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  • Writer's pictureDr. John Kandare

Should I get an Over-The-Counter hearing aid?

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

Choosing between an audiologist-provided hearing aid and an over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aid depends on your individual hearing needs, preferences, and budget. Here are some reasons you might consider getting a hearing aid from an audiologist:

  1. Comprehensive Hearing Evaluation: An audiologist can provide a comprehensive hearing evaluation to determine the type and severity of your hearing loss. This allows for a tailored hearing aid solution, ensuring that you get a device that is best suited for your specific hearing profile.

  2. Personalized Fitting and Programming: Hearing aids dispensed by an audiologist can be custom-fitted and programmed specifically for your hearing needs. This personalization ensures maximum comfort and optimal sound quality.

  3. Professional Guidance: An audiologist can provide guidance on selecting the most suitable type of hearing aid based on your lifestyle, aesthetic preferences, and listening environments.

  4. Follow-up Care: An audiologist can provide regular follow-up care to check the fit, function, and programming of the hearing aid. They can also clean the device, make necessary repairs, and adjust the programming as your hearing needs change over time.

  5. Advanced Features: Many professional-grade hearing aids come with advanced features not found in basic OTC models. These may include directional microphones, noise reduction, tinnitus management, and wireless connectivity to other devices.

  6. Education and Training: An audiologist can educate you on how to use, clean, and maintain your hearing aid properly. They can also provide strategies for improving communication in various listening environments.

  7. Warranty and Repair Services: Hearing aids purchased through an audiologist often come with warranties and are typically accompanied by repair services, either onsite or through the manufacturer.

  8. Better Long-Term Outcome: With the support and guidance of an audiologist, many individuals experience better long-term satisfaction and benefit from their hearing aids.

However, it's worth noting that OTC hearing aids have their advantages too:

  1. Cost: OTC hearing aids are typically less expensive than those provided by audiologists.

  2. Accessibility: They are readily available without the need for a prescription or evaluation.

  3. Simplicity: For those with mild to moderate hearing loss who do not require personalized adjustments, OTC hearing aids might suffice.

Ultimately, the decision should be based on the severity of your hearing loss, your budget, and your desire for personalized care and guidance. If you're unsure, you can always schedule a consultation with an audiologist to discuss the best options for your needs. It's important to note that OTC hearing aids have limited gain so if a person has too much hearing loss, an OTC hearing aid might not be loud enough for a person to hear optimally.

Call us at Chagrin Hearing Center today or book an appointment online and we can test your hearing to see if an OTC or traditional hearing aid might be best suited for you.


“Dr. John is wonderful: highly professional, very personable, and with a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, his office is just as exemplary. Clean, comfortable, very modern, and well-equipped for service and fittings. Fully recommend.”

- Rob M.



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