MAYBE. Your success or lack thereof depends on 3 important things.
- 1. Your willingness to learn and be proactive about what you need to succeed.
- 2. Not all hearing loss is the same, having the correct prescription is critical
- 3. It is not about buying a hearing aid, it’s about correcting your hearing loss
Recently, Over the counter hearing aids (OTC) became available without a prescription. Many Professionals in hearing health care became concerned about the perceived damage it could cause to an Audiologist’s ability to stay in business.
The law was passed in 2017, but the 5 years since have been the time necessary to get the instruments safe, and regulations completed. Without regulations, some could damage their hearing permanently, for example if the loudness limits weren’t in place.
Personally, as a Hearing Professional whose Nationally Board Certified, I took the view that OTC’s could actually help our industry and all citizens. I’ve never seen an Optomologist go out of business because reading glasses were available in most stores. Those I talked with found that “readers” actually became a pathway into what the individual actually needed. A Prescription pair of glasses or Contacts. My personal experience was I probably bought 40 plus pairs of cheap readers that were lost, broken, dog ate a few, and as my vision changed I had to buy new ones that were stronger. Buying readers was not the answer and probably cost more.
Buying a hearing aid is not the answer if you believe that’s all there’s to it. You’ll be disappointed, and probably quit trying shortly after you start. The VA gives Veterans who need help, between 2 to 4 million top line hearing instruments each year. You can qualify for new ones every 5 years. So let’s say it’s 2 million Vets yearly X 5 years, that’s 10 million Vets with great hearing instruments. But there is one huge problem. There are only 1,260 VA Clinics where they can receive care. The VA won’t allow them to see outside professionals for care. That means if divided equally each clinic would have to see 793,651 Vets every year. If you multiply that number by 2 appointments yearly, thats more than 1.5 million appointments Obviously this is impossible. Even with a great need and having some of the best technology, it is estimated that over 80% of the hearing instruments from the VA end up in dresser drawers. If there is a real need, and a good hearing instrument to help solve problems, what is the missing ingredient that creates an 80% failure rate for veterans? It’s simple, “ No Professional Care!!”. We call it a Hearing Journey of recovery. Professional care brings success.
Why do you need a Hearing Journey? 3 reasons that bring Success.
- 1. Where your hearing instrument lives. On or in your ear
- a. It’s pushed through your wax glands every day.
- b. It’s exposed to skin flakes, body and hair oil, hair spray, dandruff, etc, etc.
- 2. What signals are consistently getting to your brain? Garbage in, garbage out.
- 3. What is your prescription? Like your eyes and other organs, it changes.
Having the right technology for your Prescription, Professional care for your instruments, Validating your ability to understand speech, requires having a good Hearing Professional that understands the Ear and Brain, and a planned Journey of Care to maximize your success. and keep you there the rest of your life. That’s the secret to Hearing success for Life. Royce R. LaMarr, BC-HIS