With the availability of OTC hearing aids expected for purchase next month, it’s important to understand what they are and who they are best suited for.
Below are some facts about OTC Hearing Aids:
- Approved for adults of the age 18 and older
- Designed for mild to moderate hearing loss
- The user is responsible for setting up the devices and tuning the sound for them
- Don’t require a hearing test
While a current hearing test is not a requirement to purchase OTC devices, individuals should still have one done by an audiologist prior to any purchase of OTC hearing aids to determine if they would be suited for you.
Reasons to see a professional before self-fitting with an OTC device:
- Hearing loss only in one ear
- Malformed or misshapen ears
- If you have a sudden onset of hearing loss
- Any pain or drainage from the ears
- Any dizziness or imbalance alongside hearing loss
OTC hearing aids are meant to be a cost-effective option to better hearing but with a cheaper cost comes less technology and professional services.
Audiologists are doctor level professionals who are trained to evaluate, diagnose, and treat hearing loss. They also counsel individuals about the appropriate care and use of hearing aids, realistic expectations, and benefits and risks associated with hearing aids.
With OTC hearing aids, you will be responsible for learning how to use and maintain the device on your own. If there needs to be any troubleshooting, you will have to call a toll-free number provided on the device package.
Some audiology practices may be able to help with orientation of the OTC devices but plan to have office visit fees as well for professional services.