Hearing aids were created to make sounds easier to hear for people diagnosed with hearing loss. Currently, most of the modern hearing aids are powered by digital technology that not only aims to amplify sound but also to enhance speech clarity and reduce feedback.
A few decades ago, hearing aids were only accessible through audiologists in private practice. It was only not long ago that over-the-counter (OTC) were made available in the market. Walmart hearing aids are considered as OTC hearing aids.
Over-the-counter hearing aids are quite new in the hearing aid industry. Just like other OTC items, anyone can easily purchase hearing aids by just visiting a store that sells them – Walmart for instance.
OTC hearing aids can be bought without a prescription or without visiting an audiologist.
From an audiologist’s point of view, OTC hearing aids, like Walmart hearing aids, MAY help adults who have mild to moderate hearing loss. The thing is, OTC hearing aids may not be as effective as hearing aids prescribed in a clinic because of many factors. Think of it as a hit-or-miss purchase.
OTC hearing aids are now available in the market thanks to a federal law passed in 2017 that directed the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to lift the barriers and allow the purchase of hearing aids in several stores.
Walmart hearing aids belong to OTC hearing devices, and are expected to be significantly MORE AFFORDABLE than traditional hearing aids or those devices that are prescribed by audiologists at the clinic.
As more and more OTC hearing aids are made available in the market, we are faced with the question – are OTC hearing aids any good?
On the bright side, OTC hearing aids, like Walmart hearing aids, are easily available, accessible and affordable. BUT, yes there are buts, OTC hearing aids are not recommended for individuals with profound or severe hearing loss. It’s just like buying an ointment for pimples when your actual skin problem is rashes. It’s a solution, but not the right one.
Realistically speaking, consumers who purchase OTC hearing aids may realize in the long run that they just ended up wasting their money because the hearing needs were not addressed.
The traditional way (seeing an audiologist to get your hearing tested and fit hearing aids) is still the BEST way to maximize hearing aids. The best way to address hearing loss is to get a hearing test, have an audiologist read the results and recommend hearing aids based on the type and degree of hearing loss.
Yes, purchasing Walmart hearing aids, or any other OTC hearing aids for that matter, may be easy-peasy. However, when you think of the pros and cons in the long run, you would appreciate the traditional way of purchasing and fitting hearing aids.
Walmart hearing aids are available at physical Walmart stores and at walmart.com.
Affordable price tags are always attractive – it’s part of human nature. While Walmart offers affordable hearing aids, they also offer premium-priced hearing aids.
So, are Walmart hearing aids any good? Probably.
The chances of buying Walmart hearing aids that can help with hearing loss and purchasing a pair that makes no difference is the same. Buying hearing aids without getting a hearing test or being checked by an audiologist is most likely going to end as a hit-or-miss experience.
In all fairness to Walmart, they sell hearing aids that are FDA-registered. However, you need to examine Walmart hearing aids that you are planning to purchase because some simply work as inexpensive sound simplifiers.
So, choose wisely. Be a meticulous, highly-detailed consumer to make sure that you are purchasing the ideal hearing aid that you need.
We can say that the lineup of Walmart hearing aids is a mix of good and not-so-effective devices. Planning to buy Walmart hearing aids? Then, you need to be able to tell the difference between affordable, FDA-registered hearing aids VS. cheap sound amplifiers.
We highly suggest that you entrust your hearing health journey to a professional audiologist. If you’re in Rochester, NY, Ontario Hearing Centers have a team of audiologists that can help and guide you with your hearing aid needs.
What we like about Walmart hearing aids is that the store labels them honestly. This means that it will be easier for consumers to look for legit hearing aids as they are all labeled as FDA-registered.
If you happen to see a pair of Walmart hearing aids with no such label, you know what it means.
But let’s say you’ve found a decent pair of Walmart hearing aids with an FDA-registered label. Are you sure it will help you with your hearing loss?
Chances are 50-50. Unless you are an audiologist who knows the ins and outs of hearing aids, purchasing Walmart hearing aids may have some grey areas that will end up not addressing your hearing loss needs.
HearingAssist is one of the best-selling Walmart hearing aids. Primarily marketed as a device to address mild to moderate hearing loss, HearingAssist has a behind-the-ear design and can switch through different sound scenarios (outdoor, TV, quiet and noisy). Users can toggle the volume dial to get their desired level of amplification as needed.
If we look at the reviews of HearingAssist on walmart.com, it’s clear that it has been getting mixed reviews. The most common negative comments about Walmart hearing aids involve feedback and squealing noises.
When it comes to hearing aids, Walmart hearing aids may not be the ideal or preferred choice, and that’s understandable. Generally, Walmart is known for its groceries, home goods, makeup, tools, fishing equipment, etc.
However, more and more big name stores are expanding their reach and offering hearing aids at affordable prices compared to the ones found at hearing clinics. Walmart also has hearing centers that serve as a venue for consumers to explore hearing aid options.
A friendly reminder – the staff manning Walmart hearing centers may not be certified audiologists. Most of the time, they are just state-licensed dispensers. While it may be a good thing that Walmart is offering affordable and accessible options to the public, we would suggest that ample research should be done first prior to purchasing Walmart hearing aids.
As audiologists, we would suggest that you set an appointment at a hearing clinic and get a hearing test to discuss the results with hearing aid experts. At the end of the day, going to an audiologist doesn’t mean big fees or expensive treatment.
Ontario Hearing Centers have a team of audiologists that are not only experts in the field but are also friendly and totally relatable. If you want quality hearing aids but are on a budget, feel free to discuss this with us and we’ll be more than happy to offer you the best solution that will not only address your hearing needs efficiently but will also keep your pockets happy.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!