We all enjoy convenience. So if you’re able to go to your local store and get some hearing aids, it’s not hard to recognize how this would seem attractive. Instant gratification with no fitting and no waiting. But this wonderful vision of the future may require deeper investigation.
A little care is important because over-the-counter hearing aids might start popping up in stores around you. And in order to know what’s what, a lot of the responsibility falls on the buyer. If you don’t get it right your hearing could suffer which makes the stakes for these decisions very high. But great responsibility comes with great convenience.
What Is an Over-The-Counter Hearing Aid?
To some degree, an over-the-counter hearing aid has similarities with other hearing aids. So that they can counteract the effects of hearing loss, these devices are manufactured to amplify sound. OTC hearing aids, in this way, have advanced to some extent.
But the process of selecting an OTC hearing aid is a little more involved than buying a bottle of Tylenol. It should work like this:
- You should have an audiogram which you will get when you have a hearing examination.
- Your overall hearing health, particularly what frequency you’re having a tough time hearing, will be in your audiogram.
- You would then adjust your choice of hearing solution to your specific hearing loss. The fact is that some forms of hearing loss can’t be adequately addressed using over-the-counter devices. Even if your distinct form of hearing loss can be handled in this way, you still need to pick one that will work best for your scenario.
This strategy should, at least theoretically, allow you to pick the right device for your hearing loss situation. That doesn’t automatically mean your local store will have that device available, however, and close enough isn’t good enough when it comes to your hearing.
The Responsibility Part
In theory, this most likely all sounds pretty good. For some, OTC hearing aids will decrease the costs involved and allow more people to enjoy healthier hearing. But we weren’t joking when we said it places a large amount of responsibility on the shoulders of consumers.
When a consumer goes right from an audiogram to an OTC hearing aid, this is what they miss out on:
- A good fit: You can get help with style and fit when you go through us. To ensure a custom fit and a maximum comfort a mold of your ear can sometimes be made. It’s important to wear your hearing aid every day so a good fit is crucial. Fit also impacts your ability to hear. You’ll be more likely to have feedback if the device isn’t snug in your ear.
- A better selection: We can fit you with one of the numerous kinds of hearing aids that we offer at a variety of price points programmed to your distinct hearing needs.
- Adjustments: We can make several types of adjustments that can help your hearing aid function better in a variety of common settings. You can have presets that help you hear in quiet settings and other presets for noisier scenarios like crowded restaurants. In order to get the most from your hearing aids over the long run, this fine tuning is crucial.
- Advice: Hearing aids can be difficult to program even though they’re tiny. We can take you step-by-step through how to use your hearing aid effectively, how to take care of them, and how to adapt to your new level of hearing.
- Testing: When you get a fitting for a hearing aid, we will also test it’s functionality. You can be sure that your hearing aid is working the way it was intended for you because it’s tested when you’re in the office.
These are just a couple of the benefits you get when you come in for advice.
We’re not saying that over-the-counter hearing aids are bad. It’s just that you need to use a little bit of caution when making your choices, and in addition to getting the technology you want, keeping your hearing specialist in the loop will help you get the care you need.