Due to a recent FDA ruling, hearing aids are now available to be purchased over the counter (OTC). Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center is excited to see expanded access to hearing healthcare for over 30 million individuals who live with hearing loss in the United States.
As a non-profit organization, our mission is to provide access to superior hearing services that empower and transform lives. Since 1967 we have served the community not only by providing the highest quality of care and best technology at an affordable price, but also by educating, supporting and empowering those with hearing loss.
If you are considering OTC hearing aids, our expert Audiologists strongly encourage you to have your hearing evaluated by a hearing professional prior to any purchase. You should also educate yourself about the features and limitations of OTC hearing devices. These devices can be less expensive than traditional hearing devices; however, they are not an appropriate solution for everyone.
Who are OTC hearing aids for?
OTC hearing aids are designed for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss. You likely have mild or moderate hearing loss if:
- You can’t hear high-pitched sounds
- You frequently turn up the TV or phone to hear better, to the point that loved ones complain about the noise
- You have trouble understanding conversations in groups, with background noise, or when you can’t see who is talking
If you are unsure about your level of hearing loss and what’s best for you, we are here to help! We are offering free consultations that will help you to determine your level of hearing loss, if OTC hearing devices are appropriate for you, and what your best options are based on your lifestyle and budget. Call (704) 523-8027 to schedule.
What should you know about over the counter hearing aids?
The Hearing Loss Association of America recommends that you consider the following before purchasing OTC hearing aids:
- OTC hearing aids are one-size-fits-most. Make sure the hearing aid fits comfortably in your ear. It shouldn’t cause pain or fall out of your ear.
- The FDA did not require companies to offer a return policy for OTC devices, so be sure to thoroughly read the package before your purchase. Also, check how long you have before you can return them. It takes time to adjust to your new hearing device, so make sure you have a few weeks to test them in different circumstances.
- OTC hearing aids are self-programmable, so you must be a little tech-savvy in order to set them up.
You can access the HLAA’s complete tip sheet here: OTC Tip Sheet
If you are interested in how OTC hearing aids compare to prescription hearing aids, we encourage you to read Starkey’s helpful handout here.
You can also learn more by reading Healthy Hearing’s article “Who should not get an over-the-counter hearing aid?”
If OTC hearing aids are not appropriate for you:
If your hearing loss is more severe, if you are looking for input from knowledgeable providers, or if you are looking for ongoing, skilled care, Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center’s expert Audiologists are here for you!
We offer in-depth hearing evaluations, personal recommendations based on your level of loss, lifestyle and budget, and offer 1-to-3-year warranties on the hearing aids we provide to our patients. Learn more about our hearing healthcare services here. Or schedule an appointment by calling (704) 523-8027.