Choosing a hearing aid can be a bit daunting. Should you go to a hearing aid specialist? Will an over-the-counter (OTC) device work for you? What style is best? How difficult are they to maintain?
This buyer’s guide answers all those questions and more.
After reading, you’ll be well on your way to a better quality of life and ready to visit the best hearing aid specialist in Frederick, Maryland to help you pick out the right device.
What Is the Difference Between a Prescription Hearing Aid and an OTC Device?
In August 2022, the FDA approved the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids. This was done to give people easier access and more affordable costs.
The rules that govern OTC hearing aids as set forth by the FDA indicate they are only suitable for individuals over the age of 18 with mild to moderate hearing loss and that they will be regulated differently than prescription hearing aids.
Prescription hearing aids are suitable for all ages. They are also designed for any type of hearing loss from mild to severe.
Should I Choose Analog or Digital Hearing Aids?
Analog hearing aids are not used quite as often as digital ones. However, they make continuous sound waves louder by amplification. Some models contain a microchip that stores program settings that can be used in various settings depending on the level of noise.
More commonly used are digital hearing aids. They have similar features to analog devices but convert sound waves into digital signals and produce a replication of the sound. Microchips in digital hearing aids analyze sounds, as well as also store program settings.
What Hearing Aid Options Are Available?
There are different types of hearing aids. The best hearing aid specialist in Frederick, Maryland will be able to suggest the right one to suit your specific needs and lifestyle.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) aids have the working parts in a piece worn behind the ear. A small tube carries amplified sound into a molded piece that fits inside your ear. BTE hearing aids address all levels of hearing loss. They are durable and often recommended for children.
With the receiver-in-canal (RIC) or receiver-in-the-ear (RITE), the microphone and amplifier sit behind the ear, while the receiver goes into the ear canal. They are lighter than BTE hearing aids and suitable for mild to severe loss of hearing.
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids contain all working parts inside a device that sits in the ear. This particular device treats mild to severe hearing loss and is custom made to fit the ear precisely.
Barely noticeable, completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids have a short string that hangs outside the ear for easy removal. This type of hearing aid is very lightweight and recommended for mild to moderate hearing loss.
What Features Can I Get With My Hearing Aid?
Some hearing aids do have optional features that can be added, but they usually come at a higher price point. Speak to your hearing aid specialist if you are interested in wireless connectivity, direct audio input, noise reduction, and / or a directional microphone.
Are You Ready to Meet With the Best Hearing Aid Specialist in Frederick, Maryland? Contact Potomac Audiology Today!
At Potomac Audiology, you’ll receive doctorate-level care you can trust. You can expect a comprehensive evaluation to determine your hearing loss level, as well as educational resources so you fully understand your treatment options.
If you are having trouble with your hearing or if you have questions about the brand of hearing aids we offer, please contact us at 240-599-3641 to request your appointment. We look forward to meeting you!