Convenience is something we all enjoy. So it’s easy to comprehend the attraction of hearing aids that you can buy at your local pharmacy or store. No waiting, no fitting, just instant gratification. But we might need to investigate this positive vision of the future a little further.
A little caution is required because over-the-counter hearing aids might start popping up in stores near 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. So, with great ease comes great responsibility.
Over The Counter Hearing Aids – What Are They?
To some degree, an over-the-counter hearing aid has some similarities with other hearing aids. So that they can counter the effects of hearing loss, these devices are made to amplify sound. OTC hearing aids, in doing this, have advanced somewhat.
But it’s a little more involved than buying, say, a bottle of aspirin. Here’s how it should work:
- You should get a hearing assessment and receive an audiogram.
- Your audiogram would give you an indication of your general hearing health, such as what frequencies of sound you need assistance hearing.
- Your specific hearing loss parameters will identify what the proper solution should be. The truth is that some forms of hearing loss can’t be sufficiently addressed using over-the-counter devices. In situations where they can, you’ll need to make sure you get as close to what you need as you can.
This strategy should, at least in theory, allow you to pick the proper device for your hearing loss situation. 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
In theory, this probably all sounds pretty good. Some people might be able to enjoy healthier hearing while cutting costs using OTC hearing aids. But we weren’t joking when we said it places a large amount of responsibility on the shoulders of consumers.
Consumers will miss out on the following things if they choose to go from their audiogram to an OTC hearing aid:
- Adjustments: Your hearing aid can be fine-tuned so it will operate efficiently in a number of everyday situations. As an example, we can program settings for loud places like restaurants and settings for quiet places. This type of fine-tuning can be essential to the long-term enjoyment of your hearing aids.
- Testing: Fittings also guarantee that the hearing aid is working the way that it should. This includes testing it while you’re still in the office and making certain it works as intended for you.
- A good fit: You can get assistance with style and fit when you go through us. Sometimes, a mold of your ear will be taken to assure a custom fit and maximum comfort. Getting a good fit will help make certain that you are comfortable enough to wear it every day. Your ability to hear is also effected by fit. If the device is too loose in your ear canal, you’ll be more likely to have feedback.
- A better selection: We offer a wide variety of hearing aids, at various price points, that can be programmed to your hearing loss.
- Advice: Hearing aids can be complicated to program even though they are tiny. How to take care of your hearing aid, how to use it effectively, and how to adapt to your new hearing level, are some of the things we can take you step-by-step through.
When you come in for some hearing advice, these are just some of the things we will help you with.
We’re not saying that over-the-counter hearing aids are a bad thing. It’s just that you need to use a little caution when making your selection, and keeping your hearing specialist in the loop will be a good way to make certain you’re getting the care you need in addition to the technology you want.