Over-the-counter hearing aid choices are showing up more frequently in stores and online. These instruments are meant to make it convenient to get help for hearing loss. They also maximize the affordability of hearing help. However, 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 of the number of complaints they’re getting from patients. Here are just a couple of concerns.
A Hearing Test is Still Needed
The concept that you can just go buy a hearing aid online or at the store without going through important steps like a hearing exam is a significant concern. Without these steps, it is impossible to know which solution is correct for you. Additionally, your hearing loss may be connected to other health concerns which you could miss. Hearing tests also let you know how to set up the device for best results.
There Are Different Degrees And Kinds of Hearing Loss
Most people think that hearing loss is just a lowering of the volume of sounds you hear. The effect is instantaneous when you do that on your stereo: everything goes quiet.
But real hearing loss is more like messing around with the eq levels on a high-end stereo (or your audio app on your computer). This develops because different wavelengths and frequencies are effected with hearing loss. If your hearing aid, over-the-counter or otherwise, is not correctly calibrated for your specific hearing loss, you could end up damaging your overall hearing.
The specific frequencies that are being amplified by the OTC hearing aid will typically be printed on the box (at least on higher quality versions). If you are going to attempt to do it on your own, then you will want to begin with a recent audiogram. Even then, you’re likely better off asking us to help program it. When your hearing loss is especially complex, OTC hearing aids might not provide the kind of personalization you’ll need.
How to be Smart With Your Hearing Aid Choices
People have more options when it comes to devices to help with hearing than they ever did before. But it’s also more difficult to make some decisions because there are so many choices. This is known as analysis paralysis, you probably experience it most intensely when you’re attempting to find something to watch on Netflix.
You can make some good choices with your hearing aids by doing the following:
Make sure you’re not buying a hearing amplifier. One problem that customers have run into is telling the difference between an OTC hearing aid and a hearing amplifier. A hearing amplifier will turn up the volume on all frequencies of sound, not just specific frequencies like a hearing aid can. And over time, that can damage your hearing. Obviously, you only need to boost the wavelengths you have trouble hearing. Making sounds universally loud will dull the sounds you’re already able to hear.
Keep us in the loop. Whether you opt to go OTC or not, it’s very important to talk with us first. We can figure out how complex your hearing impairment is with a basic hearing test. An OTC hearing aid may not be a good match. You will be in a better position to determine which solution fits your needs when you get an audiogram.
Over-the-counter hearing aids are often not the ideal solution. But with a little professional assistance and knowledge, most of these obstacles can be overcome. It’s beneficial to take the time to get some assistance first because hearing is an important part of your overall health.