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The Long-Term Benefit of Professionally Fit, Advanced Medical Class Hearing Devices
By Debra Swift, B.C.-H.I.S., and Megan Myers-Auria, Au.D., CCC-A

Aging is inevitable, growing up is optional, and staying cognitively sharp is mandatory to maintain one’s independence. At a certain age, people begin to become bombarded with mail and fliers for hearing exams and hearing devices. Why is it so important for a person to keep our ears healthy? It is not so much keeping the ears healthy, as it is keeping the brain functioning. Many people do not realize the true link between our hearing and cognitive function. Our ability to hear comes from our ears, our ability to understand and process speech and sounds comes from our brain. Brain atrophy can occur when hearing loss remains untreated. This has been associated with cognitive decline and early onset dementia. The Better Hearing Institute states that research has shown that the use of appropriately fit hearing aids has helped reduce the symptoms of depression, paranoia, disorientation, anxiety, loss of self-confidence, and social isolation.

Not all hearing devices are created the same and often patients are lulled into a false sense of security with less effective over-the-counter (OTC) products, versus professionally fit medical class hearing instruments. Medical hearing devices offer patients the ability to receive medically substantiated ongoing hearing benefit with annual retesting, reprogramming as an individual’s hearing loss may change. These services enable the patient to receive all of the valuable speech cues to support and maintain sharp cognition, as well as the ongoing peak performance. Verification and calibrations need to be done with the aids in the Patient's ear. No or little professional maintenance, usually leads to aids in the drawer, as benefit diminishes due to wax and debris from our ears, perspiration, dead skin and hair follicles, and dirt from handling. The aids need to be vacuumed out, receiver and microphone filters, ear hooks, tubings, and domes need to be replaced. Ongoing care leads to years of better hearing from one pair of aids.

Professionally fit, advanced technology, medical class hearing instruments help us to remain connected and acclimated, as close as possible to the brain hearing we were born with. Many of the newer medical class hearing instruments have motion sensors that boost our localization and sense of direction. Since falling is a major cause for loss of independence in seniors, this stability is especially helpful when moving or walking. It also enables the wearer to understand conversation better while moving around.

Today’s hearing aids can be rechargeable and can connect, via Bluetooth, directly to cell phones and apps, TVs, iPad devices and tablets, computers, cars, and remote telehealth programming. The advanced technology instruments can also provide fully automatic functions to hear all of these devices without pairing or fussing. Many options and your choice. Our Professionals will guide you to choose your best options based on your personal hearing and lifestyle needs.

Over the counter, one size fits all, non-customized, you’re just a number, no or very little service, is not a long-term solution and yields less than satisfactory results. Schedule an appointment today with Swift Audiology for a comprehensive hearing evaluation to check for hearing loss; the outcome helps more than just your hearing.

Debra Swift is Founder and President of Swift Audiology and Megan Myers-Auria is Doctor of Audiology. The practice provides hearing loss services, hearing protection, and medical hearing aid devices to patients at 4 convenient offices throughout the Pittsburgh region. For more information, visit swiftaudiology.com or call (412) 274-7285.

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