Gilberts Audiology & Hearing Aid Center - Oklahoma

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

We’re seeing more instances, 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. However, using over-the-counter hearing aids has caused a lot of concern among both medical professionals and the government. Some states are even releasing warnings because of the number of complaints they’re receiving from patients. Some of these concerns are discussed below.

Don’t Miss a Hearing Test

The idea 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 significant worry. It will be difficult to recognize what the correct plan for your hearing loss is without these steps. You might also miss signs that your hearing loss is related to other health concerns. Hearing tests also inform you of how to set up the device for best results.

Not All Hearing Loss is The Same

Most 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: the volume rapidly goes down.

But adjusting the eq levels on a high end stereo is more like actual hearing loss. This happens because different wavelengths and frequencies are effected with hearing loss. So you may actually be doing additional damage to your hearing if your hearing aid is not correctly calibrated.

The particular frequencies that are being amplified by the OTC hearing aid will usually be printed on the packaging (at least on higher quality versions). If you are going to try to do it on your own, then you will want to start with a recent audiogram. And you may still need some help with the programming. Sometimes, OTC hearing aids won’t be able to be personalized to the needs of somebody that has a more complex type of hearing loss.

Making Smart Hearing Aid Choices

At this point in history, people have the largest selection of hearing aid options ever. But it’s also harder to make some decisions because there are so many options. This is called analysis paralysis, you likely experience it most acutely when you’re trying to find something to watch on Netflix.

You can make some good choices with your hearing aids by doing the following:

Some amplification devices are marketed to look like hearing aids so be careful of this. It can often be hard to tell the difference. Where a hearing aid will raise only certain frequencies of sound, a hearing amplifier will just turn the volume up on everything. And that can be bad for your ears in the long run. After all, you probably don’t require all frequencies to be boosted, only the ones that you can’t hear right now. Making sounds universally loud will dull the sounds you’re already capable of hearing.

Speak with us. It’s very important to have a consultation with us whichever way you choose to go. We can test your hearing to see exactly how complex your hearing impairment is. It may or may not be a smart strategy to go with an OTC hearing aid. We can also provide you with an audiogram, so you’ll be capable of choosing the correct solution for your requirements.

The best choice is usually not going to be OTC hearing aids. But with a little professional assistance and knowledge, most of these difficulties can be conquered. Hearing is crucial to your overall health. It’s worth taking the extra step and get examined first.

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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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