Man gets over-the-counter hearing aids without getting a hearing test.

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 maximize the affordability of hearing help. But medical experts and even government officials have some significant worries about some of the consequences of using over-the-counter hearing aids. Some states are even releasing warnings because they have received complaints from people who have used them. Some of these concerns are discussed below.

A Hearing Test is Still Needed

The idea that you can just go get a hearing aid at the store or online without going through essential steps like a hearing exam is a significant concern. It will be hard to identify what the right plan for your hearing loss is without these steps. You might also fail to recognize signs that your hearing loss is linked to other health concerns. We can also help you determine what the best settings will be when you come in for a test.

Not All Hearing Loss is The Same

Most people think that hearing loss is just a lowering of the volume of sounds you hear. The effect is immediate when you do that on your stereo: everything goes quiet.

But actual hearing loss is more like fooling around with the eq levels on a high-end stereo (or your audio app on your computer). That’s because hearing loss is generally irregular, influencing this frequency or that wavelength before others. If your hearing aid, over-the-counter or otherwise, is not precisely calibrated for your specific hearing loss, you could end up damaging your entire hearing.

The particular frequencies that are being boosted by the OTC hearing aid will usually be printed on the box (at least on higher quality versions). If you have an audiogram recently you can try to do it on your own. And you may still require some help with the programming. Sometimes, OTC hearing aids won’t be able to be customized to the requirements of somebody that has a more complex form of hearing loss.

How to be Smart With Your Hearing Aid Choices

People have more options in terms of devices to help with hearing than they ever did before. But it’s also more difficult to make some decisions because there are so many choices. You’ve most likely experienced this kind of “analysis paralysis” when flipping through the channels and attempting to choose something to watch.

Here are a couple of ways you can make some smart decisions with your hearing aids:

Be certain you’re not getting a hearing amplifier. It can often be challenging to tell the difference. A hearing amplifier will turn up the volume on all frequencies of sound, not just specific frequencies like a hearing aid does. And over time, that can impair your hearing. Obviously, you only need to boost the wavelengths you have trouble hearing. If your hearing is weak in the high register, you obviously don’t require to increase the lower frequencies which could damage your hearing.

Keep us involved. Whether you choose to go OTC or not, it’s incredibly beneficial to talk with us first. We can figure out how complex your hearing loss is with a basic hearing test. It may or may not be a smart plan to go with an OTC hearing aid. We can also do an audiogram, so you’ll be able to choose the best strategy for your needs.

Over-the-counter hearing aids are frequently not the best choice. But with a little professional help and education, most of these obstacles can be overcome. It’s important to take the time to get some assistance first because hearing is an essential part of your overall health.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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