Patient Hearing Aid Journey from “Over-The-Counter” OTC to Personal Care

When working with a patient it is always important to discuss where they are on the “Hearing Journey”. What I mean by this is that dealing with hearing loss is a process. Patients need to find their own way through understanding and managing their hearing loss and we are here to help and guide patients, not force them through stages they aren’t yet ready for.

I was recently fortunate to see this all play out over multiple interactions with a patient. They understood they had hearing loss and were ready to pursue amplification, an important step in treating hearing loss. However, they wished to try Over-The-Counter Hearing devices. Based on their hearing loss and what they wanted from their hearing aids we certainly recommended traditional hearing aids but this is where the “journey” part comes in. They were ready for devices, but they were not yet ready for traditional devices. Trying to steer a patient down the path we want can only end poorly for them and prevent patients from receiving the care they need and deserve so of course, we discussed trialing these devices. We discussed the risks involved and our recommendations.

After these discussions, the patient left to trial devices on their own time. After a length of time passed I received a call from this patient seemingly out of the blue. They found that the devices they saw the advertisements for sounded like what they really wanted but in practice, were not for them. This is a common occurrence with OTC. We discussed trialing traditional hearing aids and here shortly, the patient will be fit and begin what I hope to be the best part of their Hearing Journey. The takeaway? We understand dealing with hearing loss is a process and every person has unique wants and needs. But most importantly, we act on this understanding and guide patients. There is no value in directing a patient into a situation they are unprepared for and so we do our best to arm them with the information they need to finish their very own Hearing Journey.

Written by: Rich

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