Over-the-counter hearing aid choices are showing up more frequently online and in stores. 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 experts and the government. Some states are even issuing warnings because of the number of complaints they’re receiving from patients. Some of these concerns are discussed below.
A Hearing Experiment is Still Necessary
The concept that you can just go buy a hearing aid at the store or online without dealing with essential steps like a hearing exam is a significant worry. Without these steps, you can’t really know which solution is correct for you. You may also fail to recognize signs that your hearing loss is related to other health concerns. We can also help you determine what the best settings will be when you come in for a test.
There Are Different Degrees And Kinds of Hearing Loss
Many people think that hearing loss is just a lowering of the volume of sounds you hear. The effect is immediate when you do that on your stereo: everything gets quiet.
But adjusting the eq levels on a high end stereo is more like real hearing loss. That’s because hearing loss is usually irregular, influencing this frequency or that wavelength before others. If your hearing aid, OTC or otherwise, is not accurately calibrated for your particular hearing loss, you could wind up damaging your entire hearing.
The specific frequencies that are being boosted by the OTC hearing aid will typically be printed on the packaging (at least on higher quality versions). If you have an audiogram recently you can attempt to do it on your own. And you may still want some assistance with the programming. When your hearing loss is particularly complex, OTC hearing aids may not offer the kind of customization you’ll need.
How to be Smart With Your Hearing Aid Choices
People have more choices when it comes to devices to help with hearing than at any point in history. But because there are so many choices, it also makes choosing the right one that much more difficult. This is called analysis paralysis, you likely 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:
Be certain you’re not getting a hearing amplifier. One problem that consumers have run into is telling the difference between an OTC hearing aid and a hearing amplifier. A hearing amplifier will turn the volume up on all wavelengths of sound, not just distinct frequencies like a hearing aid does. And after a while, that can impair 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 in the loop. It’s very important to have an assessment with us whichever way you choose to go. We can check your hearing to see just how complex your hearing loss is. It may or may not be a good plan to choose an OTC hearing aid. We can also do an audiogram, so you’ll be capable of choosing the right strategy for your needs.
The best option is often not going to be OTC hearing aids. But it’s important to remember that most of these problems can be simply worked out with some personal education and a professional assessment. It’s beneficial to take the time to get some assistance first because hearing is a significant part of your general health.