Over the Counter Hearing Aids

What about over-the-counter hearing aids?

In August of 2017, Congress signed the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act into law.  It provides for the creation of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids to be available for retail purchase by the year 2020.  An OTC hearing aid will still be classified as durable medical equipment, but it is only appropriate for people who have a mild hearing loss.  It is unclear how effective these devices will be, as they are not yet on the market; however, for the best results, consumers should work with their local audiologists to get the most out of their purchases.

How do I know if I need one?

When determining whether or not you might need help hearing, you should first start by making an appointment with a licensed audiologist.  Audiologists are health care professionals with doctoral-level degrees such as an Au.D. (doctor of audiology) or a Ph.D. (doctor of philosophy) from an accredited university.  However, some audiologists may only have a Master’s degree in audiology and are delineated as such with the letters M.A. or M.S.  These are audiologists who have been practicing before the profession changed the education requirements to that of a doctorate degree.  Audiologists diagnose and treat hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance disorders.  By starting with these hearing health providers, you can be sure that the OTC you are considering is appropriate for your potential hearing loss.  Furthermore, an audiologist will make sure that you do not have any medical contraindications that need the attention of a medical doctor (M.D.) before proceeding with treatment.

What happens if I have a moderate or severe hearing loss?

For individuals with greater than a mild hearing loss, a traditional hearing aid is still going to be the best solution.  After your audiologist determines the severity of your hearing loss, he/she/they will help you find the best hearing solution that fits your needs, and your budget.  To find out more for yourself, make an appointment today.  Why put it off?  Life is waiting for you!


*Information regarding the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 retrieved on August, 15, 2019 from: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/670

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.