The Trouble With Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids

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

Over-the-counter hearing aid options are appearing more frequently online and in stores. These instruments are meant to make it easier to get assistance with hearing loss. They also increase the affordability of hearing help. But medical professionals 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 individuals who have used them. Some of these concerns are outlined below.

Don’t Neglect Getting a Hearing Examination

The idea that you can just go buy a hearing aid online or at the store without dealing with essential steps like a hearing exam is a significant worry. It will be impossible to recognize what the correct solution for your hearing loss is without these steps. Also, your hearing loss may be connected 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.

Not All Hearing Loss is The Same

Many people think that hearing loss is simply a lowering of the volume of sounds you hear. The effect is instantaneous when you do that on your stereo: the volume quickly decreases.

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. So you could actually be doing further damage to your hearing if your hearing aid is not correctly calibrated.

The exact frequencies that are being boosted by the OTC hearing aid will typically be printed on the box (at least on higher quality models). If you have a recent audiogram you can attempt to do it on your own. And you may still want some help with the programming. When your hearing loss is especially complex, OTC hearing aids may not offer the kind of customization you’ll need.

How to be Smart With Your Hearing Aid Decisions

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

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

Make sure you’re not purchasing a hearing amplifier. It can often be difficult to tell the difference. A hearing amplifier will turn up the volume on all wavelengths of sound, not just specific frequencies like a hearing aid does. And over time, that can impair your hearing. After all, you probably don’t require all frequencies to be louder, just the ones that you can’t hear currently. Making sounds universally loud will weaken the sounds you’re already capable of hearing.

Speak with us. Whether you choose to go OTC or not, it’s very important to talk with us first. We can figure out how complex your hearing loss is with a basic hearing test. An OTC hearing aid may not be a good match. You will be in a better position to determine which solution meets your needs when you have an audiogram.

Over-the-counter hearing aids are frequently not the best choice. But with some professional help and knowledge, most of these difficulties can be conquered. It’s worthwhile to take the time to get some help first because hearing is an important 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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