Every once in a while I am just totally amazed at the things that are thrown out to the public. I know we all have learned over the years that we are to “believe only half of what we see and nothing that you hear.” (Edgar Allan Poe). So this past Sunday as I am reading the “Parade” insert in the paper I came across an article about the “Invention of the Year”. Loving technology, I quickly scanned the page. There it was, down a little further, a picture of an ear and a picture of an awful-looking thing that is meant to pass as a hearing aid. UGH! I read on.
So the “Invention of the year” the article states is a hearing aid available “over the counter”. No prescription is needed. No hearing test. Again, another attempt at big business trying to make a buck out of people’s stupidity. Sounds harsh? Well, I have been fitting hearing instruments, medical devices, for over 41 years. Our office will celebrate 53 years in 2021. Like many of my peers/colleagues in this community, we have spent our lives educating ourselves and building our practices while expanding our abilities with the opportunity of advanced technologies. We CARE. We CARE that you can not hear your spouse, your kids, or your friends. We CARE that you have ringing in your ears. We CARE that your ears itch when you try to wear a hearing aid. We CARE that you don’t have a good feeling in your fingers and it’s hard to get your hearing aids in. We CARE when you tell us your loved one is always talking to you from another room.
We KNOW that you worry that you might go DEAF. We KNOW how bad that ringing/tinnitus in your ears is bothering you. We KNOW that cognitive decline is related to hearing loss and how important it is to be fit with the proper instrument for the best prevention. We KNOW that your balance is related to your hearing mechanism. We KNOW that even though you can’t understand speech very well other sounds drive you nuts! We KNOW you want to be active and go to the clubhouse. We KNOW you do not want to feel “less than”. We KNOW you do not want to be a burden. We KNOW you need a proper diagnosis. We KNOW you need the appropriate solution. WE KNOW YOU NEED HELP.
WE (and by “WE” I am referring to educated, licensed Hearing Health Care Providers) can provide solutions to your hearing and communication problems. To start you have to have a thorough hearing evaluation and a consultation about the type of technology that is available to help your specific needs. Many years ago a product hit the market called a “personal sound amplifier product or PSAP”. They have been around for years. They just make things louder. They are a generic “one size fits all” type of product. Ranging from $29.00 to $450.00 apiece, they are all an awful waste of money. Because they amplify everything, It is fine if you are sitting at home and just talking to one other person. But turn on the tv and add some background noise and they provide no noise control... so now you just have a noisy mess. (And possibly several hundred dollars lighter in your wallet). More importantly, you bought this product without seeking a professional so you don’t have any idea why you have hearing loss. Maybe you don’t even need a hearing aid... It may be a correctable medical condition. Now, big names like BOSE and SAMSUNG want to get in the game and change the name from PSAP (personal sound amplifying product) to “Over-the-counter Hearing Aid. It is still the same product... it’s just re-labeling to get more money for the same ‘stock” amplifier product that you pick up off the shelf.
The article states “there are no hassles with trips to your hearing provider, hearing tests or costs associated with hearing aids”. That’s because there is no service or expertise. There is NO quality. When you have a hearing loss, an inability to communicate, you have a deficit in one of your most important “five senses”. You are not buying a toothbrush. You are trying to correct your speech understanding difficulties, your communication difficulties. To achieve this you must obtain technology to specifically meet YOUR needs... and you need a hearing health care provider to lead this journey. You are worth it and so are your loved ones. Don’t be tricked. Reach out today to a qualified Hearing Health Care Provider and discover how much they do CARE! To Hear Better Is To Live Better!