Affordable Hearing Solutions: OTC Hearing Aids at Your Local Audiology Clinic
At Hears to U, we understand that hearing healthcare is not one-size-fits-all. People come to us with various needs, from earwax removal to addressing their hearing challenges. We take pride in offering a wide range of hearing solutions, including over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids for those who seek an affordable and convenient option. While not all audiologists endorse OTC hearing aids, we do at Hears Hearing & Hearables in Hopkins, Minnesota. In this blog post, we’ll explore the world of OTC hearing aids, what they entail, and how they can provide a valuable solution for individuals like “Anne”.
What Are OTC Hearing Aids?
OTC hearing aids are a game-changer in the world of audiology. They are essentially hearing aids that you can purchase without a prescription, without any help from a professional. Thus, saving on professional service fees. This means you can visit a local store that stocks OTC hearing aids, buy one, and set it up yourself to cater to your specific hearing needs. Most OTC hearing aids come equipped with a companion app that helps you personalize your hearing experience. Here’s how it typically works:
1. Purchase: You buy the OTC hearing aid box from an authorized retailer, like your local audiologist. You may also purchase from other stores like Best Buy. We of course prefer that you buy it from someone who understands ears and hearing like us audiologists. 🙂
2. Registration: As you begin to set up your hearing aid with your app, the app actually registers your OTC hearing aid with the brand of your hearing aids, like Jabra. These hearing aids often provide you with a one-year warranty.
3. Hearing Profile: Through the app, you conduct a hearing profile test, which is akin to a diagnostic hearing test. This test in the app reports to be calibrated to provide good data for your hearing needs. The hearing aid is then set to your unique hearing thresholds.
4. Customization: The app allows you to fine-tune your hearing aid settings, ensuring it caters to your specific hearing loss profile.
Are OTC Hearing Aids Right for You?
OTC hearing aids are typically designed for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss. They are not suitable for moderate or more severe hearing loss. However, they offer an affordable alternative to professionally fit, more expensive hearing aids. You can wear them all the time, however, they are meant to wear when you need them, such as in a noisy environment.
Consider “Anne’s” story as an example. Anne had a hearing test that revealed a steep hearing loss beyond 4000 Hz. A range where professionally fit hearing aids often do not help as the receiver doesn’t extend to higher frequencies. Her previous visit to another audiology clinic resulted in a recommendation for a $6000 hearing aid pair. However, Anne didn’t want to invest so much money for occasional use hearing challenges. After visiting Hears to U, we determined that an OTC hearing aid would be ideal for her needs.
Anne’s OTC Hearing Aid Experience
We sat down with Anne and went over what she wanted the solution to be and look like. Anne chose an OTC hearing aid that fits discreetly in her ear canal, providing her with a comfortable and nearly invisible hearing solution. We call this type of solution a completely-in-the-canal hearing aid that was once a Signia hearing aid and was now rebranded as a Sony OTC.
She felt that it would be a bit overwhelming to set up her device even though she knows how to use smartphone apps and owns an iPhone, she wanted our service to help her. We shared that we charge a small service fee to help choose and set up her new device that she purchased right here over the counter. At Hears to U, we will always offer additional assistance for setting up OTC hearing aids, ensuring our clients have peace of mind in using and maintaining them.
In any case, the process went smoothly and she liked the sound and fit of the Sony aids. We looked in her ear with an otoscope helping her pick the size of the dome. We showed her how to change the domes, and how to clean the aids and then we went through the setup with her on the phone.
The total cost for Anne’s OTC hearing aid, including our assistance, was around $1000. This provided her with a cost-effective solution tailored to her needs and specific environments, such as her restaurant enjoyment.
Embracing OTC Hearing Aids at Hears to U
We understand that not everyone requires a high-end, professionally fitted hearing aid. OTC hearing aids are akin to reading glasses for your ears – they offer a simple and effective solution for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. At Hears to U, Hearing & Hearables, we believe in providing options that suit your individual needs and budget.
OTC hearing aids are changing the landscape of hearing healthcare by offering affordable and accessible solutions. If you’re looking for an OTC hearing aid near you, whether in-store or online, consider visiting Hears to U, Hears Hearing & Hearables. We’re here to help you hear better within the budget that you feel best fits your needs. We can help you determine that and set your expectations for the solution you purchase.
Cheers to better hearing!