Hearing loss may be a common problem, but the causes vary. If you’ve noticed your hearing isn’t what it used to be, you may be tempted to pick up a pair of hearing aids from a big box retailer – or order them online. But doing so could be risky for your health. Without knowing what is causing your hearing loss, you might be overlooking a serious health issue. For that reason, it is always best to see a doctor first.
Your hearing loss could be the result of something easily treatable, like impacted earwax. Paying money for hearing aids – even if you find a good deal – would be a waste, in that situation. “At the other end of the spectrum,” cautions Dr. Eric Mann, clinical deputy directory of the FDA’s division of ophthalmic and ear, nose and throat devices, “It could be something as serious as a tumor pressing on the hearing nerve.” Even if benign, left untreated a mass so close to the brain can cause serious – perhaps even fatal – complications. A doctor can rule out any serious health conditions.
Even if your hearing loss can be improved by hearing aids, it’s in your best interest to see an audiologist or hearing specialist experienced in dispensing and fitting hearing aids. The digital devices available today are sophisticated and come in a range of styles, some of which will be more appropriate for your particular hearing loss than others. You’ll want an expert to go over the various features and options. An audiologist will provide counseling to ensure you have reasonable expectations, and is experienced in fitting your hearing aids – that is, programming them to meet your unique hearing requirements. Follow-up appointments are necessary to make any adjustments or fine-tune your instruments. These crucial services aren’t available if you are buying from a big box retail outlet or online.
If you’re suffering from hearing loss and looking for hearing aids in Portland, be sure to schedule an appointment with a doctor first.