Over-the-counter hearing aid choices are appearing more often in stores and online. Getting help for hearing loss is supposed to be easier with these instruments. They also may make this kind of device more affordable. But medical professionals and even government officials have some significant concerns about some of the consequences of using over-the-counter hearing aids. Some states are even releasing warnings because they have taken complaints from individuals who have used them. Some of these concerns are discussed below.
A Hearing Experiment is Still Important
The idea that you can just go buy a hearing aid online or at the store without going through important steps like a hearing exam is a significant worry. Without these steps, it is impossible to know which plan is right for you. You may also miss signs that your hearing loss is related to other health concerns. Hearing tests also inform you of how to set up the device for best results.
There Are Different Levels And Kinds of Hearing Loss
Many people think that hearing loss is simply a reduction of the volume of sounds you hear. The effect is immediate when you do that on your stereo: everything gets quiet.
But changing the eq levels on a high end stereo is more like actual hearing loss. This occurs because different wavelengths and frequencies are effected with hearing loss. So you could actually be doing additional damage to your hearing if your hearing aid is not precisely calibrated.
The particular frequencies that are being amplified by the OTC hearing aid will typically 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. Even then, you’re probably best off asking us to help program it. Sometimes, OTC hearing aids won’t be able to be personalized to the needs of somebody that has a more complex form of hearing loss.
Making Smart Hearing Aid Decisions
People have more options when it comes to devices to help with hearing than they ever did before. But because there are so many options, it also makes choosing the right one that much more difficult. You’ve probably experienced this kind of “analysis paralysis” when flipping through the channels and trying to pick something to watch.
You can make some good choices with your hearing aids by doing the following:
Be certain you’re not buying a hearing amplifier. One problem that customers have run into is recognizing 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 can. And after a while, that can damage your hearing. After all, you likely don’t need all frequencies to be boosted, just the ones that you can’t hear right now. Making sounds universally loud will weaken the sounds you’re already capable of hearing.
Keep us in the loop. It’s very important to have an evaluation with us either way you decide to go. We can test your hearing to see exactly how complex your hearing impairment is. An OTC hearing aid may not be a good fit. We can also do an audiogram, so you’ll be capable of choosing the best solution for your requirements.
Over-the-counter hearing aids are frequently not the ideal solution. But with a little professional help and education, most of these challenges can be conquered. It’s worthwhile to take the time to get some help first because hearing is an important part of your general health.