Hearing Loss can make it difficult to keep up in conversations with loved ones, and it’s easy to be deterred from seeking help. Social stigma and price can be significant barriers to seeking effective hearing loss treatment from a licensed audiologist. The recently updated Grassley-Warren Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2016 aims to address these concerns, allowing individuals above the age of 18 to purchase hearing aids over-the-counter, without a medical evaluation. But the act doesn’t take into account the real cost of over-the-counter hearing aids: impersonal devices that either don’t work for the patient, or even make hearing more difficult.
In an article from The Mighty, titled “Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids May Harm People With Hearing Loss“, Sarah Bricker describes a harrowing experience she had with over-the-counter hearing aids. “Every sound echoed off the walls and the floor, assaulting my ears with pain. The buds were too big for my ear canals, the sounds too much to bear”.
The truth of the matter is, as Bricker writes, “Hearing aids aren’t a one-size-fits-all commodity, and they shouldn’t be purchased like reading glasses.” With the aid of an experienced audiologist, hearing aids are delicately calibrated to the needs of every individual ear they fit inside. Experts take measurements to ensure proper comfort with the hearing aids, and they program the microcomputers within to specifically address each patient’s type of hearing loss, implementing your feedback as a patient to maximize their benefit. Not only that, but audiologists go to great lengths to educate patients on the proper use and maintenance of these complicated devices, teaching patients how to deal with any issue that might arise.
Every patient and ear is completely unique, and hearing loss is no different. It takes a professional, well-versed through years of study and experience, to take your needs and goals into account and provide the exact result you’re looking for to improve your hearing capabilities.
There’s no need to suffer from shoddily programmed over-the-counter hearing aids (or any hearing aids for that matter). Let me work with you to curb your hearing loss and make talking with friends and family easier than ever before.
All my best,