Over-the-counter hearing aid options are showing up more often online and in stores. These instruments are meant to make it easier to get help for hearing loss. They also maximize the affordability of hearing help. However, using over-the-counter hearing aids has caused quite a bit of concern among both medical experts and the government. Some states are even issuing warnings because of the number of complaints they’re getting from patients. Here are just a couple of concerns.
Don’t Miss a Hearing Exam
The idea that you can just go get a hearing aid online or at the store without going through important steps like a hearing test is a serious concern. Without these steps, you can’t really know which solution is correct for you. Also, your hearing loss might be connected to other health problems which you could miss. Hearing tests also let you know how to set up the device for best results.
There Are Different Levels And Kinds of Hearing Loss
Generally speaking, people tend to think of hearing loss as a sort of lowering of the volume meter on your ears. The result is immediate when you do that on your stereo: the volume quickly goes down.
But changing the eq levels on a high end stereo is more like real hearing loss. This develops because different wavelengths and frequencies are impacted with hearing loss. If your hearing aid, OTC or otherwise, is not correctly calibrated for your particular hearing loss, you could end up damaging your overall hearing.
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 on your own, then you will want to begin with a recent audiogram. And you may still want some help with the programming. Sometimes, OTC hearing aids won’t be able to be personalized to the requirements of someone that has a more complex form of hearing loss.
Making Smart Hearing Aid Choices
Right now, people have the widest array of hearing aid options ever. But because there are so many choices, it also makes deciding on the right one that much more difficult. This is called analysis paralysis, you probably experience it most acutely when you’re attempting to find something to watch on Netflix.
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. One problem that people have encountered is recognizing the difference between an OTC hearing aid and a hearing amplifier. A hearing amplifier will turn up the volume on all frequencies of sound, not just specific frequencies like a hearing aid can. And over time, that can impair your hearing. Obviously, you only need to increase the wavelengths you have difficulty hearing. If your hearing is weak in the high register, you obviously don’t need to increase the lower frequencies which could damage your hearing.
Talk to us. Whether you choose to go OTC or not, it’s very beneficial to talk with us first. We can figure out how complex your hearing impairment is with a basic hearing test. An OTC hearing aid may not be a good match. We can also provide you with an audiogram, so you’ll be capable of choosing the correct strategy for your needs.
Over-the-counter hearing aids are frequently not the best choice. But it’s significant to consider that most of these issues can be simply worked out with a little personal education and a professional evaluation. It’s worthwhile to take the time to get some assistance first because hearing is an important part of your general health.