When toddler Shameera Rosal lost her hearing aids, little could she have known that it would be the beginning of a family business.
Ear Gear, established in 2005, was developed because Shameera Rosal – a boisterous little girl at the time - had lost her hearing aids in a large house while she was playing. Rosal had been born with both a hearing loss and a chromosome abnormality. Luckily, the hearing aids were found after an exhaustive search but her parents, Mark and Assunta Rosal, wanted to do something to help keep hearing aids in place and prevent other parents from going through the frustration of constantly having to keep track of expensive hearing aids.
The solution - a water resistant double layered, spandex nylon sleeve that protects hearing instruments from loss, rain, sweat, dust and dirt, and makes hearing instruments more comfortable to wear. Ear Gear not only keeps hearing instruments safe and clean, but with most models being available in 8 colours it can also make them look great by adding a touch of fashion flare as well.
The statistics are sobering. The World Health Organization says over 5% of the world’s population – 360 million people – has disabling hearing loss (328 million adults and 32 million children).
According to American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the number of Americans with a hearing loss has evidentially doubled during the past 30 years. Data gleaned from Federal surveys illustrate the following trend of prevalence for individuals aged three years or older: 13.2 million (1971), 14.2 million (1977), 20.3 million (1991), and 24.2 million (1993) (1, 2). It's because of stats like these why we encourage people to visit our clinics for a free hearing test, and encourage parents to take their children to the hospital if they think they may be dealing with a hearing issue.
Jon Waterhouse, Manager of Professional Practice for Connect Hearing Canada praised the Rosal family and the team at Ear Gear for their contribution to the fight against hearing loss.
“It's such an amazing and touching story, a story of courage and determination,” says Waterhouse. “The Rosal's have refused to let hearing loss define them or their family. They have not only faced the issue head on, but they have created an innovative product that will benefit people all over the world, especially families who are trying to raise children who need hearing aids. For parents who have had to deal with lost hearing aids, I'm here to tell you that Ear Gear has a solution that might be right for you.”
Ear Gear Sales Manager Mitch Stickney says he is thrilled to see the company celebrating a decade of protecting hearing aids, adding that Ear Gear is a company built on caring. He explained that he loves hearing success stories from people wearing Ear Gear, and pointed out many testimonials from satisfied customers from around the globe that can be read online.
“Our goal is to allow those wearing hearing aids to still lead an active life without worrying about damaging or losing hearing instruments. Ear Gear protects hearing instruments from damage caused by sweat, moisture, dirt and dust. It reduces wind and friction noise too,” says Stickney, adding that parents love Ear Gear because it allows their kids to be active without the worry of replacement costs. “Corded Ear Gear is ideal for those that hunt, fish, farm, jog, ski or cycle. Our company gives family members peace of mind as it's the perfect solution for reducing loss in care homes.
“Ear Gear is also proud to be working with the Connect Hearing Innovation group,” says Stickney. “Ear Gear shows their patients they care about them and want to ensure wearing a hearing aid doesn’t mean limiting their activities.”
Ear Gear is available in eight different colours, and different sizes including the Ear Gear Micro which fits hearing instruments up to 1 inches, Mini Curved which fits smaller hearing instruments up to 1.25 inches and Ear Gear Original which supports hearing instruments from 1.25 inches to 2 inches. Purchases can be made online or at any Connect Hearing Canada locations.