Many of us start to notice here and there that our hearing isn’t quite what it used to be. This observation is especially true for those of us who have approached mid-life. You may have noticed that you don’t hear the same words others do while watching a show or participating in a conversation. Or maybe you don’t hear anything when someone asks you to identify a sound they hear off in the distance.
Whatever the case, the importance of consulting with a hearing health professional when these observations are made cannot be understated. Whether you believe you may have a very mild hearing loss, or you fear you may be living with more severe hearing loss, a professional can help steer you in the right direction to a solution that can have a significant impact on your quality of daily living.
One option that has gained popularity recently, and that may be a realistic option for those who have very mild hearing loss are Over The Counter (OTC) hearing aids. Although this is primarily a DIY solution to hearing loss, a hearing professional can help you determine if an OTC hearing aid will be the solution for you.
What Are OTC Hearing Aids?
Over The Counter hearing aids are ones that can be purchased without the assistance of an audiologist or other hearing health professional for those suffering from mild to moderate hearing loss. They are basic in design and do not offer the exact precision of more complicated, higher priced hearing aids.
The Benefit Of OTC Hearing Aids
The primary benefit of purchasing a hearing aid over the counter without the consultation of a professional is cost. Many individuals, especially Medicare recipients don’t have coverage for their hearing aid needs. Purchasing simple OTC aids cuts costs significantly. However, the tradeoff is a hearing aid that may not give you the exact care and optimization of your hearing that consultation and fitting by a trained professional can achieve.
According to a study conducted by Healthy Hearing, a majority of individuals receiving hearing health-related services find much more value in hearing aids fitted by a professional with proper consultation than purchasing one over the counter without any consultation at all.
That’s because most hearing patients perceive optimum hearing health as a direct product of a codependent relationship between evaluative consultations and hearing aid device. Without one, the other is not nearly as effective as it could be.
Is An OTC Hearing Aid Right For You?
An OTC hearing aid may be an excellent option for you especially if your hearing loss is mild. The best way to find out is to consult with a hearing health professional to have your hearing assessed and recommendations made for the proper hearing solution. You and your care provider can discuss an OTC solution and determine whether or not to proceed in that direction or if other solutions are still cost-effective and more beneficial that can be prescribed. For more information about OTC hearing aids, please call our office to speak with a hearing health professional today.