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We’re observing more instances, online and on TV, of over-the-counter hearing aids. Getting help for hearing loss is supposed to be easier with these devices. They also may make this kind of device more affordable. However, using over-the-counter hearing aids has caused quite a bit of concern from both medical experts and the government. Some states are even releasing warnings because of the number of complaints they’re receiving from patients. Here are just a couple of concerns.

Don’t Miss a Hearing Test

One main concern of over-the-counter hearing aids is that you neglect essential steps in the process, like getting a hearing consultation and hearing exam. Without these steps, it’s impossible to know which solution is right for you. Also, your hearing loss might be linked 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 an exam.

There Are Different Degrees And Kinds of Hearing Loss

Many people think that hearing loss is simply a lowering of the volume of sounds you hear. The result is instantaneous when you do that on your stereo: everything gets quiet.

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

The exact frequencies that are being boosted by the OTC hearing aid will typically be printed on the packaging (at least on higher quality models). If you have an audiogram recently you can try to do it by yourself. Even then, you’re likely better off asking us to help program it. When your hearing loss is especially complex, OTC hearing aids might not provide the kind of personalization you’ll need.

How to be Smart With Your Hearing Aid Decisions

Consumers have more options in terms of 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 more difficult. You’ve probably experienced this type of “analysis paralysis” when flipping through the channels and attempting to pick something to watch.

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

Make sure you’re not purchasing a hearing amplifier. One problem that customers have run into is recognizing the difference between an OTC hearing aid and a hearing amplifier. A hearing amplifier will turn up the volume on all frequencies of sound, not just distinct frequencies like a hearing aid does. And that can be bad for your ears in the long run. After all, you probably don’t require all frequencies to be boosted, just the ones that you can’t hear right now. If your hearing is poor in the high register, you obviously don’t require to increase the lower frequencies which could harm your hearing.

Speak with us. It’s very important to have an assessment with us either way you decide to go. We can check your hearing to see exactly how complex your hearing impairment is. An OTC hearing aid might not be a good fit. You will be in a better position to decide which solution meets your needs when you have an audiogram.

Over-the-counter hearing aids are frequently not the best solution. But it’s important to consider that most of these issues can be simply solved with a little personal education and a professional assessment. It’s beneficial to take the time to get some assistance first because hearing is a significant part of your general health.

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