When you first notice that you have less than optimal hearing, you might be tempted to buy an over the counter (OTC) hearing aid. While there are OTC hearing aids available, the best person to give you advice, information and devices is an audiologist.

Do You Know the Nature of Your Hearing Loss?

When you get eye strain from using a computer all day or your eyes feel tired after reading, you will often choose to find some reading glasses or blue light glasses that can help. If your eyesight has changed or deteriorated, then most often, rather than buy reading glasses or blue light glasses, you will make a trip to the opticians. You can never be sure how much you aren’t hearing when it comes to your hearing. It takes special equipment to be able to test your hearing and an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist to read the results.

An audiogram is one of the ways to know for sure the nature of your hearing loss. A visual depiction of a person’s hearing at various pitches or frequencies is called an audiogram. Those frequencies correspond to diverse speech sounds, which is why you may think your hearing is perfect in some situations but not in others.

An ENT will test your hearing in various techniques to gain a more complete picture of your hearing loss and rule out other medical issues, including otosclerosis, Meniere’s Disease and outer ear infections.

Do You Know How to Program the Hearing Aid?

When you get a device, an ENT will carefully set the device up for you and show you how to program the hearing aid. You will be able to work your hearing aid perfectly, and if you should have any problems, you will have somewhere to go to help.

When buying an OTC hearing aid or buying one on the internet, you will have limited ability to set your hearing aid up for your own hearing needs. Hearing aids must be configured once your hearing loss has been benchmarked. There is no such thing as an off-the-shelf hearing aid that you can just place in your ear and go. Hearing aids must be set specifically for your hearing loss. Each manufacturer of hearing aids has its own software for programming their devices.

Any over-the-counter hearing aid must be customized for your unique hearing loss in order to be successful. It may be difficult to get hearing aids to operate effectively for you if you are not comfortable with computers or audio programming.

You May Have a Bad Experience with OTC Hearing Aids

If you have not previously used a hearing aid, and your first experience is with an OTC hearing aid, then you might be in for a difficult time.

OTC hearing aids are not made to be the most comfortable. The plastic casing or other materials can be very uncomfortable, and any part of the hearing aid is made to a standard size. Although some minor adjustments can be made, the hearing aid will not be securely fitted or correctly adjusted to your needs.

Another factor to keep in mind is that while the price of the over-the-counter hearing aid might look good, you might adjust the minimal amount of setting in the wrong way. This can mean you experience regular feedback noises and high or low pitches at an uncomfortable pitch. This can lead many people to believe that they don’t need a hearing aid or that perhaps going to an ENT isn’t worth it. When in actual fact, it is quite the contrary.

If you believe that you have hearing loss, your ENT can offer the best solution for your needs – ultimately improving your quality of life.

What If I Don’t Buy Any Hearing Aids?

While there are many issues with an OTC hearing aid, there are even more severe issues for those who choose not to get their hearing tested at all. Hearing loss is linked to cognitive decline, depression and increased heart disease and stroke risk. OTC hearing aids can also lull users into a false sense of security – assuming that they don’t need to see an audiologist now they have a make do item.

In the end, a hearing aid doesn’t just improve hearing – it improves all aspects of life. If you want to discuss your hearing requirements, then call Vero ENT Associates today at (772) 408-9556!