We all love convenience. So if you’re able to go to your local store and buy some hearing aids, it’s not difficult to comprehend how this would seem appealing. No waiting, no fitting, just instant gratification. But this rosy vision of the future might call for further investigation.
Over the counter hearing aids might start appearing in stores around you so a little caution is necessary. And that puts lots of responsibility on consumers like you to understand what’s what. Those decisions have relatively high stakes; get it wrong and your hearing could pay the price. But great responsibility comes with great convenience.
Over The Counter Hearing Aids – What Are They?
In some sense, an over-the-counter hearing aid has some similarities with other hearing aids. In order to 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 little more involved than buying, say, a bottle of aspirin. It should work like this:
- You should have a hearing assessment and get an audiogram.
- Your overall hearing health, particularly what frequency you’re having a difficult time hearing, will be in your audiogram.
- Your distinct hearing loss criteria will identify what the proper solution should be. The fact is, over the counter hearing aids can’t effectively treat all forms of hearing impairment. In situations where they can, you want to make sure you get as close to what you need as you can.
Theoretically, this process will help you choose a hearing device that’s correct for your amount of hearing loss and that will work well in all conditions. The real problems can begin when you actually go to your local store to try and find the right device for you.
The Part About Responsibility
This all seems pretty good, in theory. For some, OTC hearing aids will decrease the costs involved and allow more people to enjoy healthier hearing. But we weren’t kidding when we said it puts a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of consumers.
Consumers will miss out on the following things if they decide to go from their audiogram to an OTC hearing aid:
- Advice: Hearing aids can be difficult to program even though they are tiny. How to care for your hearing aid, how to use it effectively, and how to adjust to your new hearing level, are some of the things we can take you step-by-step through.
- A good fit: You can get guidance with style and fit when you go through us. To ensure maximum comfort and a custom fit a mold of your ear can sometimes be cast. It’s important to wear your hearing aid daily so a good fit is crucial. Fit also impacts your ability to hear. You’ll be more likely to experience feedback if the device isn’t snug in your ear.
- A better selection: We can fit you with one of the various kinds of hearing aids that we offer at various price points programmed to your particular hearing needs.
- Adjustments: Your hearing aid can be fine-tuned so it will function efficiently in a number of everyday situations. For example, we can create settings for loud places like 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 crucial.
- Testing: Fittings also guarantee that the hearing aid is functioning the way that it should. You can be certain that your hearing aid is working the way it was meant for you because we test it when you’re in the office.
These are just a couple of the benefits you get when you come in for assistance.
We’re not saying that over-the-counter hearing aids are a bad thing. It’s just that you need to use a bit of caution when making your choices, and including your hearing specialist will be a good way to make sure you’re getting the care you require as well as the technology you want.