We’re observing more instances, on TV and online, of over-the-counter hearing aids. Getting help for hearing loss is supposed to be easier with these instruments. They also might make this kind of device more affordable. 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 issuing warnings because of the number of complaints they’re receiving from patients. Here are just a couple of 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, such as having a hearing consultation and hearing examination. Without these steps, it is impossible to know which solution is right for you. Additionally, your hearing loss may be linked to other health concerns which you could miss. We can also help you determine what the best settings will be when you come in for a test.
There Are Different Levels And Kinds of Hearing Loss
In general, people have a tendency to think of hearing loss as a kind of decreasing 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 actual hearing loss. That’s because hearing loss is generally asymmetrical, impacting this frequency or that wavelength before others. If your hearing aid, OTC or otherwise, is not precisely calibrated for your particular hearing loss, you could wind up damaging your overall hearing.
The more sophisticated OTC hearing aids do a pretty good job of displaying on their packaging which frequencies they are amplifying. If you are going to attempt to do it by yourself, then you will want to begin with a recent audiogram. And you may still need some help with the programming. When your hearing loss is especially complex, OTC hearing aids might not offer the kind of customization you’ll need.
Making Smart Hearing Aid Decisions
Right now, people have the widest array of hearing aid options ever. But because there are so many options, it also makes deciding on the right one that much more difficult. This is known as analysis paralysis, you likely experience it most intensely when you’re attempting to find something to watch on Netflix.
You can make some smart choices with your hearing aids by doing the following:
Make sure you’re not purchasing a hearing amplifier. It can often be challenging to tell the difference. A hearing amplifier will turn up the volume on all wavelengths of sound, not just distinct frequencies like a hearing aid can. And that can be harmful for your ears in the long run. After all, you probably don’t need all frequencies to be louder, just the ones that you can’t hear currently. Making sounds universally loud will dull the sounds you’re already able to hear.
Keep us in the loop. It’s really important to have an assessment with us whichever way you decide to go. We can check your hearing to see exactly how complex your hearing impairment is. An OTC hearing aid may not be a good match. You will be in a better position to choose which solution fits your needs when you have an audiogram.
Over-the-counter hearing aids are frequently not the ideal solution. But it’s significant to consider that most of these problems can be simply worked out with a little personal education and a professional assessment. Hearing is crucial to your overall health. It’s worth taking the extra step and get evaluated first.