Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aid options are quickly becoming readily available across the US. You can purchase them in stores or by mail order, making them a convenient option for those who can’t visit an audiologist.
At the forefront, it sounds like a great idea. However, Attorney General Ken Paxton thinks otherwise.
Just recently, he warned Texans to “be cautious” when purchasing OTCs and urges others to do their research before getting out their wallet.
Well, hearing aids and over-the-counter devices are two separate things.
Hearing aids are medical devices that are legally prescribed and tailored to the individual who needs them. This is not just a one-size-fits-all approach but one that is based on your listening preferences, lifestyle, and interests.
This Is Where The Problems Lies…
While OTC hearing aids are a great step in the right direction, they present a real danger to those with untreated hearing loss.
Purchasing over-the-counter is a simple process that cuts out the most important part of your journey, an audiologist.
The responsibility is solely left in your hands, as it is based on your own judgment of your hearing loss. In most cases, if you have recognized that you are struggling to hear, then you will most likely require more than just an amplifier.
OTC Hearing Aids Are Not Approved By The FDA
As OTC hearing aids are not registered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is more risk when you purchase them.
Some companies deceptively make out that they are “registered” when in fact they are not.
It can be easy to be blinded by false information on the internet, but you must remember that no over-the-counter hearing aids are approved by the FDA. While they do work to amplify sound — which is similar to how hearing aids work — they are not medical-grade devices.
Why Is It So Important For Hearing Aids To Be Tailor-Made To The Individual?
When you visit an audiologist, there are many steps involving choosing which hearing aid device is right for you.
This is an extremely important step, as it ensures that your device provides you adequate comfort, effectiveness, and safety.
In the case of OTC hearing aids, which are not custom-fit to the individual, it is likely that they will feel slightly uncomfortable from time to time. You may even find that they are not suited to your hearing and eventually stop wearing them.
This will only cause frustration over-paying a large price tag for a device that doesn’t work with no audiologist to help you out.
What Should I Do Next?
If you’ve started turning up the volume frequently on your television to a level that is uncomfortable to others, then you may suffer from a hearing loss.
The first step is to seek professional advice from an audiologist or hearing care specialist, who has been training for several years. They will be able to give advice and guidance on the next steps and perhaps have a chat with you about over-the-counter hearing aids and if they are an option for you.
As per Attorney General Ken Paxton’s plea, we kindly advise that you consider other options before purchasing over the counter.
To Remind You
Before purchasing a hearing aid, remember these simple tips:
- Always get a hearing assessment. It’s the first thing you should do before investing in any type of technology.
- Remember that no OTC hearing aids are FDA approved.
- If you’re stuck, consider researching the seller at the Better Business Bureau.
At Audicles Hearing Services, we have helped thousands of patients to hear better for over 75 years. This has earned us a reputation as a leading hearing healthcare provider in San Antonio and beyond.
If you’d like to talk to us about your hearing, please get in touch with us at 210-820-0525