Convenience is something we all enjoy. So it’s easy to grasp the attraction of hearing aids that you can get at your local store or pharmacy. No fitting, no waiting, just instant gratification. But this wonderful vision of the future may call for further investigation.
A little caution is essential because over-the-counter hearing aids might start popping up in stores around you. And that puts lots of burden on consumers like you to understand all of the facts. The stakes of those decisions are relatively high; get it wrong and your hearing could suffer. But great responsibility comes with great convenience.
Over The Counter Hearing Aids – What Are They?
Over the counter hearing aids, to a certain extent, are similar to other kinds of hearing aids. The devices are manufactured to amplify sounds in order to correct for the effects of hearing loss. OTC hearing aids, in doing this, have advanced somewhat.
But it’s a little more challenging than getting, say, a bottle of aspirin. It should work like this:
- You need an audiogram which you will get when you have a hearing assessment.
- Your audiogram would give you an indication of your overall hearing health, such as what frequencies of sound you need assistance hearing.
- Your distinct hearing loss parameters will identify what the appropriate solution should be. The reality is that some types of hearing loss can’t be effectively treated with over-the-counter devices. In situations where they can, you want to make sure you get as close to what you need as possible.
In theory, this process will help you select a hearing device that’s right for your amount of hearing loss and that will work well in all conditions. That doesn’t automatically mean your local store will have that device in stock, however, and close enough isn’t enough with regards to your hearing.
The Responsibility Part
This all seems pretty great, in theory. Some people will be able to enjoy healthier hearing while cutting costs using OTC hearing aids. But we weren’t kidding when we said it puts 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:
- A good fit: You can get assistance with fit and style when you go through us. To ensure a custom fit and a maximum comfort a mold of your ear can sometimes be made. It’s important to wear your hearing aid on a daily basis so a good fit is essential. Fit also impacts your ability to hear. If the device is too loose in your ear canal, you’ll be more likely to have feedback.
- Testing: When you get fitted for a hearing aid, we will also verify it’s functionality. You can be certain that your hearing aid is functioning the way it was intended for you because we test it when you’re in the office.
- Advice: Hearing aids can be complicated to program even though they’re tiny. We can walk you through how to use your hearing aid effectively, how to take care of them, and how to adjust to your new level of hearing.
- A better selection: We offer a wide variety of hearing aids, at various price points, that can be programmed to your hearing loss.
- Adjustments: Your hearing aid can be fine-tuned so it will operate effectively in several everyday situations. You can have presets that help you hear in quiet environments and other presets for noisier situations like crowded restaurants. In order to get the most out of your hearing aids over the long run, this fine tuning is crucial.
These are just a few of the advantages you get when you come see us for assistance.
We aren’t 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 in addition to getting the technology you want, including your hearing specialist will help you get the care you need.