We all love convenience. So it’s easy to grasp the attraction of hearing aids that you can buy at your local pharmacy or store. No waiting, no fitting, just instant gratification. But this rosy vision of the future might call for deeper investigation.
A little care is required because over-the-counter hearing aids might start appearing in stores around you. And in order to know all of the facts, a lot of the responsibility falls on the consumer. Those decisions have relatively high stakes; get it wrong and your hearing could suffer. So, with great ease comes great responsibility.
What’s an Over-The-Counter Hearing Aid?
Over the counter hearing aids, to a certain extent, have similarities with other types of hearing aids. So that they can counter the effects of hearing loss, these devices are made to amplify sound. OTC hearing aids, in this way, have advanced somewhat.
But it’s a bit more complex than buying, say, a bottle of aspirin. It should work like this:
- You need an audiogram which you will get when you have a hearing screening.
- Your overall hearing health, particularly what frequency you’re having a hard time hearing, will be in your audiogram.
- Your distinct hearing loss parameters will determine what the appropriate solution should be. The truth is that some forms of hearing loss can’t be adequately treated with over-the-counter devices. Even if your particular type of hearing loss can be handled in this way, you still need to select one that will work best for your scenario.
This process should, at least in theory, allow you to choose the best device for your hearing loss situation. The real issues can start when you actually go to your local store to try and find the right device for you.
The Part About Responsibility
Theoretically, this most likely all sounds pretty great. Some people might be able to enjoy healthier hearing while cutting costs using OTC hearing aids. But the amount of responsibility that is placed on the consumer is no joke.
When a consumer goes straight from an audiogram to an OTC hearing aid, here’s what they miss out on:
- A good fit: You can get assistance 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 experience feedback if the device is loose in your ear.
- Adjustments: Your hearing aid can be fine-tuned so it will function effectively in several common situations. For example, we can create settings for loud locations such as restaurants and settings for quiet places. If you want to get the most from your hearing aids over the long run, this fine tuning is essential.
- A better selection: We can fit you with one of the many styles of hearing aids that we offer at a variety of price points programmed to your specific hearing needs.
- Testing: Fittings also guarantee that the hearing aid is functioning the way that it should. This includes testing it while you’re still in the office and making certain it works as intended for you.
- Advice: Tiny though they are, hearing devices can be challenging to program. We can take you step-by-step through how to use your hearing aid effectively, how to care for them, and how to adjust to your new level of hearing.
These are just a few of the benefits you get when you come see us for assistance.
It’s worth mentioning that over-the-counter hearing aids aren’t always a bad thing. It’s just that you should use a 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 receive the care you need.