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Over the Counter Hearing Aids

Have you been told that hearing aids are too expensive? You can now buy a pair of over the counter hearing aids for less than $200. They’re not as sophisticated or powerful as the ones your audiologist would prescribe, but they still have some impressive features.

While there are many different types of hearing aids, over the counter hearing aids are set to be the cheapest option for those with trouble hearing. These devices will be regulated as medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Question is – are OTC hearing aids able to keep up with prescription hearing aids? As an audiology clinic serving the local communities of Rochester, NY since 1956, we will always be an advocate for proper diagnosis, testing, and hearing aid programming.

Who are over-the-counter hearing aids for?

The FDA has approved over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids to help adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss hear better. These devices will be available in pharmacies and retail stores nationwide.

The new device is designed for consumers who have mild to moderate hearing loss but do not require a prescription or fitting from an audiologist and can help them enjoy more of life’s moments.

Hearing aids are usually used when people have mild to moderate hearing loss, but they may not be for everyone. If you have serious ear problems or ear trauma, over-the-counter hearing aids will not offer the care and treatment that is required. The best option for these cases is to see an audiologist who can assess your situation and provide the appropriate treatment.

If you’re in Rochester, NY, and would like to be seen by an audiologist for proper assessment and hearing aid fitting, schedule an appointment at the Ontario Hearing Centers. We have two clinics located at Brighton and Gates.

Over-the-Counter Hearing aids vs Custom-fit Hearing Aids

Hearing loss is more than just an inconvenience – it can severely hamper your ability to communicate with others as well as enjoy leisure time activities. 

OTC hearing aids may work if you have mild to moderate hearing loss. These devices can provide amplification for people with mild to moderate hearing loss, especially in certain situations, like watching TV or listening to music.

However, a custom-fit device may be more ideal if your ear problem is caused by damage from noise exposure or aging. Prescribed hearing aids are also great for people with trouble in one ear due to damage. 

Custom-molded hearing aids are a popular choice for those looking for the most effective device in correcting hearing problems. Audiologists will make sure that you’re using your devices correctly and maintaining them properly.

Custom-molded hearing aids will help you hear better and give you back some of the independence that might have been lost due to this problem. You’ll need a prescription from your doctor or audiologist before ordering these devices though, since they require individualized fitting and programming by someone trained in their use.

Over-the-counter Hearing Aids: FDA Approval

The FDA classifies over the counter hearing aids as Class II medical devices that don’t require premarket approval but must meet safety standards once they’re on the market. This means manufacturers aren’t required to report problems with their products unless they receive complaints directly from users or health professionals about serious injuries associated with using them (such as burns caused by malfunctioning electric blankets).

The FDA’s classification system for medical devices is a little different than you might think. And it can be hard to tell what kind of device you’re buying when there’s no requirement for maker labeling.  The call for increased usage of affordable hearing devices is now more urgent than ever with millions of Americans suffering from untreated hearing loss. While OTC hearing aids may offer a fresh new perspective in the field of the hearing industry, audiologists and hearing healthcare professionals still rally for proper diagnosis and testing.

Why are over-the-counter hearing aids becoming available now?

Digital hearing aids provide a great solution for those who have difficulty hearing. They are more affordable than ever before and can be ordered online without the need to get a prescription. This is because of advances in technology that make it possible, as well as manufacturing techniques that allow high-quality devices to be produced at an affordable price. These devices are easy and discreet enough to use anytime anywhere so people don’t have to miss out on conversations or important events.

With over-the-counter hearing aids, these devices are more accessible so more people with hearing loss can enjoy better hearing. But again, over-the-counter devices come with a caveat: they have limited capabilities and often provide only one type of sound for the wearer which makes it difficult to distinguish between noise level differences. There’s no way to adjust the volume and this can lead to frustration when trying to understand conversations in noisy environments.

Advantages of Over-the-counter Hearing Aids

When prices are low and accessibility is high, more people will have the opportunity of receiving necessary hearing assistance. This means that they can be purchased without an appointment or a lengthy wait time. The answer to why more OTC hearing aids are being offered now is simple- convenience and affordability.

Over the counter hearing aids may give seniors an opportunity to buy affordable and effective devices that they might not be able to afford otherwise. The FDA has approved several products for sale without a prescription, which means more people can take advantage of this new option. This is great news for those who need help but cannot afford traditional devices. However, the effectiveness of OTC hearing aids are not yet proven to keep up with traditional hearing aids. Plus, OTC hearing aids are not fit using real ear measurement so when it comes to device accuracy, we can’t vouch for over-the-counter devices.

Disadvantages of over the counter hearing aids

If you’re worried about your hearing, there are some things to consider before purchasing over-the-counter hearing aids. While it may be convenient for those who don’t want to spend the time or money in seeing a doctor or audiologist, OTCs just can’t compare to custom fitted devices.

Over-the-counter hearing aids are great for people with mild hearing loss but they cannot treat underlying medical conditions that could be causing your hearing loss, such as tinnitus or other symptoms. In addition, many people with more severe hearing problems find that even after using their OTCs for years, a custom fit is needed.

In some instances, over-the-counter hearing aids may worsen your problem by blocking out important sounds and making it more difficult to hear in noisy environments. The best way to treat hearing loss is with professional help from an audiologist or doctor trained in diagnosing and treating hearing problems. At the Ontario Hearing Centers, we can guarantee that we can test your ears and determine what kind of hearing solution will work best for you.

Even in the dawn of over the counter hearing aids, the service of traditional hearing clinics is still indispensable and as important as ever. The cost of your hearing health is not something to be put in a grey area. Whether you’re an adult or a child struggling with hearing loss, there is always a chance to hear better. We have nothing against over the counter hearing aids but we strongly encourage patients to be checked by an audiologist first to get a clear and definite picture of what needs to be treated.

For those with more serious cases of hearing loss, over the counter hearing aids simply won’t do. You need to be seen by an audiologist who specializes in diagnosing and treating all types of hearing loss using a variety of both invasive and non-invasive methods. 

If you are looking for a reliable audiologist in Rochester, NY, call or visit us at the Ontario Hearing Center to be connected to a team of experienced audiologists.