Convenience is something we all love. So if you’re able to go to your local store and get some hearing aids, it’s not hard to recognize how this would seem attractive. No fitting, no waiting, just instant gratification. But we may need to investigate this wonderful vision of the future a bit further.
A little caution is required because over-the-counter hearing aids may start popping up in stores around you. And that puts a lot of responsibility on consumers like you to understand what’s what. If you don’t get it right your hearing could pay the price which makes the stakes for these decisions very high. But great responsibility comes with great convenience.
Over The Counter Hearing Aids – What Are They?
Over the counter hearing aids, to a certain extent, have similarities with other types of hearing aids. The devices are manufactured to amplify sounds so they can correct for the effects of hearing loss. OTC hearing aids, in doing this, have advanced to some extent.
But the process of selecting an OTC hearing aid is a little more complex than buying a bottle of ibuprofen. 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 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 that some kinds of hearing loss can’t be adequately treated using over-the-counter devices. In situations where they can, you want to make certain you get as close to what you need as possible.
In theory, this strategy will help you choose a hearing device that’s correct for your level of hearing loss and that will perform well in all environments. That doesn’t always mean your local pharmacy will have that device in stock, however, and close enough isn’t enough with regards to your hearing.
The Part About Responsibility
Theoretically, this probably all sounds pretty great. For some, OTC hearing aids will decrease the costs involved and let more people enjoy healthier hearing. But the amount of responsibility that is placed on the consumer is no joke.
Consumers will miss out on the following things if they choose to go from their audiogram to an OTC hearing aid:
- A good fit: You can get guidance with fit and style when you go through us. To ensure maximum comfort and a custom fit a mold of your ear can occasionally be cast. Getting a good fit will help make certain that you are comfortable enough to wear it on a daily basis. Your ability to hear is also affected by fit. If the device is too loose in your ear canal, you’ll be more likely to get feedback.
- Advice: Hearing aids can be difficult to program even though they are tiny. We can walk you through how to use your hearing aid effectively, how to care for them, and how to adapt to your new level of hearing.
- Adjustments: Your hearing aid can be fine-tuned so it will function effectively in a number of everyday situations. You can have presets that help you hear in quiet settings and other presets for noisier scenarios like crowded restaurants. If you want to get the most out of your hearing aids over time, this fine tuning is crucial.
- A better selection: We offer a wide variety of hearing aids, at different price points, that can be programmed to your hearing loss.
- Testing: When you get a fitting for a hearing aid, we will also test it’s functionality. 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.
When you come in for some hearing guidance, these are just some of the things we will help you with.
We’re not saying that over-the-counter hearing aids are bad. But when you are making your selection, you should use some caution, and in conjunction with getting the technology you want, including your hearing specialist will help you receive the care you need.