Local Hearing Specialists Take Care of Needs with Simplicity and Convenience

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Buying things that we need has become simplified lately, often saving us money and eliminating the middleman -- or even the doctor. For example, buying a pair of reading glasses has become as easy as going to a pharmacy and choosing one off the rack. But when it comes to choosing a hearing aid for yourself or a loved one, investing in something generic might not be the right decision for you or your loved one.

“Hearing is a much more complicated process,” said Nick Pitt, third generation hearing specialist, and current Vice-president of Optimal Hearing, currently celebrating its 60th anniversary of helping others hear, and with multiple locations in South Carolina’s Charleston and Low Country areas. “Understanding speech is a complex brain function and it requires an expert to ensure the best possible outcomes for you or your loved ones.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, about 28.8 million U.S. adults could benefit from using hearing aids. Over-the-counter hearing aids are intended to help those with mild to moderate hearing loss. You can purchase one, fit it yourself and possibly adjust the devices.

“But it’s not that simple,” said Pitt, whose company has been serving its customers for more than 60 years. “Hearing and understanding speech is a very complex brain function. Yes, the ears are obviously an important piece of the puzzle, but understanding takes place in the auditory cortex of the brain, not in the ears. Understanding that process is what sets us apart from companies who just sell a device and cross their fingers.”

Pitt explains that the missing piece of buying over-the-counter hearing aids is the support needed, so his company now offers a hybrid plan that offers the best of both worlds.

While understanding there is a place in the market for a quick fix for some hearing losses, Optimal Hearing does not want to short-change those individuals who try to self-treat their hearing loss, only to find out later that they may require additional support. “Do you have any idea how many times I’ve started a DIY project around the house, only to have to call in a professional to help me after I reached my capacity as a carpenter, plumber, or electrician? The concept behind Express by Optimal Hearing is basically the same. We’re more than happy to provide high-quality devices at a more than reasonable price for those who are able to self-treat their own hearing. However, if the time comes when follow-up care or maintenance is required, we have a plan for that as well.”

“If you want to buy a hearing aid and handle everything yourself, we offer that plan and you can save thousands of dollars off of traditional retail hearing aids, so our patients can manage and treat their own hearing,” he said. “But we also have the ability for you to add on a service plan that allows you to come in and see a professional who will fit and adjust that hearing aid.”

And thanks to the coolest advances in modern technology, Optimal Hearing can also adjust a hearing aid through your smartphone device. “Many seniors live alone and can’t get out all the time,” said Pitt. “With a smartphone, we can check in with them and if they say ‘hey I can’t hear,’ we can fix that.”

Pitt talks about his grandfather, Billy Pitt, the founder of Optimal Hearing, who once said, “I’m too poor to buy something twice.” “That means that if you buy a hearing aid off the rack, it might not fit properly or work properly and you have to do it again,” said Pitt. “Instead, you should have the peace of mind of having professional support to fall back on when you need follow-up care and maintenance.” Studies have revealed the average hearing device, without proper maintenance and adjustments, becomes obsolete after 8-12 months. “We regularly service hearing aids that are 5, 6, or even 10 years old at many of our clinics,” Pitt commented happily, “This longevity proves that proper maintenance and follow-up care will actually save you money in the long run.”

If you don’t need a hearing aid for yourself, consider giving a gift of hearing to a loved one this holiday season. “We take our hearing for granted, so don't let another precious moment pass by,” said Pitt. “Buying a hearing aid isn’t a black-and-white decision. Everyone has different needs, so let us help you find the right one. They will get an office fitting and follow-up at no additional charge.”

For more information, contact Optimal Hearing at one of our convenient Greater Charleston clinics (843-821-5738) or find out more about Express By Optimal Hearing at express.optimalhearing.com.