We all love convenience. So if you’re able to go to your local store and buy some hearing aids, it’s not hard to understand how this would seem appealing. Instant gratification with no fitting and no waiting. But we may need to investigate this positive vision of the future a bit further.
A little caution is essential because over-the-counter hearing aids might start appearing 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 suffer which makes the stakes for these decisions very high. But great responsibility comes with great convenience.
Over The Counter Hearing Aids – What Are They?
In some sense, an over-the-counter hearing aid has some similarities with other hearing aids. So that they can counteract the effects of hearing loss, these devices are designed to amplify sound. OTC hearing aids, in this regard, have advanced somewhat.
But it’s a little more challenging than getting, say, a bottle of aspirin. It should work like this:
- You should have a hearing screening and get an audiogram.
- Your audiogram would give you an indication of your general hearing health, including what frequencies of sound you need help hearing.
- Your distinct hearing loss parameters will identify what the correct solution should be. The fact is, over the counter hearing aids can’t effectively treat all types of hearing impairment. Even if your specific form of hearing loss can be handled in this way, you still need to choose one that will work best for your situation.
Theoretically, this process will help you choose a hearing device that’s correct for your level of hearing loss and that will work well in all situations. The real issues can begin when you actually visit your local store to try and buy the best device for you.
The Part About Responsibility
In theory, this probably all sounds pretty good. Some people will be able to enjoy healthier hearing while cutting costs with OTC hearing aids. But the amount of responsibility that is put on the consumer is no joke.
Consumers will lose out on the following things if they decide to go from their audiogram to an OTC hearing aid:
- A good fit: You can get assistance with fit and style when you go through us. Occasionally, a mold of your ear will be taken to ensure 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 affected by fit. You’ll be more likely to have feedback if the device is loose in your ear.
- Advice: Even though they are tiny, hearing devices can be complicated to program. We can take you step-by-step through how to use your hearing aid effectively, how to care for 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. This includes testing it while you’re still in the office and making sure it works as intended for you.
- A better selection: We can fit you with one of the many styles of hearing aids that we offer at a variety of price points programmed to your specific hearing needs.
- Adjustments: We can make several kinds of adjustments that can help your hearing aid work better in a variety of common settings. For example, we can program settings for loud places such as restaurants and settings for quiet places. If you want to get the most out of your hearing aids over time, this fine tuning is essential.
These are just a couple of the benefits you get when you come in for assistance.
We aren’t saying that over-the-counter hearing aids are bad. But when you are selecting your device, you should use some care, and in conjunction with getting the technology you want, keeping your hearing specialist in the loop will help you get the care you need.