We’re observing more instances, on TV and online, of over-the-counter hearing aids. These instruments are meant to make it convenient to get help for hearing loss. They also increase the affordability of hearing help. However, using over-the-counter hearing aids has caused a lot of concern among both medical professionals and the government. Some states are even issuing warnings because they have taken complaints from people who have used them. Some of these concerns are outlined below.
Don’t Skip a Hearing Test
The idea that you can just go buy a hearing aid at the store or online without dealing with important steps like a hearing exam is a significant concern. It will be impossible to identify what the best plan for your hearing loss is without these steps. You may also miss signs that your hearing loss is connected 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 Types of Hearing Loss
Most people think that hearing loss is simply a reduction of the volume of sounds you hear. When you do that on your stereo (or your phone, as the kids do), the result is instantaneous: everything gets quiet.
But changing the eq levels on a high end stereo is more like real hearing loss. That’s because hearing loss is generally irregular, impacting this frequency or that wavelength before others. If your hearing aid, over-the-counter or otherwise, is not precisely calibrated for your specific hearing loss, you could wind up damaging your entire hearing.
The particular frequencies that are being boosted by the OTC hearing aid will usually be printed on the packaging (at least on higher quality models). If you are going to attempt to do it by yourself, 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 someone that has a more complex form of hearing loss.
Making Smart Hearing Aid Choices
Consumers have more choices when it comes to devices to help with hearing than they ever did before. But because there are so many options, it also makes deciding on the right one that much harder. You’ve probably experienced this kind of “analysis paralysis” when flipping through the channels and attempting to pick something to watch.
Here are a few ways you can make some wise decisions with your hearing aids:
Some amplification devices are marketed to resemble hearing aids so be careful of this. It can often be difficult to tell the difference. A hearing amplifier will turn up the volume on all wavelengths of sound, not just distinct frequencies like a hearing aid can. And after a while, that can impair your hearing. After all, you likely don’t need all frequencies to be boosted, just the ones that you can’t hear currently. If your hearing is weak in the high register, you obviously don’t need to increase the lower frequencies which could harm your hearing.
Speak with us. Whether you opt to go OTC or not, it’s very important to talk with us first. We can find out how complex your hearing impairment is with a basic hearing test. It may or may not be a smart plan to go with an OTC hearing aid. We can also provide you with an audiogram, so you’ll be able to choose the correct strategy for your requirements.
The best solution is usually not going to be OTC hearing aids. But with a little professional assistance and knowledge, most of these challenges can be conquered. Hearing is critical to your overall health. It’s worth taking the extra step and get examined first.