WHY TO AVOID OVER THE COUNTER (OTC) HEARING AIDS

OTC hearing aids are coming. Here is why you should reconsider buying them.

  1. Hearing loss diagnosis and treatment requires professional expertise, from analyzing one’s hearing loss to narrowing down the best devices for each individual. A hearing aid fitting is a precise process in which hearing aids are specially programmed to match the patient's listening abilities, based on their loss and their lifestyle needs. It also includes the physical fit, which is far more accurately done by hearing health professionals.

    In some cases, depending on the hearing aid model, we need to make an impression of your ear to fit your ear perfectly. As with other medical services, hearing loss treatment requires a consultation and testing with a licensed professional. With something so technical and personal, it's worth having a consultation in person. Not with a device purchased “over the counter” at your local drug store or supercenters such as Walmart or Target. 
     

  2. You sacrifice the quality and performance of your hearing aids for convenience. You wouldn't grab a stranger’s eyeglasses and use them for months and years, just because it’s more convenient than getting your eyes tested, right? The same goes for purchasing hearing aids online. It is critical to focus on the personalization of how you hear. 
     

  3. You do not have access to crucial testing and hearing evaluations that identifies the correct hearing aids for you. Before you start thinking about purchasing hearing aids online, have you had a hearing test? What is your hearing loss? What is the type of hearing loss you experience and to what degree? What is your lifestyle and what is important to you? All of this information is necessary before you even begin shopping for hearing aids. A hearing care provider will first do a thorough question and answer session with you followed by a complete hearing evaluation. 

    Once they have this information in hand, a hearing health provider can determine which devices are best suited for your specific hearing needs. There are many exciting, technologically-advanced options out there, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. A hearing care specialist will help you match the right hearing aid for your lifestyle.
     

  4. You lack the support you need to ensure that you're hearing aids are working properly. As with any medical procedure, regular check-ups are required to ensure that your hearing aids work as expected.

    You can purchase hearing aids online and might find that they work well for the first month or two. However, without professional expertise, there’s no way to know if those hearing aids are actually treating your specific hearing loss properly. And what if you need more fine-tuning? 

    With a hearing care specialist, adjustments and fine-tuning can be made to ensure that your devices are providing you optimal access to sound and speech. And these can often be scheduled and done on the same day.
     

  5. The use of hearing aids is a process, not an immediate fix. You'll need a hearing care specialist to take you step-by-step through this process. 

    You are not merely purchasing the devices when you are fit with hearing aids from a hearing care specialist. It also includes a precise fitting undertaken by the hearing care provider, advice on how to best use the device, and subsequent follow-up visits and check-ins. Plus a 3-year warranty, a 3-year loss and damage replacement, supplies and batteries ( if needed) for the life of the warranty.
     

  6. They will cost you more in the long run. Suppose you get a hearing aid online, and it does not fit well or you need adjustments. In that case, you may have to take it to a local hearing care specialist which will most likely cost you extra out-of-pocket costs as this office did not fit you and will need to be paid for their time. These expenses can be quite costly therefore depleting any money you may have saved. For some online purchased aids, you may not be able to go to a local office at all if the aids are proprietary, meaning they can only be adjusted by the online company which would require sending them in by mail. During this time you would more than likely be without any aids at all as they more than likely do not provide loaner aids. 
     

  7. You might not be buying the "real thing." You deserve something more reliable. Many devices that look like online hearing aids are, in fact, personal sound amplification products, also known as PSAPs.

    If you’ve been struggling to hear, PSAPs might sound “close enough” to what you're looking for, but this is nowhere near sufficient for your hearing health. PSAPs are far less sophisticated products than hearing aids, which may be why they give such a bargain. These mass-produced devices work in a pinch, but you deserve something more reliable for your overall health and well-being.

    A survey of 2,000 people by the Better Hearing Institute revealed a firm conclusion: people who had undergone a professional, clinically approved fitting procedure with a hearing care professional were the patients who were most satisfied with their hearing aids.


    If you believe that you or a loved one might have hearing loss, schedule a thorough hearing evaluation with us today. We provide comprehensive hearing health services, explore treatment options with you, and fit hearing aids according to your specific hearing needs. Wagner Hearing Aid of Culpeper, your hometown hearing aid specialist for over 40 years.