What Are Hearing Aids Available Over-The-Counter (OTC)?

What Are Hearing Aids Available Over-The-Counter (OTC)?

OTC hearing aids are a new class of hearing aids that individuals can purchase on their own, without consulting a hearing healthcare specialist. Adults who feel a mild to moderate hearing loss are supposed to benefit from these devices. OTC hearing devices, like prescription hearing aids, amplify sounds so that certain persons with hearing loss can better listen, converse, and engage in daily activities. Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates over-the-counter hearing aids as medical equipment.

OTC Hearing Aids

Are a type of air-conduction hearing aid that does not need implantation or any other type of surgical procedure. Through these, louder sound enters the ear canal. The inner ear is where sound is processed and transmitted to the brain after passing through the eardrum and three small bones in the middle ear.

  • Are created to aid those who perceive a mild to moderate hearing loss and are intended for usage by those who are 18 years old and older.
  • Utilise tools, tests, or software to let users adjust the device's settings and tailor it to their own hearing needs.
  • May involve testing for self-evaluation of hearing loss or wireless technology.
  • Without the supervision, engagement, or prescription of a qualified health care professional, are provided to customers over-the-counter. The FDA-approved OTC hearing aids are available for purchase offline or online.

Hearing aids that are sold over-the-counter (OTC) are an alternative to prescription devices that can only be obtained through hearing healthcare specialists including audiologists, otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat doctors), and hearing aid specialists. Your hearing aid is fitted for you by a hearing health specialist who also performs other procedures, such as adjusting the device for your hearing loss.

Adults with a reported mild to moderate hearing loss can use over-the-counter hearing aids. Children and adults with more severe hearing loss or serious hearing difficulties should not use them. OTC hearing aids might not be able to amplify sounds loud enough to help you if your hearing loss is more severe.

OTC hearing aid makers must abide by rules issued by the FDA. Generally speaking, these federal laws:

  • Make sure that OTC hearing aids are both effective and safe for persons who have mild to moderate hearing loss.
  • To aid consumers in understanding OTC hearing aids and who might benefit from them, establish guidelines for package labelling.
  • The labels also provide cautions and other details you should be aware of before purchasing or using the hearing aid, like symptoms that suggest you should visit a doctor.

OTC hearing aids are for whom?

Adults (18 and older) who feel they have a mild to moderate hearing loss are eligible for OTC hearing aids, even if they haven't undergone a hearing test. You could have mild to moderate hearing loss, for instance, if:

  • Other sounds, such as speech, seem muted.
  • When you're around others, in a busy environment, on the phone, or when you can't see who is speaking, you have problems hearing.
  • You must ask them to speak louder, more slowly, or more clearly, or to repeat themselves.
  • You watch TV, listen to music, or listen to the radio at a volume that is louder than what most people find comfortable.

Consult a hearing health specialist if you have difficulties hearing discussions in quiet environments or if you have trouble hearing loud noises, such as those made by cars or trucks, loud equipment, or loud music. These are indications that your hearing loss may be more severe and that over-the-counter hearing aids won't be effective for you. If a prescription hearing aid or other device can improve your hearing, a hearing health specialist can assist you in making that determination.

When worn behind or inside the ear canal, a hearing aid is a medical device used to treat hearing loss. For the protection of consumers' safety and efficiency, the FDA regulates all hearing aids.

Where to Purchase OTC Hearing Aids

OTC hearing aids can be purchased in-person at a store or online without a prescription, a medical checkup, or an audiologist's fitting modification.

An audiologist or hearing aid dispenser is another source for over-the-counter hearing aids. These experts are capable of testing your hearing and evaluating your hearing aids. Your hearing healthcare expert can provide you with the results of your hearing evaluation, and you have the option to purchase your hearing aid elsewhere.

Before buying an over-the-counter hearing aid, you should carefully read the outer box labelling. Contact the manufacturer or seller if you can't find the labelling on the outside of the packaging.

What Issues Are There With OTC Devices?

For over-the-counter hearing aids, professional services may not be offered prior to, during, or after fitting. An audiologist is a doctoral-level professional that is trained to assess hearing, identify hearing loss, and aid in the safe and effective use of all hearing aids, including those that are sold over-the-counter (OTC) when necessary. Audiologists can offer advice on how to properly maintain hearing aids, how to set reasonable goals, and what advantages and hazards come with using either over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription hearing aids.

You may find simple hearing tests online or through mobile apps. Use caution when doing self-guided hearing examinations. The diagnostic method can miss ear issues that need medical attention if the audiologist is not involved. Please consult a doctor or audiologist before using an over-the-counter hearing aid if there is a clear disparity in hearing between the ears or if symptoms like ear pain or discharge are present.

An audiologist can help make sure you get the most out of whichever kind of hearing aids you decide to use. The audiologist may also make sure that all of your hearing healthcare requirements are met as your hearing or the demands placed on it change over time.

It's ideal to keep yourself as educated with your hearing aids and a new breakthrough in the technology. Ask your query via Book an Appointment today. For more information visit or you can call us today at (403)605-6300