We all love convenience. So it’s easy to understand 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 may call for deeper investigation.
Over the counter hearing aids may start popping up in stores near you so a little caution is needed. And that puts a lot of responsibility on consumers like you to know all of the facts. 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, to a certain extent, are similar to other types of hearing aids. The devices are designed to amplify sounds so they can compensate for the effects of hearing loss. In this way, OTC hearing aids are better than they once were.
But it’s a little more complex than getting, say, a bottle of aspirin. It should work like this:
- You need an audiogram which you will get when you have a hearing evaluating.
- Your audiogram would give you an indication of your overall hearing health, including what frequencies of sound you need assistance hearing.
- You would then match your choice of hearing solution to your particular hearing loss. The fact is, over the counter hearing aids can’t effectively treat all kinds of hearing impairment. Even if your distinct form of hearing loss can be handled in this way, you still need to select one that will work best for your scenario.
This strategy should, at least theoretically, permit you to select the best device for your hearing loss situation. The real issues can start when you actually go to your local store to try and buy the best device for you.
The Part About Responsibility
This all seems pretty good, in theory. For some, OTC hearing aids will cut down on the costs involved and let more people enjoy healthier hearing. But we weren’t kidding when we said it places a great deal of responsibility on the shoulders of consumers.
Consumers will lose out on the following things if they choose to go from their audiogram to an OTC hearing aid:
- A good fit: We help you pick out a model and fit of hearing aid that will feel comfortable in your ears. To ensure a custom fit and a maximum comfort a mold of your ear can occasionally be cast. It’s important to wear your hearing aid on a daily basis so a good fit is crucial. Your ability to hear is also effected by fit. You’ll be more likely to have feedback if the device is loose in your ear.
- Adjustments: We can make a few kinds of adjustments that can help your hearing aid function better in a variety of common settings. For example, we can program settings for loud places like restaurants and settings for quiet spaces. This kind of fine-tuning can be essential to the long-term enjoyment of your hearing aids.
- Advice: Tiny though they are, hearing devices can be complicated to program. We can walk you through how to use your hearing aid effectively, how to take care of them, and how to adapt to your new level of hearing.
- 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 we test it when you’re in the office.
- A better selection: We can fit you with one of the numerous styles of hearing aids that we offer at a variety of price points programmed to your specific hearing needs.
These are just a couple of the advantages you get when you come see us for assistance.
We’re not saying that over-the-counter hearing aids are bad. It’s just that you should use a little bit of caution when making your selection, and including your hearing specialist will be a good way to make certain you’re getting the care you need in addition to the technology you want.