Can You Buy a Hearing Aid Without Consulting a Doctor?

June 28, 2017 11:26 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Buying a hearing aid isn’t as easy as walking down to the drugstore and ringing one up at the register. In fact, before you can get your hands on a true hearing aid, you’ll need to start at the very first step in a controlled process: visiting with an audiologist. Before a hearing aid comes a series of hearing tests—not to mention consultations, fittings and more. All told, hearing aids are more than just “plug and play” devices.

Before we get into how to obtain a prescription for a hearing aid, however, it’s important to make a distinction. There are general Personal Sound Amplifier Products (PSAPs) for sale in many drugstores. These are not hearing aids! They simply amplify sound and are not tailored to meet your specific type of hearing loss. A PSAP is not a hearing aid.

Get a hearing test

The first step in obtaining a prescription for a hearing aid is to go in for a hearing aid test in Salinas, CA. This is performed by a licensed audiologist and can cover multiple different stages. Some of the most common types of tests include:

  • Speech testing;
  • Pure-tone testing;
  • Middle ear testing;
  • Auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing;
  • Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) testing.

Having your hearing tested is a critical first step in your quest for a hearing aid because it will determine the type of hearing loss you have, as well as the severity. As mentioned above, hearing aids aren’t one-size-fits-all—they need to be tailored to your specific situation, like any prescription.

Consult with an audiologist

Once the results of your battery of hearing tests are in, you’ll consult with an audiologist who can go over them with you. They’ll explain the type of hearing loss you have and its severity, what the situation is and what can be done to address the hearing loss. For example, if your hearing loss is degenerative, you might discuss preservation, while acute, permanent hearing loss may require a different conversation.

Consultations can also include fittings for different types of hearing aids. This will help you get accustomed to living with a hearing aid and can give you some foresight as to what you can expect once your prescription is filled.

Prescription filling and tailoring

All that’s left is to take your hearing aid prescription to have it filled. Once you have your hearing aid, it’s important to try it on and get used to it—it’ll be playing a very important role in your life from here on out!

In many cases, once your prescription is filled, many audiologists will schedule a follow-up appointment for you to come in and have your hearing aid adjusted and tested. This is simply to make sure you’re living comfortably and that the device is functioning as it should be.

As you can see, a hearing aid is something that’s tailored to the individual—not something you can buy off the shelf at the drugstore. If you think you might benefit from one, make an appointment for a hearing aid test in Salinas, CA first and start down the proper path to a hearing aid solution.

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