Are Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Better?

The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 was recently passed on August 3, 2017. This means that adults can now buy hearing aids over-the-counter without seeing a licensed professional such as an audiologist. Even though being able to purchase over-the-counter hearing aids may be helpful for some, as hearing care professionals, we don’t recommend it.

See a Licensed Hearing Care Professional for All Your Hearing Aid Needs.

If you or a loved one suffer from hearing loss problems, you may be considering purchasing over-the-counter hearing aids instead of going to see a licensed hearing care professional. While some items are suitable for buying over the counter, hearing aid devices aren’t among them.

Here are just a few reasons why it’s a bad idea to buy an over-the-counter hearing aid:

  • Everyone’s hearing loss is different, so hearing aids need to be fitted to address an individual’s specific hearing needs. Not to mention, without a proper hearing aid fitting, they will most likely not be comfortable in the ear.
  • A certified hearing care professional we ensures a proper hearing assessment, hearing aid fitting, as well as follow-up care to ensure long term success.
  • With so many advances in hearing aid technology and a multitude of hearing aid features, you need a knowledgeable hearing care professional to explain the different available options to you.
  • Tailor-made hearing aids are programmed by a professional to address an individual’s areas of weakness; OTC hearing aids are not.
  • When purchasing OTC hearing devices, you won’t have a professional to show you how to clean and maintain the device, remove and replace the batteries, or even troubleshoot simple problems – all benefits you get when working with a professional to get fitted for a “real” hearing aid.
  • If you suffer from hearing loss, it may be linked to an unknown health issue, such as infection, blockage or underlying medical problem, and attempting to treat the symptom of an undiagnosed medical illness with an OTC hearing device could leave an underlying condition unaddressed. (Plus, if the issue is as simple as excessive earwax you may not need a hearing aid!)
  • Unlike prescribed hearing aids, OTC hearing aid devices cannot help your brain process sound optimally; they usually just amplify sounds.
  • The improper use of OTC hearing aids can cause hearing damage or aggravate existing damage.

Schedule an Appointment with a Hearing Care Professional.

Still have questions about over-the-counter hearing aids? Want to find out whether you are a candidate for hearing aids or which type are right for you? At Audiology Clinic, we have a staff of educated and experienced hearing care professionals who have had years of training that can answer all your questions and work with you to find the best solution based off your listening needs and lifestyle preferences. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient hearing center locations. We provide FREE hearing assessments, offer specials from time to time and have financing options available – so feel free to inquire about them.

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Ready to start your journey to better hearing? Let our hearing care professionals find the right solution for you.

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