Who are OTC hearing products for?

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HEARING AIDS

WHO ARE OTC HEARING PRODUCTS FOR?

BY JACKIE MADISON - DECEMBER 5, 2022

 

 

Will Over-the-Counter (“OTC”) Hearing Aids Work for Me?

You always have the option to get a hearing evaluation from a licensed hearing professional to help you understand your hearing loss, even though you are not required to have a medical evaluation before purchasing OTC hearing aids. 

Please note, however, that if you have insurance coverage for hearing aids, your health plan may require you have a hearing test before using your benefits toward the purchase of hearing aids. However, regardless of whether you get a hearing test, OTC hearing aids may offer you greater flexibility to address your hearing needs.

Here are some of the indicators an OTC device might work for you:

You like to shop around. With more types of devices available, you can do your own research to make sure the device you select fits your hearing needs, your lifestyle, and your budget. If you choose to get a hearing test, you can use those results to choose the device that works for you, whether or not it’s available in a clinic. Eargo also offers online hearing screenings to help you understand whether Eargo is a good option for you. [1]

You only need a hearing aid in certain situations. Lower costs and more device options means you may be able to buy a device that works in situations where you need it, such as dinners out with friends, work meetings, or adventures with your grandkids. A less visible, easy-to-use device can be the perfect option for situational use.

You have perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. Because OTC hearing aids are subject to the same FDA regulations and requirements as hearing aids available in the clinic, OTC hearing aids may be a good option for anyone with a perceived mild to moderate hearing issue. This level of hearing loss may include difficulty hearing or understanding conversation, turning up the volume on TV or music loud enough that friends and family notice, or trouble hearing while using a telephone.

You feel comfortable with technology. With online hearing screenings, app-based hearing assessments, and/or user-controlled adjustments, OTC hearing aids will allow for advanced customization. If you’re comfortable with virtual visits, online or telephone support, and using an app to adjust your settings, OTC hearing aids may be a good option for you.

You want to save money. Not only are OTC hearing aids generally less expensive than traditional prescription hearing aids, many OTC hearing aid retailers offer follow-up customer support. Many OTC hearing aid retailers include the follow-up customer support at no additional cost.


 

To learn more about how the FDA classifies OTC hearing products vs prescription hearing aids or personal sound amplification products, take a look at the chart below or read more on the FDA's website here.

FDA chart of hearing product category classifications

 

[1] The Eargo Hearing Screener is a tool designed to give you general information about your hearing. Please see a healthcare provider if you have recently noticed a sudden change in hearing, ear pain, and/or discharge. The Eargo Hearing Screener, its accessories, and application are not intended to prevent, diagnose, or treat hearing loss or any other disease or condition. THIS SCREENING DOES NOT REPLACE AN AUDIOLOGICAL EXAMINATION BY A LICENSED HEARING PROFESSIONAL. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR AUDIOLOGIST WITH ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS ABOUT YOUR HEARING.