We’re seeing more instances, on TV and online, of over-the-counter hearing aids. Getting help for hearing loss is meant to be easier with these devices. They also might make this kind of device more affordable. But medical professionals 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 they have received complaints from individuals who have used them. Some of these concerns are outlined below.
A Hearing Experiment is Still Needed
The concept that you can just go get a hearing aid online or at the store without dealing with important steps like a hearing test is a serious worry. Without these steps, it’s impossible to know which solution is right for you. You may also miss signs that your hearing loss is connected to other health concerns. 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
Generally speaking, people have a tendency to think of hearing loss as a kind of lowering of the volume meter on your ears. When you do that on your stereo (or your phone, as the kids do), the effect is immediate: everything goes quiet.
But actual hearing loss is more like fooling around with the eq levels on a high-end stereo (or your music app on your computer). This develops because different wavelengths and frequencies are impacted with hearing loss. 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 most sophisticated OTC hearing aids do a pretty good job of displaying on their packaging which wavelengths they are boosting. If you are going to try to do it by yourself, then you will want to start with a recent audiogram. And you may still need some help with the programming. When your hearing loss is particularly complex, OTC hearing aids may not offer the kind of customization you’ll need.
How to be Smart With Your Hearing Aid Choices
People have more choices when it comes to devices to help with hearing than at any point in history. But because there are so many choices, it also makes deciding on the right one that much harder. This is known as analysis paralysis, you probably experience it most acutely when you’re attempting to find something to watch on Netflix.
You can make some good choices with your hearing aids by doing the following:
Make sure you’re not 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 just turn the volume up on everything. And that can be harmful for your ears in the long run. After all, you likely don’t need all frequencies to be louder, just the ones that you can’t hear currently. If your hearing is poor in the high register, you obviously don’t need to increase the lower frequencies which could harm your hearing.
Speak with us. It’s very important to have an assessment with us whichever way you decide to go. We can find out how complex your hearing impairment is with a basic hearing test. An OTC hearing aid might not be a good fit. We can also do an audiogram, so you’ll be capable of choosing the correct solution for your requirements.
Over-the-counter hearing aids are frequently not the best solution. But it’s significant to remember that most of these problems can be simply solved with some personal education and a professional assessment. Hearing is critical to your overall health. It’s worth taking the extra step and get evaluated first.