Hearing loss is a complicated subject and needs treatment by a licensed audiologist. You may experience hearing problems and consider purchasing an over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aid than an audiologist-approved device. But be aware that OTC devices usually aren't the same and have inherent hazards.
No one is preventing you from buying an OTC hearing aid. But it would be reasonable to book an appointment with an audiologist before you decide. Your audiologist will conduct the necessary tests and suggest further treatments.
Severe hearing loss inadequacies
There are levels of hearing loss -Mild, moderate, and severe. And for each level, a proper hearing aid is available through your audiologist. However, the configuration and quality of generic hearing aids differ significantly. It isn't designed for those with severe hearing loss.
If you buy one, assuming you are getting a fair deal, only to be met with an unsatisfactory device that presents little or no benefit. Consequently, it is advised you undergo an audiogram and take the advice of your personal audiologist.
Damaging sound emissions
Like most consumer products, there are different brands and pricing arrangements for generic hearing aids. Some are better than others, but you will know once you purchase and try the product. Some inferior models of a generic hearing aid cast loud and harmful noise when the volume is turned up.
This is grounds for consideration with these models since the lower grade quality indicates you need the sound set to maximum to hear something. Turning a device down to eliminate the noise indicates no hearing. Which also means your device is useless.
Poor volume control
As discussed before, some low-grade quality hearing aids don't offer the kind of volume you need to receive more precise hearing. Additionally, many generic models need the volume management of audiologist-prescribed models. Auto volume controls stop sounds from being sensed at an extremely high level. When a hearing aid is checked by an audiologist, you will undergo several tests to find the accurate listening volume for your ears.
This isn't possible with OTC hearing aids, and there is no protection control for volume. So you are likely to shift the volume on the false premise that it is best for you. You could induce more injury to your hearing.
Cost Effectivity is Questionable
You might be under the presumption that over-the-counter hearing aids are a more affordable solution to an audiologist's prescription. This is false. OTC hearing aids can cost less, similarly, or more than the audiologist-recommended and fitted devices. The device's build quality is likely inadequate for a prescribed device. Your device may easily break, become damaged or stop working after a short period.
You will also need to clean the device, conceivably causing more deterioration. With a prescription device, an audiologist will adequately clean and service them to be in optimal condition.
Temporary versus long-term purpose
Treatment is a life-long experience. Over the years, your hearing will alter, and talking with an audiologist will address all problems as they occur. Over-the-counter hearing devices only provide a short-term solution to long-term medical problems.
Wearing a generic device isn't a proactive treatment and could be regarded as putting a bandage over a large wound. You will get some momentary relief, but the issues will persist. You can save time, money, and bad experience by visiting an audiologist in the first place.
More damage than good
Audiologist-recommended hearing aids are quality, purpose-built devices. They have experienced and passed quality tests and are endorsed by licensed audiologists. Over-the-counter hearing aids undergo no such reviews and aren't endorsed by industry professionals.
While they are authorized by the FDA, many undergo substandard testing. They are only audio amplifiers rather than a frequency manipulator like an appropriate hearing aid. Therefore, OTC hearing aids may turn up the surrounding volume and play it into your inner ear as an audio amplifier.
This is risky and will cause more harm rather than support you.