We’re seeing more examples, on TV and online, of over-the-counter hearing aids. Getting help for hearing loss is meant to be easier with these devices. They also increase the affordability of hearing assistance. Unfortunately, using over-the-counter hearing aids has caused quite a bit of concern from both medical professionals and the government. Some states are even releasing warnings because of the number of complaints they’re receiving from patients. Some of these concerns are outlined below.
Don’t Miss a Hearing Exam
The concept that you can just go get a hearing aid online or at the store without dealing with essential steps like a hearing test is a serious worry. It will be difficult to identify what the correct solution for your hearing loss is without these steps. You might also fail to recognize signs that your hearing loss is related to other health concerns. Hearing tests also let you know how to set up the device for best results.
There Are Different Levels And Kinds of Hearing Loss
Generally, people have a tendency to think of hearing loss as a kind of decreasing of the volume meter on your ears. The result is instantaneous when you do that on your stereo: the volume quickly decreases.
But actual hearing loss is more like messing around with the eq levels on a high-end stereo (or your music app on your computer). That’s because hearing loss tends to be irregular, impacting this frequency or that wavelength before others. If your hearing aid, over-the-counter or otherwise, is not correctly calibrated for your particular hearing loss, you could wind up damaging your overall hearing.
The most advanced OTC hearing aids do a fairly decent job of indicating on their packaging which frequencies they are boosting. If you have a recent audiogram you can try to do it on your own. Even then, you’re likely better off asking us to help program it. When your hearing loss is particularly complex, OTC hearing aids may not provide the kind of customization you’ll need.
How to be Smart With Your Hearing Aid Choices
People have more choices in terms of devices to help with hearing than at any point in history. But it’s also harder to make some decisions because there are so many options. You’ve most likely experienced this kind of “analysis paralysis” when flipping through the channels and attempting to pick something to watch.
Here are a couple of ways you can make some wise choices with your hearing aids:
Some amplification devices are advertised to resemble hearing aids so be careful of this. One issue that customers have run into is recognizing 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 difficulty hearing. Making sounds universally loud will weaken the sounds you’re already capable of hearing.
Keep us involved. It’s very important to have an assessment with us whichever way you choose to go. We can test your hearing to see exactly how complex your hearing impairment is. An OTC hearing aid might not be a good fit. We can also provide you with an audiogram, so you’ll be able to choose the best strategy for your requirements.
Over-the-counter hearing aids are frequently not the best solution. But with some professional help and education, most of these difficulties can be conquered. Hearing is essential to your overall health. It’s worth taking the extra step and get evaluated first.