October is Audiology Awareness Month! That means there’s no better time to seek treatment for your hearing loss. Below we review what your treatment options there are and discuss the benefits of getting care from an expert audiologist.
There are two classifications of hearing aids: prescriptive and over-the-counter.
Prescriptive Hearing Aids
Prescriptive hearing aids are prescribed by an audiologist following a hearing test. During this process, your audiologist will use your audiogram, which is a visual representation of your hearing loss, as well as information about your lifestyle, to select a hearing aid that meets your exact needs. During this process, they’ll also discuss what features are available to ensure you can hear well in all listening situations you find yourself in, like dinner parties at Landry’s Seafood House.
Along with the hearing aid itself, the price you pay for prescriptive hearing aids also includes follow-up care. For example, if you find that some sounds are still too quiet or other sounds are uncomfortably loud, you can bring them in to be reprogrammed. If you wish to bring your devices in for a clean and check to ensure their longevity, this is also covered.
Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids
Over-the-counter hearing aids are a new category. In 2017, the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act was passed. This allows personal sound amplification devices (PSAPs) to be sold directly to consumers who have milder forms of hearing loss. The FDA was set to complete regulation by August 2020 until the pandemic struck. Now it is unclear exactly when these devices will be regulated.
While the sticker price of over-the-counter hearing aids is lower than for traditional prescriptive hearing aids, you cannot take advantage of the expertise of audiologists or access essential follow-up care.
Benefits of Seeing an Audiologist
As one 2017 study reveals, follow-up care is essential. The study, entitled “The Effects of Service-Delivery Model and Purchase Price on Hearing-Aid Outcomes in Older Adults: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial,” found that hearing aid users are more satisfied when they receive hearing care services, including tips on how to hear better in certain situations and how to gradually increase wearing time.
In short, it’s not just the technology itself you’re making an investment in, but your hearing health. That’s why there’s no better option than to work with an expert audiologist.
For more information about the benefits of prescriptive hearing aids or to schedule an appointment for a hearing test, call the Hearing Center of Lake Charles today.