By Lisa P. Surber

On average, a hearing-impaired person waits ten years before he even steps a foot into a hearing aid store. Why is that? According to our local professional hearing specialist, Terri Hughes, there is more than one reason. “People feel that hearing aids are so unnatural,” Terri confided. “They sometimes are embarrassed that they need them and don’t want others to notice that they have them. But the idea that they cannot afford them is probably the biggest factor in someone’s reluctance to walk in that door and ask for help.”

Terri opened her office, Affordable Hearing, in Martinsville three years ago and it has grown far faster than she ever expected. Before that, she worked for several years in a hearing aid store in Mooresville. During her time at that office, she felt that many people in need of hearing aids were sadly leaving the office unable to afford them. To Terri, this was extremely frustrating and the impetus for her search to find a way she could change this. “ I have always been a helper,” Terri admitted. “From the time I was eight years old and babysat for neighbors, it has been in my blood to help people. And I don’t want anyone to get mad at me. So I try to be of service to others.”

This selfless attitude led Terri to open her own hearing aid business. “It was a big step for me,” Terri remembered. “ I wasn’t sure what kind of support I could find to open a business of my own. I reached out to others for advice and finally decided to take the plunge. I’ve had my ups and downs and it has been hard work but the business is doing fine. I never thought I would be able to hire someone but as of a year ago in June I have had a full-time office assistant, Elizabeth Snipes. She is wonderful. She understands my philosophy of helping others and is learning to become a hearing specialist herself.”

What, then, is it that makes Affordable Hearing different? Underlying her business plan is Terri’s attitude that “I don’t need to make a fortune. I just want to live comfortably and help others.” No one will walk away from Affordable Hearing because they couldn’t afford the prices. For brand new hearing aids the customer can expect to spend far less than what he would elsewhere. And Terri is not a

salesperson. There are no high-pressure sales tactics. She will do all she can to find the best price for each customer. She even has a program whereby she refurbishes hearing aids allowing customers to purchase their aids at huge savings. Already have hearing aids but need them serviced? She has you covered there, too. It doesn’t matter where you purchased your hearing aids, she can service and clean them for you. In addition, she is more than happy to dig into your insurance and find out what kind of coverage you may have that you are not aware of.

The core of Affordable Hearing is Morgan County. All the hearing aids that Terri receives as trade-ins stay in Morgan County. She visits several nursing homes in the county on a regular basis to service and clean hearing aids and perform hearing tests free of charge. This includes Grand Valley, Miller’s Merry Manor, Meadow Lakes, and Worthington, as well as the Senior Center in Mooresville. In addition, she is a sponsor for the RD Productions concert series as well as free movies for seniors at the Mooresville Showtime Cinema.

Terri and her husband, Steve, live out in the country “In the middle of nowhere” between Spencer and Bloomfield where Steve gets to spend his retirement time in peace and quiet. Between the two of them, they have four grown children, six grandchildren with another on the way. One of their biggest joys is bringing the grandkids out to the country to enjoy riding the 4-wheelers as well as hiking and fishing. Even if that means finding all the fishing poles need to be restrung after a weekend of grandkids!

You will Find Affordable Hearing’s ad in the Martinsville Neighbors magazine. They are helping to bring it to your mailbox. If you need hearing aids or service, don’t hesitate to call.

Phone: 765-342-3324

Drop in: 69 N Colfax St

Martinsville