Over-the-counter hearing aid choices are appearing more often online and in stores. These instruments are meant to make it convenient to get help for hearing loss. They also maximize the affordability of hearing help. Unfortunately, using over-the-counter hearing aids has caused quite a bit of worry from both medical experts and the government. Some states are even releasing warnings because they have received complaints from people who have used them. Here are just a few concerns.
A Hearing Exam is Still Important
The concept that you can just go purchase a hearing aid at the store or online without dealing with essential steps like a hearing test is a significant worry. It will be difficult to identify what the right solution for your hearing loss is without these steps. Additionally, your hearing loss may be linked to other health problems which you could miss. Hearing tests also inform you of how to program the device for best results.
There Are Different Degrees And Kinds of Hearing Loss
Generally, people tend to think of hearing loss as a kind of lowering of the volume meter on your ears. The result is instantaneous when you do that on your stereo: everything gets quiet.
But adjusting the eq levels on a high end stereo is more like actual hearing loss. This occurs because different wavelengths and frequencies are impacted with hearing loss. If your hearing aid, OTC or otherwise, is not accurately calibrated for your particular hearing loss, you could end up damaging your overall hearing.
The more sophisticated OTC hearing aids do a fairly good job of displaying on their packaging which wavelengths they are amplifying. If you’ve had an audiogram recently you can try to do it by yourself. Even then, you’re probably better off asking us to help program it. Sometimes, OTC hearing aids won’t be able to be customized to the needs of someone that has a more complex form of hearing loss.
How to be Smart With Your Hearing Aid Decisions
At this point in history, people have the widest array of hearing aid choices ever. But because there are so many options, it also makes choosing the right one that much harder. This is known as analysis paralysis, you likely experience it most intensely when you’re trying to find something to watch on Netflix.
You can make some good choices with your hearing aids by doing the following:
Be certain you aren’t purchasing a hearing amplifier. It can often be challenging to tell the difference. A hearing amplifier will turn up the volume on all frequencies of sound, not just specific frequencies like a hearing aid can. And that can be harmful for your ears over time. After all, you likely don’t require all frequencies to be boosted, just the ones that you can’t hear currently. If your hearing is poor in the high register, you obviously don’t require to boost the lower frequencies which could damage your hearing.
Speak with us. Whether you opt to go OTC or not, it’s very beneficial to speak with us first. We can figure out how complex your hearing loss is with a basic hearing test. An OTC hearing aid may not be a good match. You will be in a more informed position to choose which solution fits your needs when you have an audiogram.
The best solution is often not going to be OTC hearing aids. But with a little professional assistance and knowledge, most of these challenges can be conquered. Hearing is critical to your over-all health. It’s worth taking the extra step and get evaluated first.