We all love convenience. So it’s easy to grasp the attraction of hearing aids that you can buy at your local pharmacy or store. Instant gratification with no waiting and no fitting. But this positive vision of the future could require deeper investigation.
A little care is required because over-the-counter hearing aids may start popping up in stores near you. And that puts lots of responsibility on consumers like you to know all of the facts. If you don’t get it right your hearing could pay the price which makes the stakes for these decisions very high. But great responsibility comes with great convenience.
What Is an Over-The-Counter Hearing Aid?
In some sense, an over-the-counter hearing aid has similarities with other hearing aids. In order to counter the effects of hearing loss, these devices are made to amplify sound. In this manner, OTC hearing aids are of a higher quality than they once were.
But it’s a little more challenging than getting, say, a bottle of aspirin. It should work like this:
- You should get a hearing screening and receive an audiogram.
- Your overall hearing health, specifically what frequency you’re having a hard time hearing, will be in your audiogram.
- Your specific hearing loss parameters will determine what the proper solution should be. The fact is that some types of hearing loss can’t be sufficiently addressed with over-the-counter devices. Even if your particular form of hearing loss can be addressed in this way, you still need to pick one that will work best for your scenario.
This process should, at least in theory, permit you to pick the correct device for your hearing loss situation. That doesn’t necessarily mean your local pharmacy will have that device in stock, however, and close enough isn’t enough with regards to your hearing.
The Responsibility Part
This all seems pretty good, in theory. For some, OTC hearing aids will reduce the costs involved and allow more people to enjoy healthier hearing. But the amount of responsibility that is placed on the consumer is no joke.
Consumers will lose out on the following things if they choose to go from their audiogram to an OTC hearing aid:
- A good fit: You can get assistance with style and fit when you go through us. Sometimes, a mold of your ear will be taken to ensure a custom fit and maximum comfort. Getting a good fit will help make certain that you are comfortable enough to wear it every day. Your ability to hear is also effected by fit. If the device is too loose in your ear canal, you’ll be more likely to have feedback.
- Adjustments: Your hearing aid can be adjusted so it will operate efficiently in several common situations. You can have presets that help you hear in quiet environments and other presets for louder situations like crowded restaurants. This sort of fine-tuning can be essential to the long-term enjoyment of your hearing aids.
- 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 care for them, and how to adjust to your new level of hearing.
- Testing: Fittings also guarantee that the hearing aid is working the way that it should. This includes testing it while you’re still in the office and making sure it works as intended for you.
- A better selection: We offer all kinds of hearing aids, at various price points, that can be programmed to your hearing loss.
When you come in for some hearing advice, these are just some of the things we will help you with.
It’s worth mentioning that over-the-counter hearing aids aren’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just that you should use a bit of caution when making your selection, and in conjunction with getting the technology you want, including your hearing specialist will help you receive the care you need.