We all love convenience. So if you can go to your local store and get some hearing aids, it’s not hard to comprehend how this would seem appealing. No fitting, no waiting, just instant gratification. But this positive vision of the future might require deeper investigation.
Over the counter hearing aids might start appearing in stores near you so a bit of caution is necessary. 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 pay the price which makes the stakes for these decisions very high. So, with great convenience comes great responsibility.
Over The Counter Hearing Aids – What Are They?
Over the counter hearing aids, in some ways, are similar to other types of hearing aids. So that they can counteract the effects of hearing loss, these devices are made to amplify sound. OTC hearing aids, in this way, have improved to some extent.
But the process of selecting an OTC hearing aid is a bit more involved than buying a bottle of Tylenol. It should work like this:
- You should have a hearing screening and get an audiogram.
- Your audiogram would give you a readout of your overall hearing health, such as what frequencies of sound you need assistance hearing.
- You would then match your choice of hearing solution to your distinct hearing loss. The reality is that some types of hearing loss can’t be effectively managed with over-the-counter devices. Even if your distinct type of hearing loss can be handled in this way, you still need to pick one that will work best for your scenario.
This process should, at least in theory, permit you to choose the proper device for your hearing loss situation. That doesn’t necessarily mean your local pharmacy will have that device available, however, and close enough isn’t sufficient with regards to your hearing.
The Responsibility Part
This all sounds pretty good, in theory. Some people will be able to enjoy healthier hearing while cutting costs using OTC hearing aids. But we weren’t kidding when we said it puts a great deal of responsibility on the shoulders of consumers.
Consumers will miss out on the following things if they choose to go from their audiogram to an OTC hearing aid:
- Adjustments: Your hearing aid can be fine-tuned so it will function efficiently in a number of common situations. You can have presets that help you hear in quiet settings and other presets for louder situations like crowded restaurants. This type of fine-tuning can be essential to the long-term enjoyment of your hearing aids.
- A better selection: We offer all kinds of hearing aids, at different price points, that can be programmed to your hearing loss.
- Testing: Fittings also guarantee that the hearing aid is working the way that it should. 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.
- Advice: Even though they are tiny, hearing devices can be challenging to program. How to care for your hearing aid, how to use it efficiently, and how to adjust to your new hearing level, are some of the things we can walk you through.
- A good fit: You can get help with style and fit when you go through us. To ensure maximum comfort and a custom fit a mold of your ear can occasionally be cast. It’s important to wear your hearing aid every day so a good fit is crucial. Your ability to hear is also effected by fit. You’ll be more likely to get feedback if the device is loose in your ear.
When you come see us for some hearing guidance, these are just some of the things we will help you with.
It’s worth pointing out that over-the-counter hearing aids aren’t necessarily a bad thing. But when you are selecting your device, you should use some care, and including your hearing specialist will be a smart way to make sure you’re getting the care you require as well as the technology you want.