We all love convenience. So if you can go to your local store and buy some hearing aids, it’s not difficult to grasp how this would seem attractive. No waiting, no fitting, just instant gratification. But we may need to investigate this wonderful vision of the future a bit further.
Over the counter hearing aids may start appearing in stores around you so a little caution is necessary. And in order to know all of the facts, a lot of the responsibility falls on the buyer. If you don’t get it right your hearing could pay the price which makes the stakes for these decisions very high. So, with great ease comes great responsibility.
What Is an Over-The-Counter Hearing Aid?
Over the counter hearing aids, to a certain extent, are similar to other kinds of hearing aids. In order to counteract the effects of hearing loss, these devices are manufactured to amplify sound. In this manner, OTC hearing aids are better than they once were.
But the process of selecting an OTC hearing aid is a bit more complex than buying a bottle of ibuprofen. Here’s how it should work:
- You should have a hearing assessment and get an audiogram.
- Your audiogram would give you a readout of your general hearing health, such as what frequencies of sound you need assistance hearing.
- You would then adjust your choice of hearing solution to your distinct hearing loss. The fact is that some types of hearing loss can’t be adequately managed using over-the-counter devices. Even if your specific type of hearing loss can be addressed in this way, you still need to decide on one that will work best for your scenario.
In theory, this process will help you choose a hearing device that’s right for your level of hearing loss and that will function well in all conditions. The real hassles can begin when you actually visit your local store to try and buy the best device for you.
The Part About Responsibility
Theoretically, this most likely all sounds pretty great. Some people will be able to enjoy healthier hearing while cutting costs with OTC hearing aids. But we weren’t joking when we said it puts a great deal of responsibility on the shoulders of consumers.
When a consumer goes straight from an audiogram to an OTC hearing aid, here’s what they lose out on:
- Adjustments: We can make several types of adjustments that can help your hearing aid function better in a number of common environments. For example, we can program settings for loud places such as restaurants and settings for quiet spaces. This kind of fine-tuning can be crucial to the long-term enjoyment of your hearing aids.
- Advice: Even though they are tiny, hearing devices can be complicated to program. We can take you step-by-step through how to use your hearing aid effectively, how to take care of them, and how to adjust to your new level of hearing.
- Testing: Fittings also guarantee that the hearing aid is working the way that it should. You can be certain that your hearing aid is functioning the way it was meant for you because it’s tested when you’re in the office.
- A better selection: We offer a wide variety of hearing aids, at various price points, that can be programmed to your hearing loss.
- A good fit: You can get assistance with style and fit when you go through us. Sometimes, a mold of your ear will be taken to ensure a custom fit and maximum comfort. Achieving a good fit will help make certain that you are comfortable enough to wear it every day. Your ability to hear is also effected by fit. You’ll be more likely to get feedback if the device isn’t snug in your ear.
When you come see us for some hearing advice, these are only some of the things we will help you with.
It’s worth mentioning that over-the-counter hearing aids aren’t always a bad thing. But when you are making your selection, you should use some caution, and in conjunction with getting the technology you want, including your hearing specialist will help you receive the care you need.