Isn’t it strange that we live at a time when medications and medical devices are advertised to the public? Hearing devices are definitely having a moment right now, and one can hardly flip through a newspaper or browse a health website without seeing multiple prominent ads for the newest hearing aid.
The hearing devices in these ads typically look sleek, like the iPhone version of hearing aids, and the ads often claim things about proprietary technology and low prices. This is only going to become more popular as “over-the-counter” hearing devices hit the market next year and manufacturers all try to get a bigger share of the market.
I suppose one good thing coming out of this is that while hearing devices used to carry a certain stigma with them, these days they seem to be primed to be just another cool piece of “do not miss” technology. Chances are, because of this a few more hip senior citizens are going to get over their pride and be willing to try these devices out.
The reality we need to get back to is that hearing health starts with the hearing exam and a conversation with your audiologist. We audiologists have seen all the devices, read through all the features, and can help you select a device that actually works well for you based on your type of hearing loss and your other lifestyle needs.
So, it’s ok to look at these ads and formulate some questions about certain features that you might be interested in (say, rechargeable batteries, bluetooth connectivity, or a covert profile). But before you commit to anything or attempt to buy straight from the manufacturer, talk to your audiologist to discuss your needs. A recent AARP study found that with two groups with identical hearing devices, the group with audiologist support had radically higher satisfaction rate and was more willing to wear their hearing aids in the long run.
Think it might be time for a hearing check-up? Reach out to us to schedule an appointment!