Here’s What You Should Recognize About Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids

Pharmacy aisle with over the counter hearing aids, but no one to help with selection or fitting.

Convenience is something we all love. So it’s easy to comprehend the appeal of hearing aids that you can buy at your local store or pharmacy. Instant gratification with no fitting and no waiting. But this wonderful vision of the future may require deeper investigation.

A little care is required because over-the-counter hearing aids may start appearing in stores near you. And that puts a lot of burden on consumers like you to understand all of the facts. If you don’t get it right your hearing could pay the price which makes the stakes for these decisions very high. But great responsibility comes with great convenience.

Over The Counter Hearing Aids – What Are They?

To some degree, an over-the-counter hearing aid has some similarities with other hearing aids. The devices are designed to amplify sounds so they can compensate for the effects of hearing loss. In this manner, OTC hearing aids are better than they once were.

But the process of choosing an OTC hearing aid is a bit more complex than buying a bottle of Tylenol. Here’s how it should work:

  • You need an audiogram which you will get when you have a hearing assessment.
  • Your general hearing health, specifically what frequency you’re having a difficult time hearing, will be in your audiogram.
  • You would then match your choice of hearing solution to your distinct hearing loss. The reality is that some kinds of hearing loss can’t be adequately addressed using over-the-counter devices. Even if your particular type of hearing loss can be addressed in this way, you still need to pick one that will work best for your scenario.

Theoretically, this strategy will help you pick a hearing device that’s correct for your level of hearing loss and that will function well in all situations. The real hassles can start when you actually visit your local store to try and find the best device for you.

The Responsibility Part

Theoretically, this probably all sounds pretty good. Some people will be able to enjoy healthier hearing while cutting costs with OTC hearing aids. But we weren’t kidding when we said it places a great deal of responsibility on the shoulders of consumers.

When a consumer goes right from an audiogram to an OTC hearing aid, here’s what they lose out on:

  • A better selection: We can fit you with one of the many kinds of hearing aids that we offer at a variety of price points programmed to your distinct hearing needs.
  • Testing: Fittings also guarantee that the hearing aid is working the way that it should. This includes testing it while you’re still in the office and making certain it works as intended for you.
  • Adjustments: Your hearing aid can be adjusted so it will function efficiently in several everyday situations. For example, we can create settings for loud places like restaurants and settings for quiet places. In order to get the most from your hearing aids over the long run, this fine tuning is essential.
  • A good fit: You can get guidance with style and fit when you go through us. To ensure maximum comfort and a custom fit a mold of your ear can occasionally be cast. It’s important to wear your hearing aid on a daily basis so a good fit is essential. Fit also affects your ability to hear. You’ll be more likely to experience feedback if the device isn’t snug in your ear.
  • Advice: Even though they are tiny, hearing devices can be complicated to program. We can walk you through how to use your hearing aid effectively, how to take care of them, and how to adjust to your new level of hearing.

These are just a few of the benefits you get when you come see us for assistance.

We aren’t saying that over-the-counter hearing aids are bad. But when you are making your selection, you should use some care, and in addition to getting the technology you want, including your hearing specialist will help you receive the care you need.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Schedule an appointment to see if hearing aids could benefit you.