Over the counter hearing aids – how effective are they?

Over the counter hearing aids – how effective are they?

over the counter hearing aids and amplifiers and their effective use against loss of hearing

Over the counter hearing aids have taken the country by the storm!

These products aiding hearing through sleek, technologically advanced hearing amplifiers are the next-generation devices in combating the ailment of hearing loss.

Statistics from the numbers obtained through the country’s doctor network suggests that over 15% of adults in the US for ages above 18- show some or the other level of loss of hearing throughout their lives.

Further, with progressive old age, the chances of suffering from a level of deafness which can cause disruptions in the daily life rise sharply, hitting the 50% mark for adults over 75 years of age. For the folks in the 55-64 years of age, the percentage of people suffering from hearing loss is at 9%, which further increases to 25% in case of people ages 65-74.

This is about one in half adult person from the lot suffering from one or other kinds of hearing loss- some of which are severe enough to cause disruptions to day-to-day life if left unmitigated.

With such an impending loss of hearing, there is little one can do to combat its onslaught. Proper diet and taking steps to reduce the toil our ears undergo every day. Often, using micro-nutrient supplements and abstaining from prolonged exposure to loud noises help an individual- and yet,

And to help in this battle, are the hearing aids and amplifiers, which are a boon for people struggling with even the basic necessities of hearing and communication.


Why should you seek out OTC hearing amplifiers?

OTC (over-the-counter) hearing aids and amplifiers are the new age products under hearing devices which have taken the people suffering from hearing loss- by a storm. These devices can be purchased by the user without availing a prescription from a licensed audiologist or a medical healthcare professional.

With the roll-out of new FDA guidelines, things are looking up for the people who suffered not only from loss of hearing, but also from the costs associated with getting the prescription hearing aids and such devices.
As per the report by NIDCD, a vast majority of the people suffering from loss of hearing might benefit immensely by using some or the other form of hearing aid or amplifier device. Moreover, many people suffer from hearing difficulties, in-spite of reports from audiologists certifying them to be having clinically typical hearing.

In such cases, OTC hearing amplifiers help the person by amplifying the sound and boosting the speech audio by filtering it from the background noise.

Besides, people with such instances of sufferings from hearing loss can benefit from using the OTC hearing aids and have a selection of varied options of devices to choose from. These devices are efficient, cost-effective and inexpensive as compared to the prescription hearing aids.

Of course, the limitation is that FDA defines such OTC devices as medical devices to help the individuals with a perceived hearing loss ranging from mild to moderate range. Also, these devices can only be used by adults of ages 18 and above.

How are OTC hearing amplifiers different from prescription hearing aids?

Hearing aids obtained through the process of ailment check and prescription from a doctor or a licensed audiologist are personal hearing devices which are tailor-made to suit an individual’s hearing loss and such ailments.

These devices treat impaired hearing by a method of frequency selection and controlled amplification obtained by the onboard device and help in specific remedial solution for a person’s deafness.

OTC hearing amplifiers are the devices worn on or inside the ear to improve and enhance hearing- by amplifying the surrounding sounds and transmitting it to the ear canal for detection and response to the sounds.

The new and improved OTC hearing aids and amplifiers are closely regulated by the FDA before being available to the common person in the market. These devices need to adhere to certain regulations and must meet certain criteria before being sold. However, these devices may not be of much use to you if you suffer from severe hearing loss.

Certainly the prescription hearing aids would boast of a wider feature-range when compared to OTC hearing amplifiers, one cannot discount the OTC devices just yet.

The OTC devices encompass sterling features to help you improve your hearing and utilize the device for all its worth.

– Directional microphones in OTC hearing devices are necessary, while also being a strong-point for using such device. These microphones help you focus better on the sounds you would want to focus on, while filtering out the background noise, in a way.

Many such devices have automated volume control built-in them to allow for a more versatile control and ease of use in a given environment.

– Connectivity and compatibility to other digital devices goes hand-in-hand with today’s OTC hearing aids and amplifiers. Bluetooth connectivity helps the user pick and talk to phone calls directly while linked to their phones. It also allows the user to stream music directly- thereby serving as a device to help you in day-to-day life.

– OTC devices help in countering and combating various ailments associated with the hearing loss and its effect on our bodies and psyche. This in-turn helps you to improve upon the quality of life you lead, amongst the people around you.

– Cost of OTC devices is a major plus for advocating the use of such devices by an increasing number of users across the board. With the cost of obtaining a check-up and multiple follow-up checks from a doctor or a licensed audiologist, paired with the prescription hearing aid device can rack up a bill in the ballpark of several thousands of dollars- OTC devices can be obtained and used at a mere fraction of that price.

Not only do OTC hearing amplifiers cost less- they are also easier to maintain and have lower repairing and maintenance costs associated with them, when compared to the prescription counterparts.

There are some features which can be seen on both the devices- such as feedback cancellation or noise-reduction, which ensures that the person using the device gets an optimum output of sound from the device, and is not overwhelmed by the array of audio inputs hitting at the same instance.

Good hearing is certainly a requisite for you

While it might not seem like much- loss of hearing can have a devastating domino effect on an individual’s overall health and well-being. The better suited one is to utilize the hearing amplifier and help their hearing- the better chance of having their health respond accordingly.

In many cases, studies have shown that neglecting the hearing loss and not using any remedy for the ailment causes drastic effects on the person’s psyche and physical health.

Feeling of isolation, depression, dementia and the risk of being prone to falling are some of the major effects hearing loss has on a person. And if continued to go unchecked, this can cause further complications to the health- after being compounded by the declining mental health as well.

The icing on the cake is that even when other devices such as PSAs (personal sound amplification devices) and other related products are available without any checks, OTC hearing aids and amplifiers shall be regulated by the FDA.

Verdict on utilizing OTC devices

The bestselling point of OTC hearing aids and amplifiers is that these devices do not need a medical examination or a prescription to be purchased. Nor do these devices need any special or professional fitting from an audiologist. And with this, they become more accessible to the people suffering from mild to moderate loss of hearing, without pinching their wallets.

Of course, people who are below the age of 18, or suffer from severe loss of hearing shall need to consult the appropriate medical professional and consider getting the prescription hearing aids.

Statistics indicate that men are twice as likely to suffer from hearing loss between the ages of 20 to 69, as compared to women. And this also extrapolates to more than 28 million people in the United States alone who suffer from hearing loss and would benefit from using hearing aids and amplifiers.

We can put a dent on this hearing loss epidemic by providing you with state-of-the-art hearing solutions at Hionec.

The new regulations set forth by the FDA ensure that all the OTC hearing aids and amplifiers will undergo a certification process before being launched into the market. These regulations shall ensure that the devices meet the safety and quality standards to give the end-user the best out of the device to be used.

Further, this certification allows for the quality check from the manufacturer- to ensure that the OTC hearing aids are inherently effective in their functioning and provide with an enhanced sound quality to the consumer.

Visit the Hionec page and use the experience of our team of audiologists to ensure that you get the best solutions to your hearing debacles.

OTC hearing devices can help one to a great extent- are you ready for that positive change in your life?

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