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What To Know Before Buying Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids

hand holding a silver hearing aid with two patients in the background

Hearing aids are devices that can help people with hearing loss. They work by amplifying sound and giving a more natural listening experience. There are many different types of hearing aids, and they come in different shapes, sizes and prices. In this article we will explore the different types of hearing aids, who needs a hearing aid, when to get one, and why to use one.

There are two common types of hearing aids: in-the-ear (ITE) or behind-the-ear (BTE). ITEs sit in the outer bowl of the ear while BTEs sit behind the ear. Prescription hearing aids are custom fit to your ears and can treat mild-to-profound hearing loss. There are many features that you can add along with your prescription hearing aid, such as Bluetooth connectivity and directional microphones. However, when it comes to procuring one, there is the option to get over-the-counter hearing aids. Let’s take a look.

What is an Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid?

An OTC hearing aid is a device that can be bought without the need for a prescription or medical advice. These devices are generally less cost-effective than hearing aids that require a prescription and are available in many retail stores. With the regulations set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) OTC hearing aids are only designed for people of the age of 18. OTC hearing aids are for people with self-perceived mild-to-moderate hearing loss.

How to Make Sure an OTC Hearing Aid Is Right for You

It is always a good idea to consult an audiologist for the best hearing aid for your needs. However, if you are looking for an over-the-counter option, you should know that they are a one-size-fits-all and are not a custom fit to your ear. There are many styles of prescription hearing aids that you can choose from such as in the ear, behind the ear and in the canal. Talk to your audiologist about which may be best for you and your hearing needs.

What are the Types of OTC Hearing Aids Available?

There are different types of prescription hearing aids that you can purchase. An OTC hearing aid is a device that can be purchased without a prescription. There are not as many types of OTC hearing aids as they are now just being regulated by the FDA. Over-the-counter hearing aids are not custom made to fit your ears, so they may not be as comfortable as a prescription hearing aid. Talk to an audiologist about what may be best for you, your lifestyle and budget.  

How Much Do OTC Hearing Aids Cost?

Hearing aids are a form of assistive listening device that help individuals who have hearing loss. They can be purchased over the counter without a prescription. Over-the-counter hearing aids are not custom fit to your ears, so they may not provide the best quality of sound, but the warranty varies so if anything goes wrong with them you may not be able to get them replaced. Over-the-counter hearing aids can be very cost effective, which is why it's important to compare prices and do your research before making your purchase.

Best Practices for Purchasing OTC Hearing Aids

It is important to know what you are looking for in an over-the-counter hearing aid. There are a few things that you should keep in mind when deciding which one to purchase. Purchasing OTC hearing aids can be a difficult task, but there are some things that you can do to make the process easier.

  • Determine your budget for purchasing a hearing aid and stick to it.
  • Ask for help from a family member or close friend who has purchased an over-the-counter hearing aid in the past.

Get in Touch with an Audiologist

Talk to an audiologist about hearing loss, and whether an OTC hearing aid is right for you. The severity of your hearing loss will determine the type of hearing aid that you will need. Finding the right plan for you and your hearing needs will be the first step in your treatment.

OTC hearing aids are a good option for people who have self-perceived mild-to-moderate hearing loss. They are affordable and they work well. If you are a person with mild-to-moderate hearing loss, then an OTC hearing aid is something that you should consider buying. However, it is always important for you to procure it in the proper manner. Make sure that you consult one of our audiologists here at Hear for You Hearing & Balance Center by calling us at 401-475-6116 today.