Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Increase Accessibility to Treatment
If you’ve heard of over-the-counter (OTC) 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. They can function as a self-serve option, but did you also know that the top three reasons for hearing aid abandonment were background noise, lack of benefit and poor sound quality across ten different studies? Those are all common issues, and they can all be addressed by a hearing specialist.
An audiologist helps you select the best hearing aid for your lifestyle, program it to your environment and adjust it to your specific hearing loss. We offer OTC models in addition to prescription-only devices, but no matter what hearing device you use, help from a specialist ensures you’re getting the greatest benefit from the option you choose.
What Are the Benefits of OTC Hearing Aids?
Increasing the accessibility of hearing loss treatment is one of our team’s top priorities. 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.
If OTC aids are a good fit for you and might make treatment a reality, we’ll help determine which model will serve you best. Typically, over-the-counter hearing aids benefit adults who are experiencing mild hearing loss and only need sound amplification.
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, so whether an OTC product or a medical hearing device is right for you, you can count on us to provide and support your treatment plan.
Your audiologist will also determine if your hearing loss is caused by a more serious medical connection 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.
An OTC Hearing Aid May Be the Best Fit For You
Every patient is unique. Some might benefit from the customization of a prescription hearing aid, but others may work well with an OTC model. No matter which category you fall under, we’re here to support you.
Heuser Hearing Institute carries OTC hearing aids in our offices and online and offers telehealth appointments so you can learn what will work best for you. Call us today at (502) 584-3573 to schedule an appointment.