Convenience is something we all enjoy. So if you can go to your local store and get some hearing aids, it’s not difficult to understand how this would seem attractive. No fitting, no waiting, just instant gratification. But we might need to investigate this wonderful vision of the future a bit further.
Store bought hearing aids may start appearing in stores near you so a bit of caution is necessary. And in order to know all of the facts, a lot of the burden falls on the buyer. The stakes of those decisions are relatively high; get it wrong and your hearing could suffer. So, with great convenience comes great responsibility.
Over The Counter Hearing Aids – What Are They?
To some degree, an over-the-counter hearing aid has similarities with other hearing aids. So that they can counter the effects of hearing loss, these devices are made to amplify sound. OTC hearing aids, in this way, have advanced to some extent.
But the process of selecting an OTC hearing aid is a bit more involved than buying a bottle of ibuprofen. Here’s how it should work:
- You need an audiogram which you will get when you have a hearing screening.
- Your general hearing health, particularly what frequency you’re having a difficult time hearing, will be in your audiogram.
- Your distinct hearing loss criteria will determine what the appropriate solution should be. The truth is that some types of hearing loss can’t be effectively managed using over-the-counter devices. Even if your specific form of hearing loss can be handled in this way, you still need to select one that will work best for your scenario.
In theory, this strategy will help you select a hearing device that’s right for your level of hearing loss and that will work well in all situations. The real hassles can begin when you actually go to your local store to try and find the right device for you.
The Part About Responsibility
In theory, this most likely all sounds pretty good. Some people will be able to enjoy healthier hearing while cutting costs using OTC hearing aids. But the amount of responsibility that is placed on the consumer is no joke.
When a consumer goes straight from an audiogram to an OTC hearing aid, here’s what they lose out on:
- Testing: Fittings also ensure that the hearing aid is functioning the way that it should. You can be certain that your hearing aid is working the way it was meant for you because we test it when you’re in the office.
- Advice: Tiny though they are, hearing devices can be complicated to program. We can take you step-by-step through how to use your hearing aid effectively, how to care for them, and how to adjust to your new level of hearing.
- A good fit: You can get assistance with fit and style when you go through us. To ensure a custom fit and a maximum comfort a mold of your ear can sometimes be made. Getting a good fit will help make sure that you are comfortable enough to wear it every day. Your ability to hear is also effected by fit. You’ll be more likely to get feedback if the device isn’t snug in your ear.
- A better selection: We offer a wide variety of hearing aids, at different price points, that can be programmed to your hearing loss.
- Adjustments: Your hearing aid can be fine-tuned so it will function efficiently in several everyday situations. For instance, we can program settings for loud locations like restaurants and settings for quiet places. If you want to get the most from your hearing aids over the long run, this fine tuning is crucial.
When you come in for some hearing assistance, these are only some of the things we will help you with.
It’s worth pointing out 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, keeping your hearing specialist in the loop will help you get the care you need.