We’re observing more instances, on TV and online, of over-the-counter hearing aids. Getting help for hearing loss is supposed to be easier with these devices. They also maximize the affordability of hearing help. Unfortunately, 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 received complaints from individuals who have used them. Some of these concerns are discussed below.
Don’t Overlook a Hearing Examination
The idea that you can just go get a hearing aid at the store or online without going through important steps like a hearing exam is a significant worry. Without these steps, it is impossible to know which solution is correct for you. 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 Kinds of Hearing Loss
In general, people tend to think of hearing loss as a sort of lowering of the volume meter on your ears. The result is instantaneous when you do that on your stereo: the volume quickly decreases.
But adjusting the eq levels on a high end stereo is more like real hearing loss. That’s because hearing loss is generally asymmetrical, affecting this frequency or that wavelength before others. So you could actually be doing further damage to your hearing if your hearing aid is not properly calibrated.
The more sophisticated OTC hearing aids do a pretty good job of displaying on their packaging which wavelengths they are amplifying. If you have a recent audiogram you can attempt to do it by yourself. Even then, you’re probably better off asking us to help program it. Sometimes, OTC hearing aids won’t be able to be customized to the needs of someone that has a more complex form of hearing loss.
How to be Smart With Your Hearing Aid Choices
Right now, consumers have the largest selection of hearing aid options ever. But because there are so many choices, it also makes choosing the right one that much more difficult. You’ve most likely experienced this kind of “analysis paralysis” when flipping through the channels and attempting to choose something to watch.
You can make some smart choices with your hearing aids by doing the following:
Make sure you’re not purchasing a hearing amplifier. One issue that people have encountered is telling 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 just turn the volume up on everything. And that can be bad for your ears over time. Obviously, you only need to increase the frequencies you have trouble hearing. If your hearing is poor in the high register, you obviously don’t need to increase the lower frequencies which could harm your hearing.
Keep us involved. It’s very important to have an assessment with us whichever way you decide to go. We can figure out how complex your hearing loss is with a simple hearing test. It may or may not be a smart strategy to go with an OTC hearing aid. We can also provide you with an audiogram, so you’ll be capable of choosing the correct solution for your needs.
The best choice is usually not going to be OTC hearing aids. But with a little professional help and education, most of these obstacles can be overcome. It’s worthwhile to take the time to get some assistance first because hearing is a significant part of your general health.