If you’ve heard of over-the-counter hearing aids, then you may have also heard you don’t need a prescription to purchase them. While they are convenient to buy and often cheaper than the prescription hearing aid alternative, patients will benefit from a licensed medical professional’s oversight.
Though they can function as a self-serve option, did you know that the top three reasons for hearing aid abandonment were background noise, lack of benefit and poor sound quality across 10 different studies? Those are all common issues, and they can all be addressed by a hearing specialist.
If an OTC device would meet your goals, we can point you in the direction of some quality products. And if a prescription device is really what you need, we can also help you select the best hearing aid for your lifestyle, program it to your environment and adjust it to your specific hearing loss. Whether you are purchasing your own OTC or getting a prescription device, seeking help from a specialist ensures you’ll get the most benefit from the option you choose.
Who Should Wear Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids?
Increasing the accessibility of hearing loss treatment is one of our team’s top priorities for 2023. According to one study, almost 86% of Americans 50 and older with hearing loss do not wear hearing aids. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to isolation, cognitive difficulties and increased falls.
OTC hearing aids are intended for adults with mild hearing loss who have the technical skills to learn about a new product independently.
While these devices may work well for some, certain patients should always receive prescription hearing aids. The National Institutes of Health recommends prescription hearing aids for people who do not hear louder sounds or struggle to hear conversations in quiet settings.
Our audiologists will also work with the following groups for prescription hearing aid fittings:
- Children younger than 18
- Adults with dementia
- People who experience sudden hearing loss, a big difference between one ear and the other or tinnitus in one ear, which are potential signs of a medical problem
An Audiologist Plays an Important Role
An audiologist does more than provide you with hearing aids. Every patient’s needs are different, and our provider will customize prescription devices to fit your needs. They’ll teach you how to use your new hearing aid so you can begin this new phase of your life with confidence.
Our audiologists will also determine if your hearing loss is caused by a more serious medical condition and connect you with the appropriate care.
Additionally, our providers offer ongoing support as you navigate hearing loss treatment. Your hearing loss may change with time and require adjustments to your hearing aids. Our team can do that for you.
Bottom line: when you work with one of our audiologists, you have a partner for your hearing loss journey. You aren’t in it alone.