FDA Approves OTC Hearing Aids: The Audiologists Weigh in
Last week, the FDA approved the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids. This historic rule will allow for millions of Americans to access this necessary tool for health and longevity. “Hearing loss is a critical public health issue that affects the ability of Americans to effectively communicate in their daily social interactions,” said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D.
While we are pleased that anyone with mild to moderate hearing health issue will be able to purchase hearing aids at an accessible and affordable cost, we still encourage individuals to visit with a professional. In our tenure, we have found that many people believe they have mild hearing loss - when in fact - they have severe hearing loss. A self hearing evaluation is often a marker for missing important hearing health details, such as: ear infections, accumulated ear wax, or other hearing health issues.
"OTC aids are like vision “cheaters” you can buy in the drugstore. Why? Because most hearing losses having varying configurations and are not “flat” or the same for all pitches. OTCs do not account for these individual differences."
Benefits of seeing a professional Audiologist:
An audiologist is highly trained and can assess your overall hearing health.
If you see an audiologist, you have access to a full range of services, and can learn more about what caused and how to treat your hearing loss.
You will have access to the latest technology in hearing devices
Visiting a professional Audiologists means you will have a thorough hearing aid evaluation where you will discuss the different styles, colors, technologies, and benefits to wearing hearing aids.
At your hearing aid fitting, you will receive the hearing programmed based on a prescription that is specific to each person’s hearing loss, and make adjustments to the fitting.
Minor hearing aid repairs can be done in the office; others will need to be sent to the manufacturer for repair.
Your hearing professional can help determine what kind of a repair is necessary if you feel your hearing aid is not working properly.
If you have purchased OTC hearing aids that are not working for you, we are happy to meet with you - no judgements will be made. Please call our office to schedule a consult! 508-385-5222