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

Convenience is something we all love. So if you’re able to go to your local store and buy some hearing aids, it’s not difficult to grasp how this would seem appealing. No fitting, no waiting, just instant gratification. But we may need to investigate this rosy vision of the future a little further.

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

Over The Counter Hearing Aids – What Are They?

In some sense, an over-the-counter hearing aid has some similarities with other hearing aids. In order to counteract the effects of hearing loss, these devices are manufactured to amplify sound. OTC hearing aids, in doing this, have improved somewhat.

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

  • You should get a hearing screening and get an audiogram.
  • Your general hearing health, specifically what frequency you’re having a difficult time hearing, will be in your audiogram.
  • Your distinct hearing loss parameters will determine what the proper solution should be. In truth, over the counter hearing aids can’t properly treat all kinds of hearing impairment. In situations where they can, you’ll need to make sure you get as close to what you need as you can.

Theoretically, this strategy will help you select a hearing device that’s correct for your degree of hearing loss and that will perform well in all environments. That doesn’t necessarily mean your local store will have that device in stock, however, and close enough isn’t enough when it comes to your hearing.

The Part About Responsibility

In theory, this most likely all sounds pretty good. Some people will be able to enjoy healthier hearing while cutting costs using OTC hearing aids. But we weren’t joking when we said it places a large amount of responsibility on the shoulders of consumers.

Consumers will lose out on the following things if they decide to go from their audiogram to an OTC hearing aid:

  • A good fit: You can get help with fit and style when you go through us. Occasionally, a mold of your ear will be taken to ensure a custom fit and maximum comfort. Achieving a good fit will help make sure that you are comfortable enough to wear it every day. Your ability to hear is also affected by fit. If the device is too loose in your ear canal, you’ll be more likely to have feedback.
  • 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.
  • Advice: Hearing aids can be difficult to program even though they are tiny. We can take you step-by-step through how to use your hearing aid effectively, how to take care of them, and how to adjust to your new level of hearing.
  • Adjustments: We can make a few types of adjustments that can help your hearing aid function better in a variety of common settings. You can have presets that help you hear in quiet environments and other presets for louder situations like crowded restaurants. In order to get the most out of your hearing aids over time, this fine tuning is essential.
  • A better selection: We offer all kinds of hearing aids, at different price points, that can be programmed to your hearing loss.

These are just a few of the advantages you get when you come in for assistance.

We aren’t saying that over-the-counter hearing aids are bad. It’s just that you should use a little caution when making your selection, and keeping us in the loop will be a smart way to make sure you’re getting the care you require in addition to the technology you want.

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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.