The human body has five senses—sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste—and each one of them diminishes as we age. Only one of them—hearing—can be restrengthened through digital technology.
“Hearing is an extremely sophisticated, complex, and individual process of the human anatomy,” Dr. Judith L. Reese explains. “The natural ear includes a series of bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, membranes and nerves that convert sound waves into electrical impulses. These impulses are sent to the brain and then translated into recognizable sounds, as in speech, all in microseconds.” Reese has been an audiologist for nearly 30 years, and has served thousands of patients at her clinic, JC Audiology, in Lutz. “When such an intricate and complex sense begins to diminish,” she continues, “it can affect an individual’s entire brain function, including their memory and sense of balance.”
Dr. Reese has studied the science of hearing and hearing loss for decades, and her research has been lauded by national journals as the best in the nation. She also has studied extensively on the new technologies that emerge for treating hearing loss. As a private practice, independent dispenser of hearing devices, she can make recommendations to patients that are free from the incentives manufacturers place on many franchise dispensers. This unbiased approach serves the patients she sees well, and her recommendations are based on what devices she knows will be best for the patient first, and not some corporate office elsewhere.
With hearing aids now being offered over the counter, Dr. Reese feels this will enable many people to begin trying hearing aids earlier than they might have previously. “The earlier you address your hearing loss,” she explains, “the better it is for your overall quality of life, emotional well-being and cognitive health.” There are caveats to self-treating hearing loss, however. Dr. Reese said that over-the-counter solutions are limited, and are intended to help those with a mild hearing loss who can self-adjust their devices to the amplification they desire.
The more significant a hearing loss is, she says, the more attention you should spend on a comprehensive hearing test and professional calibration of devices to better match your individual loss. “Your hearing and hearing levels are a part of that sophisticated auditory system,” Dr. Reese continues. “It’s not a place most people want to take a shortcut on.”
In addition to testing hearing levels and calibrating devices to match in a more natural way to individual hearing levels, Dr. Reese stresses the importance of proper maintenance of hearing devices. “We service more than 150 devices in our clinic every month. These devices are little computers that are worn upwards of 16 hours per day in a humid ear canal where the temperature is 98 degrees. They need specialized maintenance care and, at times, additional professional care.” Dr. Reese said that her “Hearing Aid Hospital” is busy every day, with many devices coming in needing complete revitalization.
Dr. Reese offers complimentary hearing aid consultations at her clinic, JC Audiology, 1519 Dale Mabry Highway, Suite 105, in Lutz. For appointments, call 813-949-1331.
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