OVER THE COUNTER/ON -LINE HEARING AIDS
You’ve seen them on tv, in drug stores and even in Walmart. The very cheap hearing aid “amplifiers” and the online hearing aids that cost several hundred dollars. They claim it’s easy to use & that everyone can perform a simplified and easy hearing evaluation on themselves that will customize the hearing aid for their hearing loss and give them a comfortable listening experience.
How can that even be possible???? And I can’t imagine wearing an “amplifier” which will just distort and magnify sounds…all sounds, background sounds included. With my type of hearing loss, magnifying the sounds will not help me to hear since I have sensorineural hearing loss. Before I go any further, let me explain the three types of hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss
The most common type of hearing loss, it occurs when inner ear nerves are damaged and do not properly transmit sound signals to the brain. It is the most common type of hearing loss caused by the withering of the hair cells in the inner ear due to age, noise damage or medications. Without healthy hair cells the ear cannot detect sounds properly.
Conductive hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss is typically the result of obstructions in the outer or middle ear, which prevent sound from entering the middle ear. Voices and sounds may sound faint, distorted or both. Most conductive hearing loss cases can be treated medically or surgically.
Mixed hearing loss
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
Now since you know the different types, just how do you think an over the counter or online aid can help you?
More and more people think these aids are the best thing since sliced bread because they are cheaper than a “fitted to your hearing loss” hearing aid done by a licensed and professional hearing aid provider. I have worn hearing aids for almost half my life and I can’t fathom how a hearing aid that comes in the mail or purchased at a drug store could possibly provide me with the proper hearing settings for my own personal hearing loss…. The only real way to get a properly fit hearing aid designed for your hearing loss is to get your hearing tested by a qualified and licensed hearing aid professional.
Sure you are going to pay more than you do online or at the drug store…..but isn’t getting the correct aid for your type of loss worth it to you? Why waste your money on these aids that will not give you the hearing help you need? You may eventually have to either replace them or get them repaired. And speaking of repairs, a professional hearing aid provider offers you repairs on your aid for free for the lifetime of your hearing aids. Do you think the online place would do this? My hearing aid provider (Sonotone Hearing Aid Centers) gives me a loaner hearing aid to wear while she has my regular aid repaired. Will the online store be doing that for you? Adjustments and cleaning…..all done by Sonotone for free…….again, will the online store do that for you? And, how will you hear the days (or weeks) that your aid is gone? And, some on line companies may not even offer service…Now you are in trouble……
Do yourself a favor. DO not buy an over the counter or online hearing aid. Trust me, I have been there and done that……and you will waste your money.