We’re seeing more examples, online and on TV, of over-the-counter hearing aids. Getting help for hearing loss is meant to be easier with these devices. They also increase the affordability of hearing help. But medical experts and even government officials have some significant worries about some of the repercussions of using over-the-counter hearing aids. Some states are even releasing warnings because of the number of complaints they’re getting from patients. Here are just a few concerns.
A Hearing Test is Still Important
One main problem with over-the-counter hearing aids is that you neglect necessary steps in the process, like having a hearing evaluation and hearing test. It will be impossible to recognize what the right solution for your hearing loss is without these steps. You might also fail to recognize signs that your hearing loss is connected to other health concerns. Hearing tests also inform you of how to program the device for best results.
Not All Hearing Loss is Identical
Many people think that hearing loss is just a reduction of the volume of sounds you hear. The effect is instantaneous when you do that on your stereo: everything gets quiet.
But changing the eq levels on a high end stereo is more like real hearing loss. This develops because different wavelengths and frequencies are effected with hearing loss. If your hearing aid, over-the-counter or otherwise, is not correctly calibrated for your specific hearing loss, you could wind up damaging your entire hearing.
The more advanced OTC hearing aids do a pretty good job of indicating on their packaging which wavelengths they are boosting. If you are going to attempt to do it on your own, then you will want to start with a recent audiogram. Even then, you’re likely better off asking us to help program it. Sometimes, OTC hearing aids won’t be able to be personalized to the requirements of someone that has a more complex kind of hearing loss.
How to be Smart With Your Hearing Aid Decisions
People have more options when it comes to devices to help with hearing than at any point in history. But because there are so many options, it also makes deciding on the right one that much more difficult. You’ve most likely experienced this kind of “analysis paralysis” when flipping through the channels and attempting to choose something to watch.
You can make some smart choices with your hearing aids by doing the following:
Be certain you aren’t buying a hearing amplifier. One issue that people have encountered is recognizing the difference between an OTC hearing aid and a hearing amplifier. Where a hearing aid will increase only certain frequencies of sound, a hearing amplifier will turn up the volume on everything. And after a while, 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 require to boost the lower frequencies which could damage your hearing.
Keep us in the loop. It’s really important to have a consultation with us either way you decide to go. We can figure out how complex your hearing impairment is with a basic hearing test. It may or may not be a good strategy to go with an OTC hearing aid. You will be in a better position to decide which option fits your needs when you get an audiogram.
The best option is often not going to be OTC hearing aids. But with some professional assistance and knowledge, most of these obstacles can be overcome. Hearing is crucial to your overall health. It’s worth taking the additional step and get examined first.