Over-The-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids

WHO can benefit from OTC hearing aids?

  • Adults 18 years and older who have self-perceived hearing loss.

  • The availability of OTC hearing aids means that millions of American adults with mild to moderate hearing loss will soon have more choices in hearing aids and the ability to get them without seeing a doctor or hearing care professional first.

  • Common barriers such as cost, inability to find audiologists or hearing specialists, and the stigma associated with wearing hearing aids have kept many people from getting diagnosed or treated.

 

WHAT are OTC hearing aids?

  • They are a new category of hearing aids expected on store shelves starting October 17, 2022.

  • The cost of OTC hearing aids for Americans is expected to fall dramatically with the huge influx of retailers that will be selling them in stores and online

  • HLAA has information including a Tip Sheet to help you decide if OTC hearing aids are right for you. Its website hearingloss.org  will be updated as we learn more, and as events develop.

 

WHERE will you be able to buy OTC hearing aids?

  • Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon and other retailers;

  • Walgreens, CVS Health and other drugstores;

  • OTC hearing aids will also be available on store shelves and on-line.

 

WHEN will OTC hearing aids be available?

  • The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has set the date of October 17, 2022 for them to begin to be available on store shelves and on-line.

 

WHY should you try wearing OTC hearing aids?

  • Hearing health is important to the quality of your life.

  • Hearing loss disrupts your relationships with family and friends.

  • Research shows untreated hearing loss can lead to falls, isolation, depression, anxiety and eventually may lead to cognitive decline.

 

 

Important questions to ask about OTC hearing aids:

  • Is there a free trial, or money back return policy?

  • Does it need a smartphone, app, or computer to install, operate, and customize to your needs?

  • Is it compatible with cellphones or smartphones?

  • Does it have a connectivity via Bluetooth or telecoil to a smartphone, computer, or listening system?

  • Can the hearing aid’s amplification be adjusted? How do you control feedback?

  • Is it water/sweat resistant?

  • How does it control, reduce, or block out background, or wind noise?

  • How long is the battery life? Can it be recharged?

 

Other Considerations

  • Pay attention to package warnings. If you have pain, sudden hearing changes, or dizziness, see a doctor.

  • It may take time to adjust to hearing devices.

  • Hearing aids are not like eyeglasses. Eyeglasses correct your vision. Hearing aids simply amplify sound. You must wear your hearing aids two to three weeks to learn how to hear with them.

  • If the first hearing aid doesn’t work, keep trying until you find the right product for you.

  • Be sure there is a long enough return policy.