Starting Monday, October 17, 2022, hearing aids will be available to buy over the counter (OTC) across the United States. Locally, for individuals still unable to afford OTC devices that remain quite costly and may be difficult to return, a Charlotte non-profit is providing guidance and affordable, digital hearing aids.
Ask An Audiologist
Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center, a local non-profit organization, has been providing access to hearing healthcare for 55 years. To help individuals make educated decisions regarding OTC devices, CSHC’s experts are hosting an Ask An Audiologist event. Each attendee will have their hearing screened to determine the level of hearing loss. Our Audiologist will also provide personal recommendations during your 30-minute appointment. Schedule your Ask An Audiologist appointment Fridays this Fall by calling (704) 523-8027.
If you are unable to attend our Ask An Audiologist event, Julie Palazzolo, Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center’s Audiologist with more than 25 years of experience, encourages you to educate yourself about the features and limitations of over the counter hearing devices.
Our Recommendations For Over The Counter Hearing Aids
“As a hearing healthcare professional, I would encourage all individuals to have their hearing evaluated prior to any purchase. This can help you determine your level of hearing loss and whether OTC devices are appropriate for you.” said Palazzolo. “Additionally, your provider can talk with you about your available hearing aid options, giving you the opportunity to compare. At CSHC, we also give you the option to trial hearing aids, so you can be confident about your decision.”
Of note, the FDA did not require companies to offer a return policy for over the counter devices. Be sure to thoroughly read the package of the hearing device before your purchase. Check how long you have before you can return them, too. This will allow you to test them in different circumstances over a few weeks.
The FDA’s recent rule change, which allows individuals to purchase hearing aids directly from companies like Sony and Bose for a lesser cost- up to $1,200 each, is a huge step in the right direction. However, this amount can still be incredibly costly for older adults on a fixed income.
“As a non-profit organization, we have the ability to provide hearing aids on a sliding fee scale based on your income.” said Shannon Tucker, Executive Director of Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center. “This means that you have access to our expert Audiologists, custom hearing aid fittings, and new, digital devices at a cost that is less than or comparable to OTC hearing aids.”
If you or a loved one might have hearing loss, don’t delay- schedule a hearing screening today. Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center offers complimentary hearing screenings for new patients. Learn more at www.CharlotteSpeechHearing.com or by calling (704) 523-8027.