Coates Hearing Clinic, P.A.

Treating Your Hearing Loss: What’s Right for You?

The process by which our brain interprets sound is pretty incredible! The ear functions by catching sound waves via the auricle, the fleshy part of the outer ear. These waves then move through the ear canal and the eardrum, into the middle ear, and to their final destination, the cochlea. The fluid inside the cochlea is moved by the waves and vibrations caused by sound, and those movements send nerve signals to the brain, allowing you to interpret noise into meaning.

Hard to Hear

Unfortunately, hearing loss can take a significant toll on your quality of life. Even milder symptoms like slightly muffled speech, needing to turn up the TV or radio, or difficulty distinguishing conversations in spaces with background noise can cause significant fallout. People with hearing loss may begin to withdraw from social situations, experience friction in their close relationships, stop engaging in previously-enjoyed hobbies, or even limit their performance at work Something as simple as an ear infection or earwax buildup can temporarily inhibit hearing, and these issues are easy to treat. However, whether genetic or acquired, permanent damage can be more challenging to treat, especially if the condition is severe. To improve your hearing and quality of life, you may want to invest in a hearing aid explicitly programmed for you.

OTC Devices

Over-the-counter or OTC hearing aids are a new category of auditory assistive devices intended for people with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. While they’re not yet FDA-approved due to labeling regulations and miles of bureaucratic red tape, OTC hearing aids are largely safe to use. Thanks to OTC hearing aids, people with mild hearing loss can get a device for just under $1,000 from many sellers.

The Problem With OTC

People with advanced and severe hearing loss simply won’t reap the benefits of OTC devices because OTC hearing aids aren’t built to accommodate their unique conditions. No hearing test is required to purchase these devices, so they are programmed based on generic parameters and additionally controlled through the use of a smartphone. Like traditional hearing aids, OTC devices amplify sounds to help the user hear surrounding noises better. They’re generally useful and significantly more affordable than professionally issued models, but the compromise is that they’re not custom-built to suit your needs. Some have compared OTC hearing aids to buying a pair of reading glasses from your local pharmacy. They are useful in certain situations but not as useful for wearing all day.

A Better Option

If your hearing loss is on the mild end of the spectrum, OTC hearing devices may open up a world of possibilities for you. At Coates Hearing Clinic, we have access to these devices at discounted rates and are able to offer them at prices lower than online retailers.

But if your hearing loss is more severe, you’re likely better off visiting a specialist who can assess your needs and customize your treatment accordingly. An audiologist can guide you through your hearing loss and treatment step-by-step. They collaborate with you to offer customized hearing aids to cochlear implants that match your hearing goals. Even if an OTC is right for your situation, it is a good idea to come in for a hearing test to get a baseline for future hearing loss and to make sure that this type of device would work for your situation.

At Coates Hearing, we are passionate about our clientele and aim to increase the quality of life so you can get back to doing what you love. Don’t let hearing loss stand in your way. If you have further questions or want to schedule an appointment, please give us a call. We would be happy to serve you.

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