The Union branch of Miracle-Ear may be new to town, but it’s working to make a big impact on those who have trouble hearing.

Since opening in October, the business has donated more than $18,000 in hearing instruments to those in need through the Miracle-Ear Foundation.

The business, owned by Tiffany Davis, is located at 1004 Vondera Ave., Suite 204, just across from the post office in the Siedhoff Building.

Davis owns 14 locations in the region, but Union is the only location in Franklin County or the surrounding area.

Chad Cummings, a hearing instrument specialist who lives in Union, said he’s proud to work with the company.

“I’ve worked with a lot of different companies and manufacturers over the years, and this is the only one I’ve invited into my back-yard because of the overall integrity they have,” he said.

Miracle-Ear fits, sells and services hearing instruments. While some people are referred, many make appointments on their own because they suspect they have hearing loss, Cummings said.

“We want to help as many folks as we can and get them into the right hearing systems,” he said. “Many times, people don’t follow up on hearing exams and continue to suffer the effects of auditory depravation because of the lack of after care.”

When people visit, they receive a hearing evaluation, which includes testing ear health from the ear canal to the eardrum.

There is no charge for after care visits or ongoing maintenance for any patients.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found a person is five times more likely to develop dementia, Alzheimer’s or another debilitating cognitive disease if hearing loss goes untreated for any length of time, noted Nathan Bush, Miracle-Ear education and outreach representative.

A different study determined that a person’s brain shrinks a cubic centimeter each year hearing loss goes untreated.

“A hearing system is a stint to the brain to keep information flowing to your mind,” Bush said, adding that hearing loss is linked to social isolation, depression and poor communication.

Cummings said it’s his goal to make sure people understand their hearing loss and get the right system for them.

People who get an instrument from Miracle-Ear can be helped at any of the more 1,300 locations throughout the country or internationally.