What Are Over-the-Counter Hearing Devices?
Also called “OTCs” or “OTC hearing aids,” these products are a new class of hearing instruments specific to the U.S., regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and approved only for those 18 and older with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. OTCs are expected to soon join the market, representing a new option for some consumers exploring their hearing-health needs.
How Do OTCs Differ From Prescription Hearing Aids?
Unlike today’s prescriptive and customizable hearing aids fit by a licensed hearing care professional, over-the-counter hearing products are designed only for adults with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. They might not align with one’s actual hearing loss, which could be greater than perceived.
Are Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Right for Me?
Self-diagnosis can lead to under- or overtreatment of hearing loss, both of which can affect your health and quality of life. The best way to learn what’s happening with your hearing and which solution most effectively addresses your needs is to connect with a licensed hearing care provider.
What If I Go Forward With OTC Hearing Devices?
It’s possible the OTCs you select may suffice in the present. Future needs, however, may require other solutions. Regular professional checkups can help you keep an eye on your hearing wellness plan and make any needed updates.
Three Reasons to Still See a Hearing Care Provider
- Hearing problems can stem from excess noise, genetic history, earwax buildup, infection, or some other source that self-treating with over-the-counter hearing devices may cause you to miss.
- Annual evaluations provide a baseline of your hearing health, making it easier to stay atop your hearing levels and detect a change.
- A hearing care professional can help you determine whether the OTC hearing aid is meeting your better-hearing goals.
Want to learn more on how customizable prescription hearing devices compare to OTCs? Has it been a while since your last hearing evaluation? Our knowledgeable team can help! Contact us to book your appointment today.