You’ve noticed that your hearing has changed and you are no longer able to hear sounds as clearly as you once were. You’ve probably seen your audiologist who has confirmed that you have some level of hearing loss and advised that you consider hearing aids. Now, you’re wondering what types of hearing aids would be best for you and would offer you the highest levels of improved hearing and sound clarity.

You’ve probably heard a lot about over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids and are wondering what’s different about these hearing aids, how well they work and whether they’re worth trying out.

What are Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids?

Fairly recently, the path has been cleared for the approval of over-the-counter hearing aids which, until recently, were only available from audiologists. However, new over-the-counter alternatives may be available to buy from as early as next month.

An over-the-counter hearing aid offers a one-size-fits-all approach to hearing aid devices, compared to custom-made alternatives that audiologists are able to offer. They are available to purchase over-the-counter of pharmacies and a range of other stores.

They’re designed to be quick and easy to purchase, simple to wear and easy to use. The idea is to make hearing aids more accessible for a wider number of users. However, like most one-size-fits-all products, they’re not usually as effective as their custom-made counterparts and don’t usually come recommended by audiologists.

Who do Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids Work For?

Over-the-counter hearing aids tend to work well for users with mild hearing loss, however for anyone with more advanced hearing loss, or a specific hearing condition, custom hearing aids fitted by audiologists are often a better fit. As well as offering better sound quality and clarity, and a range of other additional features, such as Bluetooth capabilities, for instance.

If you’re unsure how severe your hearing loss may be, it’s best to book an appointment with an audiologist as soon as possible. As a rule of thumb, if you find hearing conversations difficult or you sometimes miss loud sounds, then your hearing loss is more severe and seeing an audiologist for a proper evaluation and properly fitted hearing aids is important. This will ensure that you are fitted with a hearing aid device that is designed to work effectively for the hearing problem you have, and will also ensure that you get the best result possible from your device.

Custom-fitted hearing aids from an audiologist are designed specifically for the user and are programed by an audiologist to meet the user’s specific hearing needs. Whereas, over-the-counter hearing aids are designed to be self-programmed and tend to feature more basic programming technology.

For anyone who notices mild hearing issues every now and then, an over-the-counter hearing aid could work well. However, for most people living with hearing loss, seeing an audiologist and getting custom-made hearing aids fitted is most likely the best option.

Will I Be Satisfied with an Over-The-Counter Hearing Aid Set?

The chances are, that unless you have very mild hearing loss, you will not get the results that you want from over-the-counter hearing aids. This is due to a range of factors, from how effectively they amplify sound quality and clarity, to lack of programming abilities. This is why audiologists always recommend making an appointment to have hearing aids custom chosen, fitted and programmed, rather than simply picking up hearing aid devices from over-the-counter.

By choosing to speak to an audiologist and have your hearing aids custom-made to fit your specific hearing needs, you can ensure that the quality of your devices is second-to-none. This means that the quality and clarity of the sounds you hear should be vastly improved, helping to make managing your day-to-day life with hearing loss far simpler and easier. You can also choose devices that will be a better fit for your lifestyle and day-to-day activities, such as hearing aids that feature modern technology, like Bluetooth capabilities, for instance.

Over-the-counter hearing aids do offer assistance with hearing, however compared to custom-made hearing aids the quality they offer is often slightly lower. So, for a better fit and improve sound quality, it’s more beneficial to opt for audiologist approved hearing aids that can be properly chosen, fitted and programed to meet your specific set of hearing requirements.

To find out more about Affordable Audiology & Hearing Service, get in touch today at (920) 267-5220.

Tags: otc hearing aids, over-the-counter hearing aids