Convenience is something we all enjoy. So it’s easy to realize the appeal of hearing aids that you can get at your local store or pharmacy. No waiting, no fitting, just instant gratification. But we may need to investigate this wonderful vision of the future a bit more.
Over the counter hearing aids may start appearing in stores around you so a bit of caution is required. And that puts a lot of responsibility on consumers like you to understand what’s what. The stakes of those decisions are relatively high; get it wrong and your hearing could pay the price. So, with great ease comes great responsibility.
Over The Counter Hearing Aids – What Are They?
Over the counter hearing aids, to a certain extent, have similarities with other kinds of hearing aids. The devices are manufactured to amplify sounds so they can correct for the effects of hearing loss. OTC hearing aids, in this regard, have improved to some extent.
But the process of purchasing an OTC hearing aid is a little more complex than buying a bottle of Tylenol. It should work like this:
- You need an audiogram which you will get when you have a hearing examination.
- Your audiogram would give you an indication of your general hearing health, such as what frequencies of sound you need help hearing.
- Your distinct hearing loss criteria will identify what the correct solution should be. In truth, over the counter hearing aids can’t properly treat all forms of hearing impairment. In situations where they can, you’ll need to make certain 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 degree of hearing loss and that will work well in all conditions. That doesn’t necessarily mean your local store will have that device available, however, and close enough isn’t enough with regards to your hearing.
The Responsibility Part
This all sounds pretty good, in theory. Some people might be able to enjoy healthier hearing while cutting costs with OTC hearing aids. But we weren’t kidding around when we said it puts a large amount of responsibility on the shoulders of consumers.
When a consumer goes straight from an audiogram to an OTC hearing aid, here’s what they lose out on:
- Testing: Fittings also ensure that the hearing aid is functioning the way that it should. You can be certain that your hearing aid is functioning the way it was intended for you because it’s tested when you’re in the office.
- 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 specific hearing needs.
- Advice: Hearing aids can be difficult to program even though they’re tiny. We can walk you through how to use your hearing aid effectively, how to take care of them, and how to adjust to your new level of hearing.
- Adjustments: We can make a few types of adjustments that can help your hearing aid work better in a variety of common situations. For instance, we can program settings for loud locations such as restaurants and settings for quiet spaces. In order to get the most from your hearing aids over time, this fine tuning is crucial.
- A good fit: You can get guidance with fit and style when you go through us. Sometimes, a mold of your ear will be taken to assure a custom fit and maximum comfort. It’s important to wear your hearing aid daily so a good fit is essential. Your ability to hear is also affected by fit. If the device doesn’t fit tightly in your ear canal, you’ll be more likely to have feedback.
These are just a couple of the advantages 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 need to use a bit of caution when making your selection, and in conjunction with getting the technology you want, including your hearing specialist will help you get the care you need.