Over-the-counter hearing aid options are appearing more often online and in stores. These instruments are meant to make it convenient to get assistance with hearing loss. They also increase the affordability of hearing help. However, using over-the-counter hearing aids has caused quite a bit of concern from both medical professionals and the government. Some states are even issuing warnings because they have taken complaints from people who have used them. Some of these concerns are outlined below.
A Hearing Test is Still Needed
The idea that you can just go purchase a hearing aid online or at the store without dealing with essential steps like a hearing exam is a serious concern. It will be impossible to identify what the best plan for your hearing loss is without these steps. You may also miss signs that your hearing loss is related to other health concerns. Hearing tests also let you know how to program the device for best results.
There Are Different Levels And Kinds of Hearing Loss
Generally speaking, people tend to think of hearing loss as a kind of decreasing of the volume meter on your ears. The result is immediate when you do that on your stereo: everything goes quiet.
But adjusting the eq levels on a high end stereo is more like actual hearing loss. This develops because different wavelengths and frequencies are impacted with hearing loss. So you may actually be doing further damage to your hearing if your hearing aid is not precisely calibrated.
The exact frequencies that are being boosted by the OTC hearing aid will typically be printed on the packaging (at least on higher quality models). If you’ve had an audiogram recently you can attempt to do it on your own. Even then, you’re probably better off asking us to help program it. When your hearing loss is especially complex, OTC hearing aids may not provide the kind of personalization you’ll need.
Making Smart Hearing Aid Choices
At this point in history, people have the widest array of hearing aid choices ever. But because there are so many choices, it also makes choosing the right one that much more difficult. This is known as analysis paralysis, you likely experience it most intensely when you’re trying to find something to watch on Netflix.
Here are a few ways you can make some smart decisions with your hearing aids:
Some amplification devices are marketed to resemble hearing aids so be careful of this. It can often be difficult to tell the difference. Where a hearing aid will boost only certain wavelengths of sound, a hearing amplifier will just turn the volume up on everything. And that can be harmful for your ears in the long run. Obviously, you only need to increase the wavelengths you have trouble hearing. If your hearing is poor in the high register, you obviously don’t require to increase the lower frequencies which could harm your hearing.
Speak with us. Whether you opt to go OTC or not, it’s incredibly important to talk with us first. We can figure out how complex your hearing loss is with a simple hearing test. An OTC hearing aid might not be a good match. We can also do an audiogram, so you’ll be able to choose the correct solution for your requirements.
The best choice is often not going to be OTC hearing aids. But it’s significant to remember that most of these problems can be easily solved with a little personal education and a professional assessment. Hearing is crucial to your overall health. It’s worth taking the additional step and get evaluated first.