We’re observing more instances, online and on TV, of over-the-counter hearing aids. Getting help for hearing loss is meant to be easier with these devices. They also may make this type of device more affordable. Unfortunately, using over-the-counter hearing aids has caused quite a bit of worry among 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 Overlook a Hearing Examination
The concept that you can just go buy a hearing aid online or at the store without dealing with important steps like a hearing test is a significant worry. It will be hard to recognize what the best solution for your hearing loss is without these steps. Also, your hearing loss may be connected to other health problems which you could miss. We can also help you determine what the best settings will be when you come in for an exam.
There Are Different Degrees 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. When you do that on your stereo (or your phone, as the kids do), the effect is immediate: everything goes quiet.
But real hearing loss is more like playing around with the eq levels on a high-end stereo (or your audio app on your computer). This occurs because different wavelengths and frequencies are effected with hearing loss. If your hearing aid, OTC or otherwise, is not precisely calibrated for your specific hearing loss, you could end up damaging your entire hearing.
The most sophisticated OTC hearing aids do a fairly good job of displaying on their packaging which frequencies they are amplifying. If you are going to try to do it on your own, then you will want to begin with a recent audiogram. And you may still want some assistance with the programming. Sometimes, OTC hearing aids won’t be able to be customized to the requirements of somebody that has a more complex type of hearing loss.
How to be Smart With Your Hearing Aid Choices
Right now, people have the largest selection of hearing aid options ever. But because there are so many options, it also makes choosing the right one that much more difficult. You’ve probably experienced this kind of “analysis paralysis” when flipping through the channels and trying to choose something to watch.
You can make some smart choices with your hearing aids by doing the following:
Make sure you’re not buying a hearing amplifier. One issue that consumers have run into is recognizing the difference between an OTC hearing aid and a hearing amplifier. Where a hearing aid will increase only certain frequencies of sound, a hearing amplifier will turn up the volume on everything. And that can be harmful for your ears in the long run. After all, you likely don’t need all frequencies to be louder, only the ones that you can’t hear right now. Making sounds universally loud will weaken the sounds you’re already capable of hearing.
Keep us involved. Whether you opt to go OTC or not, it’s very beneficial to speak with us first. We can check your hearing to see just how complex your hearing impairment is. 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 choice. But with a little professional assistance and knowledge, most of these obstacles can be conquered. It’s important to take the time to get some assistance first because hearing is a significant part of your general health.