Many people search for hearing aids over the counter to improve their hearing while avoiding the costs of hearing aids from an audiologist. Sure, over-the-counter hearing aids have their attractions, but are they really worth it? Before you spend several hundred or a thousand dollars on over-the-counter hearing aids, check out the pros and cons to see if they are really worth the money.
Are Hearing Aids Over the Counter Worth It?
Advantages of OTC Hearing Aids
Hearing aids over the counter have several attributes that are attractive to anyone wishing to hear more clearly.
- Lower cost: Hearing aids from department stores are significantly less expensive than prescribed hearing aids. They still cost nearly $1k each, but they still are cheaper.
- Appealing design: Appearance matters greatly, nearly as much as it does for eyeglasses. These hearing devices are supposed to look great on the wearer.
- Accessible: You do not have to go through an audiologist to access these devices. You only need a hearing test at a location that sells them.
Disadvantages of OTC Hearing Aids
Despite these benefits, the truth is that the disadvantages far outweigh them.
- Marketed to everyone: OTC hearing aids are supposed to fit anyone and everyone, even though every person’s hearing condition and needs are unique.
- No professional fitting: Hearing aids need to fit the individual’s hearing condition and ear. A hearing test at a big box store will not necessarily provide an accurate evaluation, and you will not have a professional fit the devices to your ears. Improperly fitted aids could cause them to whistle.
- Does not cover all needs: OTC hearing aids are for people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. If you have severe hearing loss, they will not be enough.
- Auditory deprivation: If you have an inaccurate glasses prescription, your brain will suffer. Likewise, inaccurate hearing aids can be unhealthy for the brain.
Improve Your Quality of Life with Real Hearing Aids
Getting hearing aids over the counter is not cheap. Put your money where it matters with hearing aids that fit your ears and exact hearing needs. The practice of audiology is there to give you the best hearing health possible.
Trust the Experts at Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions
Need help with your hearing? Clarity Hearing can help. Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions is an independently owned and operated clinic that focuses on quality of care and personalized, friendly service to the surrounding areas of Ellicott City, Catonsville, Columbia. Our Doctors of Audiology are highly trained with advanced degrees and take the time to provide the personalized care and attention that you need and deserve. We provide advanced hearing aid options that are personally calibrated with cutting-edge digital technology to fit your hearing loss, your unique ear anatomy, and your individual listening needs.