OTC Hearing Aids: What You Should Know

Millions of Americans have some degree of hearing loss. For many, hearing aids help improve their hearing. However, reports from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) highlight that many people who can benefit from hearing aids do not use them. 

Cost, social stigma and general unawareness are common reasons for people to delay seeking treatment with hearing aids. However, the benefits of treating hearing loss are profound. 

Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids are intended to provide a more affordable hearing aid option. Initially, the ability to get an OTC hearing aid, without needing to speak to a hearing healthcare professional, may seem like a great idea. However, OTC hearing aids also have their drawbacks. Continue reading this blog article to learn more.

OTC Hearing Aids – The Cons

One of the biggest drawbacks of OTC hearing aids is their ‘one size fits all’ approach to hearing loss. But people’s experiences of hearing loss is rarely ‘one size fits all.’ People’s unique hearing loss means that their hearing aid requirements are also unique. 

When you work with a hearing healthcare specialist, they will first aim to understand the type of hearing loss you have. From here, they will create hearing solutions that are tailored to your unique needs. 

Let’s think of this differently. If you have problems with your vision, your first port of call is likely going to be your optometrist. Why? Their specialized equipment will help provide you with the correct prescription and glasses. 

Similarly, a hearing assessment carried out by a hearing specialist can assess the extent of your hearing loss. A comprehensive hearing assessment will also help identify if certain listening situations require additional help – such as noisy office environments. 

Another drawback of OTC hearing aids is their lack of customization. When you work with a hearing specialist, they will ensure that your hearing aid devices are correctly configured. They will talk you through any unique features, and adjust the device to maximize your listening experience. 

While OTC hearing aids offer a more affordable hearing loss solution, there really is no better alternative to having a hearing care professional help you with all your hearing aid needs, including diagnosing your hearing loss, selecting a device for your specific type of hearing loss, a hearing aid fitting, follow-up care, and so much more. 

Trust the Professionals at Hearing Balance & Speech Center 

If you’d like to discuss hearing aids further, the hearing healthcare specialists at Hearing, Balance & Speech Center are here to help. If you’d like to book an appointment, please call us today at 203-774-5642 or request an appointment online.

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The purpose of this hearing assessment and/or demonstration is for hearing wellness and to determine if the consumer may benefit from using hearing aids, which may include selling and fitting hearing aids. Products demonstrated may differ from products sold. Assessment conclusion is not a medical diagnosis and further testing may be required to diagnose hearing loss. The use of any hearing aid may not fully restore normal hearing and does not prevent future hearing loss. Hearing instruments may not meet the needs of all hearing-impaired individuals.