
 
Keep our community unique: Where we shop, where we eat and have fun -- all of it makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of the Pottstown area. Our tourism businesses benefit as well, when people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of place, not just anyplace, a sense of belonging.
 
Reduce environmental impact: Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation and generally set up shop in our town or within the surrounding area, as opposed to developing on the fringe. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
 
Create more jobs and sustainability: Small local businesses are the largest employer in our community, provide the most jobs to residents.
 
Get better service: Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers. Respecting the customer and creating a community family.
 
Invest in community: Local businesses are owned by people who live in our community, whom are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the Pottstown’s future.
 
Put your taxes to good use: Local businesses in our Downtown Community requires comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned, “big box” or chain stores entering our community.
 
Buy what you want, not what someone wants you to buy: A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.  A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, well informing them of their purchase options, and not misleading,  guarantees a much broader range of product choices and satisfaction. Without an individual being bullied or intimidated into a purchase.
 
Encourage local prosperity: A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.
 
Five Consumer Tips because Stone’s Hearing Aid Service Cares:
 
Be informed and aware of who you are purchasing your product from, researched and utilize your sources, do not be afraid to ask. Know a name to a face, ask for ID and credentials, especially if this will be a out of office sale/purchase.

IE: Does the merchant have a website with their staff listed? Are their names posted with a picture and position on the website or in shop?
 
Unfortunately we live in a society of fraud, please ensure you are conducting business with the proper person. You may be conducting business with someone completely unaffiliated whom will abuse your information or you could possibly be conducting business with someone whom is not qualified for the situation at hand.

Look into the Department of Health, Consumer Reports, and Attorney General
 
Local sustainability (how long have they been in our community? Do they move from office tooffice/space to space or have they remained in a venue for a multiple years?)
 
Are the staff that is caring for your needs licensed or certified to do so?
 
Do they offer current criminal background checks to ensure the safety of your personal information and well being?
 
Make sure your purchase is exactly what you purchased and not a substandard item.

Example: A provider advertises Siemens Hearing Instruments, when you receive the item sold, it is stamped Rexton, which is a sub company of Siemens of lesser quality. Thus you are receiving a less advanced product at the more advanced cost.

RextonSiemens













                  Rexton instruments                                        Siemens instrument
If this happens or has happened to you, please report your deception to the Department of Health or proper chain of authority.
 
Think local first + Buy local when you can =
Being  Pottstown Community local!