The new FDA Rule Allows OvertheCounter hearing aids which can be a great thing for patients as it expands access to care. However, it should be noted that not every patient will benefit from the new Over the Counter (OTC) class of hearing aids. Here is what you need to know before you purchase!
The FDA states that the OTC hearing aids are intended for those at least 18 years of age with only a mild to moderate perceived hearing loss. This means if your loss is greater than or less than the intended group of individuals who would benefit from OTC hearing aids, then you may not be fully correcting your hearing loss or you may be running the risk of over amplifying which can lead to long term damage.
Additionally, the FDA states that a hearing test is no longer required for the purchase of OTC hearing aids (it is still required for prescription hearing aids).However, patients should understand that hearing loss can sometimes be a symptom of other underlying health issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or chronic ear or kidney disease. Without a test you will not know if you fall into one of these categories.As such OTC hearing aids could be preventing you from finding an option to correct your hearing loss without the use of hearing aids. At Virginia Hearing we still recommend aperson-centered consultation even if you decide to proceed with OTC hearing aids so they can determine the exact cause of the hearing loss and if OTC hearing aids would be appropriate.
Lastly, OTC hearing aids are not the same as there prescriptive counterparts. They are less sophisticated devices. The hearing devices marked as OTC can be fit at home without the help of a professional and as such, the FDA has put some regulations on what the OTC category of hearing aids can and can’t do to help prevent a patient from causing themselves harm. While they may still have some of the flashy features as their prescriptive counterparts such as Bluetooth and rechargeable options, neither of those features by themselves treat hearing loss but can be a nice tool to have once your hearing loss is adequately corrected.
If you are candidate for OTC or find that you would be better suited for traditional prescriptive hearing aids,we are here to help with both options and allow you to find what works best for you and your lifestyle!
Call today to find out what OTC hearing aids are available to you!