- As of October 17, 2022, over-the-counter hearing aids are available for purchase in the U.S.
- You can purchase these devices without a prescription, hearing exam, or even a visit to the doctor.
- They are only available for people over the age of 18 with mild to moderate hearing loss, which some doctors estimate will benefit 90-percent of the hearing loss population.
- Prices will likely range anywhere from $200 to as high as $3000.
The struggle of hearing impairment is not only frustrating, it can be very isolating. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders (NIH), 16-percent, or 1 in 8 Americans over the age of 12 and 25-percent of people aged 65 to 74 with hearing loss, use a hearing aid .
This is why a ruling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for hearing aids to be sold over-the-counter without a prescription is being deemed a game changer for the millions of Americans with hearing loss. Before rushing out to purchase a set of over-the-counter hearing aids, take some time to learn about these need-to-know facts…
What are Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids?
Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids is a new category of hearing aids that consumers can now purchase without visiting a healthcare professional, explains the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIH). They are meant for adults (people over the age of 18) with mild to moderate hearing loss. You cannot purchase them for children or adults with severe hearing loss or significant difficulty hearing, notes the source.
Similar to prescription hearing aids, OTC hearing aids “make sounds louder so that some adults with difficulty hearing are better able to listen, communicate, and participating fully in daily activities,” writes NIH. They will be regulated by the FDA which has issued regulations that manufacturers of OTC hearing aids need to follow. These regulations ensure OTC devices are safe and effective with set standards for packaging so buyers can better understand the product they are purchasing, explains NIH.
These are an alternative to prescription hearing aids which are only available from hearing health professionals. They will fit a person for their hearing aid, adjust the device based on personal needs, and provide other related services. When someone purchases a OTC hearing aid, they must do these things themselves.