Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids for People that Want to Do it Properly

Following a finalized ruling by the FDA, Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids were introduced in 2022 for people that are 18 years of age and older who have a perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment.

Considered to be the ‘readers’ against the prescription eyeglasses, OTC devices have been created for people that require a helping hand in certain situations but do not require a full-time or long-term solution.

The Concerns of Hearing Doctors

As a trusted team of hearing doctors, we naturally have concerns with over-the-counter hearing aids. Our biggest concern is that the guidelines do not require an adult to have a hearing evaluation prior to purchasing this category of devices.

This results in two risks:

Firstly, without having a hearing assessment, it results in individuals self-prescribing a solution that may be entirely wrong for their needs.

An example of this is that we often see patients that believe they have mild-to-moderate hearing loss, yet when we assess their hearing sensitivity, we discover alternative hearing-related challenges such as:

  • Cerumen – when there is wax in the ear cavities that can be easily removed by a professional
  • An unilateral hearing loss – when they have a hearing loss in just one ear with their other ear having normal levels of hearing
  • Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) – when they hear the sounds of speech, but the subtle differences for discerning between those sounds is lost, making it difficult to comprehend what is said
  • Tinnitus – a common condition that impacts 50 million Americans and results in ringing/buzzing in the ears
  • Misophonia – a condition that creates a strong dislike or hatred of specific sounds that can sometimes be confused with a hearing loss
  • Balance related challenges – hearing and balance are closely linked and adding a band-aid onto a hearing challenge without addressing the core root of the problem will likely result in your balance challenges worsening
  • Acoustic Neuroma – also known as vestibular schwannoma, is a noncancerous and usually slow-growing tumor that develops on the main (vestibular) nerve leading from your inner ear to your brain.

Without a comprehensive hearing evaluation, you could be addressing something quickly fixable or worsening a medical concern.

Secondly, we’re concerned about the recommendation that over-the-counter devices are for people with a perceived mild-to-moderate hearing loss. As hearing loss often happens slowly and gradually, it’s almost impossible to know what level of hearing loss you have until you have a hearing evaluation.

We often see people that walk through our door that believe that they have mild hearing loss, only to discover that they have severe hearing loss that requires immediate attention.

Over-the-counter hearing aids could be applying a band-aid to a more serious challenge by not requiring a hearing evaluation.

Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids Done Safely – A Hearing Doctors Approach to OTC

Our goal is to ensure that we provide the highest level of care and the best possible solutions for every patient. In some instances, over-the-counter hearing aids will be the correct solution for some people, or, in other instances, they may be the entirely wrong solution.

That’s why we’ve put hearing healthcare at the forefront to ensure you’re making the best possible decision.

Our 3-Step Approach to Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids

#1 – Comprehensive Hearing Evaluation

The first step is to have your hearing comprehensively tested to analyze your overall hearing health.

We may discover that you’re a perfect candidate for over-the-counter hearing aids, or we may discover that they would cause more harm than good.

However, this important first step ensures that you’re making the best possible decision for your long-term hearing health.

#2 – Review Your Options

Based on the outcome of your hearing evaluation, we’ll be able to make recommendations to suit your exact needs.

If you’re a candidate for over-the-counter hearing aids, then we’ll introduce you to the highest-rated solution based on our extensive research and support you in making the best possible decision.

#3 – Professionally Fitted Rather than Self-Fitted

Our doctors will then professionally fit your over-the-counter hearing aids rather than you having to follow the self-fitting instructions. This will ensure they fit your ears, are correctly tailored to your needs, and are connected to your cell phone with full instructions.

will then benefit from a 30-day return policy with our current restocking fee, or you can utilize an upgrade to medical grade hearing aids within 30 days.

Considering Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids? Schedule Your Appointment for a Hearing Evaluation

If you or a loved one are considering over-the-counter hearing aids and would like to ensure you prioritize your hearing health and that you’re a candidate, then please complete this form to schedule your appointment.

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