We’re observing more instances, on TV and online, of over-the-counter hearing aids. Getting help for hearing loss is meant to be easier with these instruments. They also may make this type of device more affordable. However, using over-the-counter hearing aids has caused quite a bit of worry from both medical experts and the government. Some states are even issuing warnings because they have received complaints from individuals who have used them. Here are just a few concerns.
Don’t Skip a Hearing Test
One main concern of over-the-counter hearing aids is that you neglect important steps in the process, like having a hearing evaluation and hearing exam. It will be hard to identify what the correct plan for your hearing loss is without these steps. Also, your hearing loss might be related to other health concerns which you could miss. Hearing tests also inform you of how to set up the device for best results.
There Are Different Levels And Types of Hearing Loss
Many people think that hearing loss is simply a reduction of the volume of sounds you hear. The result is instantaneous 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 generally irregular, affecting this frequency or that wavelength before others. If your hearing aid, OTC or otherwise, is not correctly calibrated for your specific hearing loss, you could end up damaging your overall hearing.
The most sophisticated OTC hearing aids do a fairly good job of displaying on their packaging which frequencies they are boosting. 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 need 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.
How to be Smart With Your Hearing Aid Decisions
Right now, consumers have the largest selection of hearing aid choices ever. But because there are so many choices, it also makes choosing the right one that much harder. You’ve most likely experienced this type of “analysis paralysis” when flipping through the channels and trying to choose something to watch.
Here are a few ways you can make some smart choices with your hearing aids:
Some amplification devices are marketed to look like hearing aids so be cautious of this. One issue that customers have encountered is telling the difference between an OTC hearing aid and a hearing amplifier. A hearing amplifier will turn the volume up on all frequencies of sound, not just distinct frequencies like a hearing aid does. And over time, that can damage your hearing. Obviously, you only need to increase the frequencies you have trouble hearing. Making sounds universally loud will dull the sounds you’re already capable of hearing.
Keep us involved. It’s really important to have an assessment with us whichever way you choose to go. We can figure out how complex your hearing loss is with a simple hearing test. An OTC hearing aid might not be a good match. We can also provide you with an audiogram, so you’ll be capable of choosing the right strategy for your requirements.
The best choice is often not going to be OTC hearing aids. But with a little professional help and knowledge, most of these difficulties can be conquered. Hearing is critical to your general health. It’s worth taking the additional step and get examined first.