• Dr. Beki Kellogg

Why Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids/Devices Aren’t The Solution

Updated: Aug 29



As a practice led by doctorate level audiologists, we're certainly advocates for both affordable and properly diagnosed hearing loss treatment.


People shouldn't need to choose between treating chronic hearing loss and other necessities like housing or food. Unfortunately, that decision is made frequently by lower income, elderly Americans. In fact, only 1 in every 5 people who have hearing loss actually wear hearing aids to improve their lifestyle.


At Hope Hearing & Tinnitus Center, we support the idea that hearing healthcare should be more affordable for all Americans - however we also believe that the mass production of over-the-counter (OTC) generic hearing aids/devices is not the answer.

FDA Approves Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids/Devices


In August 2022, the FDA announced the approval of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, which can be sold at both local retail stores and online without the need for a medical exam, prescription or fitting adjustment by a professional audiologist.


Statistically, around 30 million Americans suffer from some form of hearing loss and could benefit from access to affordable devices. That said, making sure your unique condition is addressed is important - rather than providing a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone.



How Effective Are Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids?



Ultimately, hearing happens in the brain. When an audiologist diagnoses a chronic hearing condition, they'll test several factors affecting the communication between the sound entering the ear and being translated "upstairs".


With OTC hearing devices, everyone is essentially getting the exact same "diagnosis" - which in this case is the equivalent of simply turning up the volume on your TV. If the device isn't targeted at your specific condition, is it really worth it?

Why Do I Need An Audiologist?


When you buy over-the-counter products you miss out on the human impact. You don’t receive a proper diagnosis or the opportunity to test different products to find your ideal fit. Most importantly, you don't have the opportunity for support from a local team after the sale. At Hope Hearing & Tinnitus Center, we treat hearing loss to improve your quality of life.



Also, it's not uncommon for short term hearing loss to be related to earwax compaction! Before you spend hard earned money on any device, it's worth having your ear examined for blockages.


Failure to properly can make it much more difficult to stay connected with loved ones and greatly increases the risk of cognitive decline and dementia symptoms.


Hearing is one of our most valuable senses - why put optimal performance at risk by sacrificing your quality of care? We'll do our best to both properly diagnose your condition while providing options that are most affordable to you. Reach out to our team for an evaluation today.


Find Hope. Get Relief.



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