HEARt Ear Boutique opens new Glenmont location

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By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

A ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday celebrated the grand opening of the new office of the HEARt Ear Boutique in Glenmont Plaza. Pictured, left to right, are Bethlehem Town Supervisor David VanLuven; owner Robert LaCosta; LaCosta’s wife Vini Cavaleri; LaCosta’s daughter, Guinevere Gorman; and Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce President Terri Egan. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

GLENMONT — The HEARt Ear Boutique cut the ribbon on its new office in Glenmont Plaza on Route 9W last Thursday.

The business, which sells hearing aids, was formerly in a space a few doors down in the same plaza and celebrated its new space with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that drew local officials and business supporters. The new office is near the KeyBank branch in Glenmont Plaza.

“This brings attention to where our new office is, and we also wanted to tell people about the new technology that is available,” owner Robert LaCosta said. We stand out in that we do customization of hearing aids, which is a little bit of a lost art, but it is a very important art.”

State-of-the-art technology in the hearing aid industry is also changing the face of the business.

“The most important technology is rechargeability, which is important for seniors, especially those who have dexterity issues,” LaCosta said. “The second is background reduction noise and the third is clarity — those are the three biggest issues people with hearing impairment have.”

LaCosta said his business has been focusing on reduction of background noise, which can impede hearing for some clients, since the 1990s, in the days of analog hearing aids — these days, the units are digital.

“Background noise reduction is the number one thing that mostly seniors complain about,” LaCosta said.

Hearing aids that are rechargeable can also be an important factor for seniors with dexterity issues who find changing batteries a challenge.

Unlike many competitors in the field, HEARt Ear Boutique also offers customized hearing aids, taking impressions of their client’s ears for the best fit and service.

Terri Egan, president of the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the business to its new location.

“This is a very timely ribbon cutting because on The Today Show this morning there was a segment on hearing loss,” Egan said. “There is a new study they were focusing on that over a billion people are at risk for hearing loss from music, the way we listen to phones — basically, we are listening to things too loudly and too long.”

Other factors that can lead to the need for a hearing aid include excessive ear wax, ear infections and ruptured ear drums, Egan said.

“The list goes on and on, and [hearing is] just such a key sense that we all have to have,” she added. “This is such a huge service.”

The Mayo Clinic identified several warning signs that a hearing aid may be necessary, Egan said, including muffled speech and other sounds, difficulty understanding words particularly with background noise, trouble hearing consonants, frequently asking others to speak slower or more loudly, and withdrawing from conversations or social interactions.

“With his 30 years of experience, we feel very fortunate that he (LaCosta) has come home and has reopened at this new location. It is phenomenal,” Egan said. “We are fortunate to have someone with his expertise, his professionalism and the desire to continue staying on the cutting edge of technology.”

Bethlehem Town Supervisor David VanLuven said services such as the HEARt Ear Boutique serve a vital purpose in the community.

“When we think about our quality of life in Bethlehem, we tend to think about retail and the things we can go and do, but we sometimes forget that our quality of life requires care as well,” VanLuven said. “It’s wonderful to have Bob LaCosta here to help care for us as we age and especially as we move into a world with increasingly loud noises, often in very small spaces.”

HEARt Ear Boutique has two office locations — the newly opened space in Glenmont Plaza, and a second office in Hope Plaza on Route 9W in Coxsackie.

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