Convenience is something we all love. So if you’re able to go to your local store and get some hearing aids, it’s not difficult to understand how this would seem attractive. No waiting, no fitting, just instant gratification. But this wonderful vision of the future may call for deeper investigation.
Store bought hearing aids may start popping up in stores around you so a bit of caution is needed. And in order to know all of the facts, a lot of the responsibility falls on the buyer. 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.
Over The Counter Hearing Aids – What Are They?
To some degree, an over-the-counter hearing aid has similarities with other hearing aids. In order to counteract the effects of hearing loss, these devices are manufactured to amplify sound. In this manner, OTC hearing aids are better than they used to be.
But the process of selecting an OTC hearing aid is a little more involved than buying a bottle of Tylenol. It should work like this:
- You should get a hearing screening and get an audiogram.
- Your audiogram would give you a readout of your general hearing health, including what frequencies of sound you need help hearing.
- You would then adjust your choice of hearing solution to your specific hearing loss. In truth, over the counter hearing aids can’t properly treat all forms of hearing impairment. In situations where they can, you’ll need to make sure you get as close to what you need as possible.
In theory, this strategy will help you pick a hearing device that’s right for your amount of hearing loss and that will work well in all conditions. That doesn’t necessarily mean your local pharmacy will have that device in stock, however, and close enough isn’t good enough when it comes to your hearing.
The Responsibility Part
This all sounds 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.
When a consumer goes right from an audiogram to an OTC hearing aid, this is what they lose out on:
- A good fit: You can get help with fit and style when you go through us. Sometimes, a mold of your ear will be taken to assure a custom fit and maximum comfort. Achieving a good fit will help make sure that you are comfortable enough to wear it on a daily basis. Your ability to hear is also effected by fit. You’ll be more likely to get feedback if the device is loose in your ear.
- Adjustments: Your hearing aid can be fine-tuned so it will function efficiently in a number of common situations. As an example, we can program settings for loud places like restaurants and settings for quiet spaces. In order to get the most from your hearing aids over time, this fine tuning is essential.
- Advice: Tiny though they are, hearing devices can be complicated to program. 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.
- A better selection: We offer all kinds of hearing aids, at different price points, that can be programmed to your hearing loss.
- Testing: When you get fitted for a hearing aid, we will also test it’s functionality. You can be sure that your hearing aid is working the way it was intended for you because we test it when you’re in the office.
These are just a couple of the advantages you get when you come in for assistance.
We aren’t saying that over-the-counter hearing aids are a bad thing. But when you are making your selection, you should use some care, and in conjunction with getting the technology you want, keeping your hearing specialist in the loop will help you receive the care you need.