Getting the Right Care Is Easier Than You Might Think
Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, a new category of regulated medical devices, have hit the market. But these devices aren’t for everyone. Whether you tried them and they didn’t work out or you’re feeling overwhelmed by options to tackle your hearing issues, we’ve got you.
Here’s a quick primer on OTCs versus prescriptive hearing aids and how our caring team can help.
What Are the Ways OTC Hearing Aids Differ From Prescription Hearing Aids?
OTC hearing devices can potentially help people with specific hearing-loss profiles. It’s important to understand, however, that they don’t replace prescription hearing technology. Unlike prescriptive and customizable hearing aids fit by a licensed hearing care professional, over-the-counter products:
- Are designed only for people 18 and older with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss
- Might not align with one’s actual hearing loss, which could be greater than perceived
- Bypass professional exams, which could lead to under- or overtreating your hearing issue
How Do I Know Whether I Have “Mild to Moderate” Hearing Loss?
OTC hearing aids are made for perceived mild to moderate hearing loss in adults, but individual perception could differ from objective measures of hearing difficulty. Mild hearing loss, for example, involves missing 25–30% of sounds in a normal listening environment with someone speaking at average volume. Your perception, however, could land below or beyond that percentage.
Professional evaluations offer a clearer picture of your hearing health. They can determine your actual level of hearing loss, if any, including whether it’s mild, moderate, or more severe. The exam typically may include:
- Communication assessments
- Review of your medical history
- Evaluation of your outer, middle, and inner ears
- Measurements of how you hear different pitches and process speech at varying sound levels
A trained professional can also determine the underlying cause of hearing loss, which can range from earwax buildup to head trauma, noise exposure, infection, disease, or even some medications. Self-treating without the benefit of a diagnostic evaluation could mean missing these key answers.
OTCs Ended up Not Working for Me, so What Should I Do?
It’s never too late to seek professional hearing care. Think of your OTC experience as part of an evolving better-hearing journey. We can help you further along your journey by learning more about your OTC experience, understanding your communication goals and, together, charting a path to success.
As part of that critical path, you can count on us for a comprehensive hearing evaluation, a current look at your hearing health, answers to your questions about the better-hearing journey thus far, and a treatment plan to help you live better by hearing your best.
Let’s build on your momentum by taking the next steps today. Book your appointment with our caring team now.