Making the appropriate hearing device choices is essential for long-term hearing attainment. Failing to make those decisions based on widespread misconceptions and misunderstandings is unfortunately all too common for many individuals.
Thirty-five million Americans have hearing loss, and many of them do not get the proper treatment that they need.
Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent and is caused by lesions, damage to the inner ear hair cells or auditory nerve. Sensorineural hearing loss cannot be restored or cured, so the typical treatment option is hearing aid devices. Hearing aids adjust to specific hearing losses, are programmed to suit individual needs and help the brain process sound. For a person with compromised hearing, hearing aids should be worn on a daily basis in order for the person to feel comfortable and to better understand the technology that is inside of the device and how to adjust it as necessary.
Self-Treating Hearing Loss Pales in Comparison
They are marketed on televisions and the internet all the time as a hearing solution, but personal sound-amplification products (PSAPs) and over-the-counter hearing devices (OTCs) are not the same as a hearing aid.
PSAPs are wearable electronic devices used only to make a sound louder. Unlike hearing aids, they’re not considered medical devices by the FDA. Though potentially helpful in normal hearing to amplify sounds in situations such as watching TV, or hearing a presenter who’s speaking some distance away, PSAPs can’t take the place of properly fit hearing aids.
PSAPS Have Serious Limitations
They are neither FDA approved nor recommended to treat actual hearing loss. Also, they bypass the crucial steps of professional testing, programming, fitting, and follow-up. This means a hearing care professional can’t rule out hearing problems or ensure the device is appropriate for your ears. Furthermore, PSAPs are often uncomfortable, difficult to manage, and, with misuse, could cause or worsen hearing damage. Finally, as already mentioned, they only amplify sound.
Hearing Aids Must be Tailored to Your Needs
Style & Sizes vs. Technology:
Hearing devices come in various sizes and colors, and there are behind the ear (BTE) and in the ear (ITE) options; however, these choices have little to do with the actual type of device you should decide on when selecting hearing aids. What matters most about the hearing aid is the technology.
Lifestyles are NOT Cookie Cutter
When it comes to the technology feature of hearing aids, an otolaryngologist will guide you as to which option is best suited for your personal needs. Because some individuals have hearing loss in both ears, some, just in one ear, and the level of hearing varies from person to person, there should never be a “one size fits all” approach. For example, some patients will benefit better from implantable cochlear hearing devices.
Along with a hearing test, your doctor should offer an in-depth evaluation of your home-life, work-life, and social life. If you are very active and frequent loud events or restaurants regularly, you may need different technology than a person who leads a quieter life in general.
Why You Should See An Expert
If you are experiencing hearing loss, it’s important to seek out a qualified Ear Nose and Throat Specialty office, because they are trained to get you the best outcome and resolution for your specific condition. If you’ve noticed that it’s difficult to hear conversations in a noisy atmosphere, or you feel the need to adjust your television volume much higher than before, it’s vital for you to have your hearing checked and that requires multiple steps.
The Silverstein Institute, located in Sarasota, Venice and Lakewood Ranch, Florida, is an internationally-respected physicians’ practice dedicated to diseases and surgery of the Ears, Nose and Throat. The Silverstein Institute provides premier patient care for the treatment of head and neck diseases consistent with the highest standard of medical excellence and the latest innovative technology.
The Silverstein Institute provides innovative patient care for the treatment of Ear, Nose and Throat disorders. Their physicians and staff are dedicated to providing high-quality, compassionate healthcare. They are a state-of-the-art organization of professionals working together every day to improve the health and well-being of their patients.
Start your path to better hearing, please contact the Silverstein Institute at (941) 366-9222 to schedule your appointment today.
Herbert Silverstein, MD, FACS
President and Founder of the Silverstein Institute and the Ear Research Foundation, has consistently been recognized (since 1979) as one the “Best Physicians in the USA.” He has been a leader in Otology/Neurotology (science of the ear and skullbase) for more than 40 years, developing surgical and diagnostic procedures, inventing instruments (such as the facial nerve monitor/stimulator), teaching medical students, residents and fellows, and helping people improve their quality of life. Born in Philadelphia, Dr. Silverstein received his BS degree from Dickinson College (cum laude), and both MS (in physiology) and MD degrees from Temple University Medical School. He completed residency in otolaryngology at Harvard Mass Eye & Ear infirmary in 1966. Before coming to Sarasota in 1973, he served on the teaching staff of Harvard University Medical School, Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, as director of the Walker Biochemistry Research Laboratory, and as associate professor and director of the Otological Research Laboratory at University of Pennsylvania Medical School. He was elected to Marquis Who’s Who in America in 2019.