Until recently, if you wanted to be treated for hearing loss or get hearing aids, you had one choice — see an audiologist or other licensed hearing care professional.
Today, your options have gotten more complicated, with online-only retailers, big-box stores and, starting soon, over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids you can buy at places like Walgreens and CVS.
Here’s the thing, though — seeing a hearing professional is still the best way to be treated for hearing loss or get hearing aids. Let us explain why.
Your hearing loss is unique — your hearing solution should be, too
Our hearing is complicated. It is also nuanced and unique to each individual — just like our sense of taste. (Why do some people love avocados or oysters while others hate them?) It only seems right, then, that the most effective solution to one’s hearing loss be nuanced, unique and slightly complicated, too.
Hearing aids — fit, programmed and supported by experienced hearing caring professionals — are the most dependable way to get a tailored solution that is just right for your unique needs.
Today’s hearing aids are sophisticated, high-tech devices
Hearing aids have long been the go-to remedy for hearing loss. Just as glasses are advised when we have vision issues, and pacemakers are prescribed to correct irregular heartbeats, hearing aids are what healthcare professionals around the globe recommend to treat hearing loss.
And rightly so — especially today’s hearing aids. Smarter and more technically advanced than ever before, the best hearing aids are able to do amazingly sophisticated things to help us hear better and stay connected.
And they do it all in a tiny electronic device that needs to sit comfortably in our warm, moist, unique-as-a-fingerprint ears for a dozen hours each day every day (that’s a big part of the complicated part).
But as with any sophisticated tool — or even simple ones like, say, a chisel — they produce even better results when wielded by an expert who is proficient at using them. That’s where the hearing professional comes in.
Hearing care professionals are the difference between hearing aid satisfaction and them sitting in a drawer
Only an experienced hearing professional has the skill and training to fit and program a hearing aid to your specific hearing and lifestyle needs. And as we wrote above, each person’s needs are unique.
There’s your hearing loss itself, which a hearing professional can specifically test and measure. What are your hearing thresholds? What frequencies do you struggle with? Are both ears affected? Is it the same loss in both?
These are just a few of the questions that thorough testing and a hearing professional will answer.
Then there are the intangibles: Why do you want to hear better? What do you want to hear better? What types of listening environments do you frequent? Are you mostly busy and active or relaxed and reserved? Are you tech savvy? Adept with your smartphone? Do you have dexterity issues? How about style concerns or specific feature requests?
The list of important questions and considerations goes on. And, in the case of hearing aids you buy over the counter, you can be confident the cashier at the local retail outlet is not going to ask you a single one.
Only after all these questions are answered — and your hearing wants and needs are thoroughly discussed — will the hearing professional tailor a solution just for you. And only after your hearing solution is tailored, can you feel confident it will work when you need it to, the way you need it to, and provide the benefits and reliability you demand.
Hearing aids are an investment — get your money’s worth
Finally, no matter where you get your hearing aids from, they won’t be cheap. Hearing aids are an investment in clearer communication, human connectedness, improved health and happiness, and a better quality of life — so it’s important you get your money’s worth.
When you buy them from a hearing professional, that’s exactly what you’ll get. Will you pay more? Of course. But you’ll also get the expert consultation, personalized fitting, and the service, support and ongoing care that a human sensory function as important as your hearing deserves.
Get your hearing aids from an experienced hearing care professional
As leaders in the hearing health industry for over 50 years, we’ve seen a lot. But one thing has remained consistent throughout the many innovations, scientific advancements and regulation changes of the past half century — hearing aids fit and supported by skilled and caring hearing professionals produce the best and most satisfying results.
That’s why we still recommend you get hearing aids from a hearing care professional and not from the internet, a 1-800 number, or off the shelf at the same place you pick up your prescriptions.
We can help
If you’re ready to experience how hearing aids can change your life and want to find a hearing care professional you can trust, we can help. Simply type your zip code in here and you’ll get a list of professionals in your area who can test your hearing, consult with you on options, and then tailor a solution to your needs.
Join our community of Starkey Blog subscribers
Want a week's worth of Starkey blogs delivered to your inbox? Sign up here.