Convenience is something we all enjoy. So it’s easy to grasp the appeal of hearing aids that you can get at your local store or pharmacy. Instant gratification with no fitting and no waiting. But this rosy vision of the future could call for further investigation.
Store bought hearing aids might start popping up in stores around you so a little caution is needed. And that puts lots of responsibility on consumers like you to know all of the facts. The stakes of those decisions are relatively high; get it wrong and your hearing could pay the price. So, with great convenience comes great responsibility.
Over The Counter Hearing Aids – What Are They?
Over the counter hearing aids, to a certain extent, have similarities with other kinds of hearing aids. In order to counteract the effects of hearing loss, these devices are manufactured to amplify sound. In this regard, OTC hearing aids are better than they once were.
But the process of selecting an OTC hearing aid is a little more complex than buying a bottle of Tylenol. Here’s how it should work:
- You should have an audiogram which you will get when you have a hearing evaluating.
- Your audiogram would give you a readout of your overall hearing health, including what frequencies of sound you need help hearing.
- Your distinct hearing loss parameters will identify what the appropriate solution should be. The reality is that some kinds of hearing loss can’t be sufficiently addressed with over-the-counter devices. In situations where they can, you’ll need to make certain you get as close to what you need as you can.
This strategy should, at least in theory, allow you to select the best device for your hearing loss situation. The real hassles can begin when you actually visit your local store to try and find the correct device for you.
The Responsibility Part
This all sounds pretty great, in theory. 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.
When a consumer goes straight from an audiogram to an OTC hearing aid, here’s what they miss out on:
- A better selection: We offer a wide variety of hearing aids, at various price points, that can be programmed to your hearing loss.
- Testing: Fittings also guarantee that the hearing aid is functioning the way that it should. You can be certain that your hearing aid is functioning the way it was meant for you because it’s tested when you’re in the office.
- A good fit: You can get assistance with style and fit when you go through us. In some cases, a mold of your ear will be taken to ensure a custom fit and maximum comfort. It’s important to wear your hearing aid every day so a good fit is crucial. 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: Hearing aids can be difficult to program even though they are 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.
- Adjustments: We can make several types of adjustments that can help your hearing aid work better in a variety of common settings. As an example, we can program settings for loud places such as restaurants and settings for quiet places. If you want to get the most from your hearing aids over time, this fine tuning is essential.
These are just a couple of the advantages you get when you come in for advice.
It’s worth mentioning that over-the-counter hearing aids aren’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just that you need to use a little caution when making your choices, and including your hearing specialist will be a smart way to make sure you’re getting the care you require in conjunction with the technology you want.