The Issue With Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids

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

Over-the-counter hearing aid choices are showing up more frequently in stores and online. These instruments are meant to make it convenient to get assistance with hearing loss. They also might make this type of device more affordable. Unfortunately, using over-the-counter hearing aids has caused quite a bit of worry from both medical professionals and the government. Some states are even issuing warnings because of the number of complaints they’re receiving from patients. Here are just a couple of concerns.

Don’t Skip a Hearing Exam

One main problem with over-the-counter hearing aids is that you skip over important steps in the process, such as getting a hearing evaluation and hearing test. It will be hard to identify what the best solution for your hearing loss is without these steps. Also, your hearing loss may be linked to other health concerns which you could miss. We can also help you figure out what the best settings will be when you come in for a test.

There Are Different Degrees And Kinds of Hearing Loss

In general, people have a tendency to think of hearing loss as a sort of lowering of the volume meter on your ears. The effect is instantaneous when you do that on your stereo: everything goes quiet.

But changing the eq levels on a high end stereo is more like real hearing loss. This happens because different wavelengths and frequencies are effected with hearing loss. So you may actually be doing additional damage to your hearing if your hearing aid is not correctly calibrated.

The more advanced OTC hearing aids do a pretty decent job of displaying on their packaging which wavelengths they are amplifying. 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 better off asking us to help program it. When your hearing loss is particularly complex, OTC hearing aids may not provide the kind of customization you’ll need.

Making Smart Hearing Aid Decisions

At this point in history, consumers have the widest array of hearing aid choices ever. But because there are so many options, it also makes choosing the right one that much more difficult. You’ve most likely experienced this type of “analysis paralysis” when flipping through the channels and trying to pick something to watch.

You can make some smart choices with your hearing aids by doing the following:

Be certain you’re not buying a hearing amplifier. It can often be difficult to tell the difference. Where a hearing aid will boost only certain frequencies of sound, a hearing amplifier will just turn the volume up on everything. And over time, that can damage your hearing. Obviously, you only need to increase the wavelengths you have trouble hearing. If your hearing is poor in the high register, you obviously don’t need to increase the lower end which could damage your hearing.

Speak with us. Whether you opt to go OTC or not, it’s very beneficial to speak with us first. We can check your hearing to see just how complex your hearing loss is. It may or may not be a smart plan to choose an OTC hearing aid. We can also do an audiogram, so you’ll be capable of choosing the right solution for your requirements.

Over-the-counter hearing aids are frequently not the ideal choice. But it’s important to remember that most of these problems can be easily solved with a little personal education and a professional assessment. Hearing is critical to your over-all health. It’s worth taking the additional step and get evaluated first.

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.