Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

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

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 maximize the affordability of hearing help. Unfortunately, using over-the-counter hearing aids has caused quite a bit 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. Here are just a few concerns.

A Hearing Test is Still Needed

One main problem with over-the-counter hearing aids is that you skip over essential steps in the process, such as having a hearing consultation and hearing exam. It will be difficult to recognize what the right solution for your hearing loss is without these steps. Additionally, your hearing loss might 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 an exam.

Not All Hearing Loss is Equal

Many people think that hearing loss is simply a reduction of the volume of sounds you hear. The result is instantaneous when you do that on your stereo: the volume rapidly decreases.

But changing the eq levels on a high end stereo is more like real hearing loss. This occurs because different wavelengths and frequencies are impacted with hearing loss. If your hearing aid, OTC or otherwise, is not precisely calibrated for your specific hearing loss, you could wind up damaging your entire hearing.

The most advanced OTC hearing aids do a pretty good job of indicating on their packaging which frequencies they are boosting. If you are going to try to do it by yourself, then you will want to begin with a recent audiogram. And you may still require some assistance with the programming. When your hearing loss is particularly complex, OTC hearing aids might not offer the kind of personalization you’ll need.

How to be Smart With Your Hearing Aid Decisions

Right now, consumers have the largest selection of hearing aid choices ever. But it’s also more challenging to make some decisions because there are so many choices. You’ve probably experienced this kind of “analysis paralysis” when flipping through the channels and trying to choose something to watch.

Here are a few ways you can make some practical decisions with your hearing aids:

Some amplification devices are advertised to resemble hearing aids so be cautious of this. One issue that customers have run into is telling the difference between an OTC hearing aid and a hearing amplifier. Where a hearing aid will raise only certain frequencies of sound, a hearing amplifier will just turn the volume up on everything. And over time, that can damage your hearing. After all, you probably don’t need all frequencies to be louder, only the ones that you can’t hear currently. If your hearing is poor in the high register, you obviously don’t require to boost the lower end which could damage 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 loss is. It may or may not be a smart plan to choose an OTC hearing aid. You will be in a more informed position to choose which solution fits your needs when you have an audiogram.

Over-the-counter hearing aids are often not the ideal solution. But it’s significant to keep in mind that most of these problems can be simply solved with a little personal education and a professional assessment. Hearing is crucial to your over-all health. It’s worth taking the extra step and get evaluated 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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