You may have heard about Over-the-Counter (OTC) hearing aids hitting the market as a more affordable hearing care treatment, but can OTC products ever compete with the knowledge and expertise of a specialist? As your local partner in better hearing, our goal is to educate the community on all hearing health solutions to empower each person to make the most informed decision possible. Because you deserve the best hearing care available, here are six reasons to make an appointment with a hearing health professional.


1. Expertise

Hearing technology is only helpful if it’s precisely programmed, and you can acquire the skills to use it.  Purchasing an OTC hearing aid can provide a quick boost in hearing, but some users may be confused by how to best utilize certain features, discouraged by a sound quality that’s “louder but not clearer” or may have difficulty with how to make it fit comfortably in the ear.  A Hearing Care Professional is instrumental in ensuring that technology is meeting communication goals and that listeners understand how to get the most out of their investment. A big reason that OTC hearing aids are a lower cost is because they don’t come with professional guidance and care.


2. Fit

To maximize comfort and functionality, hearing devices should be custom fitted to each individual hearing loss, unique anatomy and then programmed to support unique listening goals. Choosing the earpiece for an OTC hearing aid without considering an audiogram can lead to poor hearing outcomes. Only a licensed Hearing Care Professional can do this.  Moreover, OTC hearing aids are only designed to meet the needs of mild to moderate hearing losses.  A hearing evaluation is essential to determine if prescriptive hearing devices or over-the-counter hearing aids will fit your loss.


3. Patient-Provider Relationship

Hearing loss has many different causes, from simple age-related decline to disorders such as Ménière’s disease to exposure to ototoxic chemicals. There are also many health conditions associated with hearing loss. A Hearing Care Provider can diagnose and treat many of these, forming a long-lasting relationship with you that goes beyond simply fitting you with hearing devices.


4. Tinnitus and Balance Support

Hearing loss often occurs alongside tinnitus, which is a persistent ringing, buzzing, or clicking sound in the ear. And because the inner ear governs the body’s equilibrium, balance issues are often diagnosed and treated by Hearing Care Providers as well. Providing support for these conditions is part of our commitment to our patients’ total health.


5. Safety

A licensed Hearing Care Professional will perform a series of tests to assess your hearing loss and ensure your hearing aids meet your needs without being too loud. Hearing technology that amplifies sound too much can further damage your hearing, and a poor fitting hearing device can cause discomfort.


6. Investment

While purchasing an OTC hearing aid may provide savings initially, seeking treatment through a licensed Hearing Care Professional is a better investment.  From warranty protection to technology adjustments, a partnership with a licensed hearing expert is invaluable.  Purchasing hearing devices through a Hearing Care Professional may seem more expensive, but state-of-the-art technology is maximized by collaboration with a skillful guide.  Hearing care practices often provide affordable solutions including coupons, grants and financing options.

Whether you are a longtime user of hearing devices or considering them for the first time, there is no better decision you can make for your hearing health than choosing a practice to provide you with an expert evaluation and sound advice. We believe you should have many choices to pursue the very best solution for your hearing needs. Family Hearing has built a wealth of knowledge, experience and solutions over the course of our 60 years in this community.  When you are in need of hearing help or hearing protection, you can always count on us.