Beginning in mid-October, people will be able to purchase some hearing aids directly—without first visiting an audiologist for a hearing evaluation and a hearing aid fitting, among other health care services. The Food and Drug Administration recently finalized the rules governing the sale of such devices, called over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids.
OTC hearing aids will be available online and at drug and big-box stores. Although OTC hearing aids will make hearing assistive technology more affordable and accessible for many adults with self-perceived mild to moderate hearing loss, they aren’t right for everyone. Learn more by consulting the resources below.
If you decide to purchase an OTC hearing aid, ASHA strongly recommends visiting an audiologist first for a complete hearing evaluation. Such evaluations are generally covered by Medicare and private insurance, even if hearing aids are not. Find an audiologist in your area at www.asha.org/profind.