We’re seeing more examples, online and on TV, of over-the-counter hearing aids. Getting help for hearing loss is supposed to be easier with these devices. They also maximize the affordability of hearing help. But medical professionals and even government officials have some serious worries about some of the consequences of using over-the-counter hearing aids. Some states are even issuing warnings because of the number of complaints they’re receiving from patients. Some of these concerns are discussed below.
Don’t Overlook a Hearing Exam
The concept that you can just go get a hearing aid at the store or online without going through important steps like a hearing test is a serious worry. Without these steps, it is impossible to know which solution is correct for you. You might also fail to recognize signs that your hearing loss is related to other health concerns. We can also help you determine what the best settings will be when you come in for an exam.
There Are Different Degrees And Kinds of Hearing Loss
Most people think that hearing loss is just a lowering of the volume of sounds you hear. The result is immediate when you do that on your stereo: the volume quickly goes down.
But adjusting the eq levels on a high end stereo is more like real hearing loss. This develops because different wavelengths and frequencies are impacted with hearing loss. So you could actually be doing further damage to your hearing if your hearing aid is not precisely calibrated.
The particular frequencies that are being boosted by the OTC hearing aid will typically be printed on the box (at least on higher quality models). If you are going to try to do it by yourself, then you will want to start with a recent audiogram. And you may still require some help with the programming. Sometimes, OTC hearing aids won’t be able to be personalized to the needs of someone that has a more complex type of hearing loss.
How to be Smart With Your Hearing Aid Decisions
At this point in history, people have the widest array of hearing aid choices ever. But because there are so many choices, it also makes deciding on the right one that much harder. This is known as analysis paralysis, you likely experience it most intensely when you’re trying to find something to watch on Netflix.
You can make some smart choices with your hearing aids by doing the following:
Some amplification devices are advertised to resemble hearing aids so be careful of this. It can often be difficult to tell the difference. Where a hearing aid will raise only certain frequencies of sound, a hearing amplifier will just turn the volume up on everything. And that can be bad for your ears in the long run. After all, you likely don’t need all frequencies to be boosted, just the ones that you can’t hear currently. If your hearing is poor in the high register, you obviously don’t require to boost the lower frequencies which could harm your hearing.
Keep us involved. Whether you opt to go OTC or not, it’s incredibly beneficial to talk with us first. We can test your hearing to see just how complex your hearing loss is. It may or may not be a smart plan to choose an OTC hearing aid. You will be in a more informed position to determine which solution meets your needs when you have an audiogram.
The best option is usually not going to be OTC hearing aids. But with a little professional help and knowledge, most of these difficulties can be conquered. Hearing is crucial to your general health. It’s worth taking the extra step and get evaluated first.